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Good Substitutes For Toilet Paper

Good Substitutes For Toilet Paper
For most of us toilet paper is an essential and everyday item. What most of us don’t know is there are plenty of toilet paper options from all over the world. Here are some toilet paper alternative ideas.

While this article is about good substitutes for toilet paper, it does depend a bit on your mindset about what defines a good replacement for it.

Some of these options below are for the city and suburban residents, who have been affected by the recent pandemic. Or they just found out they are short on a spare TP roll at an inconvenient time.

Other toilet paper replacements are for the outdoors and suited for those woodsman, campers, backpacker, fisherman, hikers and survivalists. Or perhaps the RV camper forget to pack the spare toilet paper roll.

Some ideas use natural materials, like plant materials. Other options are more for urban areas and are improvising on the materials at hand. Obviously some will be better choices than others and won’t be as good as manufactured toilet paper. However we have to work with what we have.

Before we get on with the toilet paper ideas, here are some caveat and ideas about using the toilet.

Warning – If the sewage system is working, do not put anything down the toilet, other than toilet paper. Items like baby wipes, tissues and paper towels won’t break down and clog up the toilet system.

Use the toilet as normal, but put the used toilet paper substitute in a sealed plastic bag.

If the sewage system is not working, you can use a drum / bucket / pail (With a pool noodle around the bucket rim for the seat.) to sit on. Place a plastic bag in the bucket. Once you have done your business and wiped, close the bag up. (Or use again until nearly full. Place some dirt, kitty litter, newspaper layers.) Place the bag into another bag and seal up in two bags and store in a sealed drum or bucket. When sanitation is going again, place it out in the bin.

If you are in the woods, dig a hole away from camp and avoid waterways and bury the matter. For an easy way to make a camping toilet, or for a back up toilet if the sewage goes down, click on – How To Make A DIY Toilet Bucket.

Toilet paper ideas for the home.


  1. Paper, newspapers and phonebooks.

Magazines, newspapers and writing paper, etc., can all be used. Tear off the phone book pages for toilet paper squares.


  1. Bidet and bidet shower.

(Amazon affiliate link on above  image.)

A bidet is like a water fountain used to wash the bottom when done. A hand shower bidet hose can be hooked up to the plumbing can also be used to spray the bottom to clean.


  1. Wet wipes, wet ones.

Antibacterial hand wet wipes, are another ideal toilet paper, as the moisture helps clean as well. Again don’t put these down the toilet, as they won’t breakdown and will clog up the sewer.


  1. Paper towel and napkins.

Serviettes and paper towel can be used.


  1. Tabo.

A tabo is basically a container to scoop up some water from a bucket (Pail.) to run the water down your backside and clean. The tabo is used in some Asian countries and for bathing as well.


  1. Sponge.

A sponge, or sponge on a stick can be used. It can be re-washed and used.


  1. The hand wipe.

Okay, I get it, this is not a very appealing or pleasant idea. But, did you know the hand method of wiping has been used for thousands of years? This handy method is still used in some countries today.

Use one hand (Normally the left hand.) to wipe. Then wash the hand thoroughly to ensure no germs are on the hands, under finger nails, etc.


  1. Tissues.

Nice and soft, tissues are a friendly substitute.


  1. Cloth or bandana.

A handkerchief, bandana, hand towel, etc., all can be used as a substitute. These can also be washed again and used. Old clothes cut up make good cleaning rags and improvised toilet paper.


Toilet paper alternative ideas for the outdoors.

Here are some substitute ideas for the woods when camping and the outdoorsman. (The bandana and hand idea could be used for the outdoors as well. Another one is to use your underwear. You can always wash it again.)

For the outdoors, any material that is soft is a good substitute for toilet paper. The alternatives to tp are endless with a bit of thought.


  1. Grass.

Some grasses can be dry and rough. Chose the soft green bundles and ensure no insects are in the mix.


  1. Corn husk.

Corn husks can be used, as well as the used eaten bare corn cob.


  1. Plant leaves.

Large soft leaves like, mullein and wide plantain leaves are just a few ones to use. Other plants like, scrunched up soft bracken fern can be used in a pinch.

Ensure that you avoid itchy and toxic plants.


  1. Bark.

Soft smooth bark can be used for toilet paper. Check there is no hidden insect between the layers of bark. Obviously do not ringbark right around the whole tree and only take a limited small area off or use a dead tree.


  1. Sticks.

Use a smooth stick, be careful of the splinters.


  1. Sea weed.

Abundant washed up sea weed can been used.


  1. Moss.

The use of certain types of moss is ideal as it is soft.


  1. Snow.

Cold but refreshing and for some places it is abundant.


  1. Stones.

Like plants, smooth stones and pebbles have been used for many years throughout mankind for toilet paper.


  1. Pine cones.

Carefully choose a smoother pine cone and avoid the really prickly ones.


Summary – Toilet paper alternatives.

If you find there is a shortage of toilet paper, you don’t just have to be a survivalist or prepper to improvise look around and adapt to the circumstances.

Keep hygiene discipline standards high for these toilet paper options.  It is essential, whether you’re at home or out in the woods to wash your hands properly and practice good hygiene.