A big part of being self-reliant is learning to make the most out of every resource. When the crisis strikes, you have absolutely no way of knowing when you will get another chance to stock up on supplies, whatever those might be.
Many people focus solely on food, water and medicine. While these are, indeed, the most important supplies, there are plenty of others to consider. What would you do if you ran out of toilet paper?
This is not something that many people give a lot of consideration to. But think about it. It is a product that everyone needs all the time. In that regard, it is placed in a pretty special category with other essentials which you simply cannot go without. This means that toilet paper is a pretty important resource, but it is also a finite one.
No matter how many supplies of toilet paper you buy, it is a single use item, one which literally gets flushed down the toilet after being used. This not only represents a waste of money, but also an actual waste which you might have to deal with if your plumbing is damaged when SHTF. Therefore, it would make sense to look at homemade alternatives for toilet paper.
Using Cloth Toilet Paper
The most common alternative to regular toilet paper is cloth toilet paper which is also referred to as family cloth. Due to the sensitive nature of the product in question, some people might be reticent to change their habits and find a substitute for toilet paper. However, something to remember is that people used a lot of different other items before toilet paper even existed.
Those who accept this concept will see that family cloth does have several advantages over regular toilet paper.
- For starters, it is completely homemade. Family cloth is simply squares of fabric which can be made from anything around the house including old clothes which you do not wear anymore.
- The product is recyclable, a big plus when talking about maximizing our resources.
- These cloths are simply kept in a basket in the bedroom and thrown in a bin after being used. Afterwards they are thrown in the washing machine and then left to dry.
- They are reusable. While this might be the notion that upsets most people, it is also the one which constitutes the biggest advantage of family cloth.
Disregarding the specific product in question, whenever we are talking about two solutions, one reusable and one finite, the reusable one is always the most efficient choice.
If you are looking for a way to maximize your resources, then using family cloth is the way to go. Many people who use family cloth regularly claim that it is more comfortable. After all, it would be made from the same material as underwear so the sensation will be very familiar.
These reasons have convinced many people to switch off toilet paper in their everyday life. For them, there is also a financial motivation to consider. Reusing the same family cloth over and over again means not having to spend any more money on toilet paper.
And lastly, you need to consider that you might not have a choice. If SHTF and you become isolated from the community and you run out of toilet paper, this becomes a viable substitute whether you want to or not.
Making Your Own Toilet Paper
For many people, the best substitute for toiler paper is simply… toilet paper. It is possible to make your own as you do not need complicated tools, as you will be recycling all of your old paper which you have no use for anymore. You can use newspaper, general paper and even magazines as long as they do not have a shiny gloss. You will also want to add ingredients such as baby oil, lotions or aloe in order to keep the paper from hardening.
1. The first step would be to remove as much ink as possible from the paper, by soaking it in a tub or a bucket. Afterwards take the paper and place it in a pot with leaves and grass which will help the fibers remain together. The pot should be filled with water so that it completely covers the paper and then left to simmer. It is important not to boil the water from the beginning so that the dry materials have a chance to absorb the water.
2. After an hour of simmering comes about half an hour of boiling at high temperatures. It’s ok to add more water if necessary. You will also need to remove the foam which begins to rise to the top, as this is mostly ink, glue and other materials you don’t want.
3. Eventually, the paper turns into a pulp. At this time you will have to remove the water but without disturbing the pulp. Try to remove as much as possible and then simply wait for it to cool before removing the rest of the water. The pulp also needs to be taken out in order to remove the water, but it should not be done so that the pulp becomes completely dry. Once this is done the pulp is put back in the pot and it is mixed with the softening oils. If you have it, you can also add Witch Hazel which will act as an anti-bacterial.
4. Once this step is complete, it is time to scoop out the pulp. Do it in chunks and place them on a towel or a cloth on a flat surface. Afterwards you will use a rolling pin in order to spread out the pulp in a thin layer. Try to make it as thin as possible. A mallet can be used to gently deal with any lumps that might appear.
5. Now another towel or cloth should be placed on top of the layer as to create a sandwich. On top of this place something flat and rigid and then something heavy. You can even walk on it if you want. The goal here is to remove all the excess water.
6. If this is done you can remove the items placed on top. Be careful with the second towel as you do not want it to stick to the pulp. In order to remove the towel on the bottom, you will have to flip it all upside down. Do not try to remove the pulp off the towel.
Then you are left with a big layer of thin paper which needs to dry in the sun. Afterwards all you have to do is cut it into pieces and you’ll have your DIY toilet paper.
This article has been written by Bella Scotton for Survivopedia.