Author Topic: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?  (Read 21354 times)

Perpetual_Student

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I thought I'd start this post with a bit of overshare - I just bought some lovely flannel toilet paper made and sold by a grandma from Utah.  Yes, I intend to use it.  Rereading what I just wrote, I sound way more like a weird crunchy hippie than I actually am.

I'm a big fan of modern technology and convenience.  While I do occasionally ponder the stupidity of filling our toilets with water clean enough to drink, I appreciate the pleasantness of living in a society that manages human waste so well.  Our streets and homes are free from the foulness that our poor ancestors had to deal with.  I hereby give my society an A+ in keeping our lives pleasantly free from raw sewage.

I also give paper marketers an A+ in convincing us that the best way to cleanse our derrieres is with fluffy cottony rolls of paper that we buy simply to flush down the toilet.  Paper is paper...you may as well be wiping your ass with dollar bills and then flushing those puppies down the toilet.  People didn't always do this...we had all sorts of esoteric ways to handle bathroom hygiene up until the appearance of specially-made toilet paper a little more than 150 years ago.

I mean, toilet paper isn't exactly the most expensive commodity, but if you're pinching the pennies as hard as I am, it's hard to write off $120+ a year that we wipe on our asses and flush down the john.  Not to mention that toilet paper isn't always the most adequate of hygienic tools - I pity the toilet paper engineers and chemists who must create a product that must first clean like it's indestructible and then dissolve almost instantly in water, sparing people's plumbing and septic systems.

Aside from the first "What? Gross!" that the idea of washing and reusing cloth "toilet paper" elicits, it's not a bad idea.  For the most squeamish, cloth TP can be saved only for #1, which is sterile and less nasty to deal with.  For those who are more gung-ho, it's not a huge production to cleanse and sanitize wipes used for all situations.  There are lots of guides online, and it's no grosser than washing underwear, diapers, towels, or anything else that touches a human crotch.

I'm going to give it a whirl...we will see how it goes.  All the people who use cloth toilet paper AKA family cloth AKA crunchy hippy asswipes say they are the best thing in the world, so comfy, so effective, so easy!  Of course they may be lying liars.  But I'm going to try it out anyway.

In case you're wondering, I'll be keeping TP for guests and probably Mr. PS (who I think will be horrified).  But this could be a workable and good thing.  WE SHALL SEE.

Let me know: cloth TP too far for you?  Do you want to hear about my adventures as I explore the farthest frontier of frugality?  I won't write any more about my cloth TP if it's too TMI for all the lovely Mustachians here.

P.S. Aside from some cursing, I hope you appreciate the delicacy with which I wrote this entry.  You are welcome.

P.P.S. Here is a good site, if you are interested in learning more: http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/recycled-toilet-paper.html
« Last Edit: September 15, 2012, 12:15:09 PM by Perpetual_Student »

totoro

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 08:29:45 PM »
I'd rather make the savings somewhere else.  Just sayin'

Another Reader

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2012, 08:34:51 PM »
I guess if you can wash diapers, you can wash flannel toilet paper.....

Disposable items are overused, but when viruses and bacteria are involved, I'll take disposable.

Russ

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2012, 08:42:30 PM »
It just so happens that nature usually calls while I'm at work. I never really thought about it, but it's the perfect situation - I get paid for the time, and I've only used about half a roll of TP at home in the month since I moved! So for right now I don't think washing soiled flannels are worth my time, but maybe it'll be more practical in the future. I'd be interested in reading how it goes; and of course if other readers don't want to see it, there's nobody making them click on the thread

Norman Johnson

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2012, 08:55:36 PM »
You could get a toilet seat bidet and drip dry or use you flannel TP to dry off. Less mess in the washing machine too.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2012, 09:09:51 PM »
That is a pretty good deal, Russ!  I spend most of my day away from home too.  I'm not going to be taking the cloth TP on the road; it's strictly a home thing.

Another Reader, you can get the cloth stuff as clean as any roll of the paper stuff.  Aside from STDs, the diseases I think you're talking about are transmitted fecal-oral...and that's why we wash our hands after a trip to the restroom :)  As for STDs - I doubt my guests will suddenly decide to wipe with the mysterious little stack of cloths, and as for the other person in my house, we're, um, good to go.

Good idea lilacorchid!  When I lived abroad we had a toilet seat bidet...ever so refreshing.  Less mess for sure.  It's a little out of my budget range for now.  Some people suggest a spray bottle, which seems cumbersome and hilarious to me.  Other people suggest wetting the wipe before use and giving it a quick rinse/wash afterward.  Some people also keep a soaking solution in the can that they place used wipes in.  I guess we will have to find the happy medium.

If it were just gents in the house, we probably wouldn't be using as much TP.  But I am a gal, and so we do.

If the cloth TP works out well, I may get some handkerchiefs to take the place of the massive amounts of Kleenex we use.  With a whole bunch, we can have them be single-use and then wash.  That would be awesome for cold season.

kisserofsinners

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2012, 09:10:34 PM »
Bad ass! way to get tough on your disposing. I respect your commitment.

I only just got us to rags fr cleaning, baybe we'll upgrade.

Russ

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2012, 09:20:32 PM »
Handkerchiefs are awesome. I've been carrying them with me seasonally (spring allergies) for the past couple years. I have enough for 2 a day between loads of laundry. They're cheaper, softer on the nose, and less cumbersome than a box of tissues.

Another Reader

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2012, 09:28:33 PM »
My dad was a daily hankie user.  However, colds got the paper tissue treatment because of germs and convenience, at least after Kleenex became a household item.  Hankies require hot water and bleach or some other type of disinfectant.

Washing hands does not eliminate all germs and anyway not everyone does a perfect job.  No hospital scrub sink in the average home bathroom.  Handling used toilet cloths is just another disease vector that has to be carefully controlled.  I will stick with disposable.

arebelspy

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2012, 09:48:31 PM »
I'd probably do the bidet thing before the cloth T.P thing.

Probably more eco friendly too (unless you're hand washing and air drying, and potentially even then, depending on the amount of water / soap needed to wash.. but almost definitely so if you machine wash).
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Nudelkopf

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 04:00:20 AM »
I use cloths when my house mate uses all my toilet paper & won't buy her own.

happy

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2012, 05:28:30 AM »
 A whole new dimension to "badassity".  I haven't gone this far (yet), but have heard of others who have. Some people use flannel TP for female no1's but paper for no 2s.  Really its no different from cloth nappies (diapers) for babies,  but it does cost something for bleach/sanitiser and laundering.

I'm not sure I'd convince my teenagers tho.  Early last century in my country people cut up squares of newspaper to use...if you buy newspaper to read anyway or get free local papers delivered, this might be cheaper still.

smalllife

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2012, 07:21:40 AM »
I made the switch to cloth menstrual pads, so I don't imagine cloth TP would be that different.  From what I can read online though they seem to require fairly constant laundry cycles (only up to 3 days soaking in water).  As someone who does laundry once a week MAX and usually every two weeks that's a long time to have cloth TP lying around.  Laundry timing is my only real concern as I would only use them for number one, but for now that is a big enough hurdle to put it on the back burner.  Congrats for making the leap though!

Adventine

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2012, 07:35:32 AM »
To go even further with your cloth toilet paper idea, why not install a bidet too? If you rinse well as a first step, you'll have to expend less effort and resources with your toilet paper.

Or if you're the kind of blessed individual with regular bowel movements, why not schedule your toilet breaks right before your usual showertime? This would work especially well with cleaning up after #2. Then you wouldn't even have to use the cloth TP in the first place.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2012, 08:14:13 AM »
Thanks kisserofsinners, I think you'll like the cleaning rags!  We have a drawer full of white washcloths that get used for EVERY damn thing.  If you like terry washcloths, they can be found cheap as car detailing cloths.

Russ, I fully intend to embrace the hankies!  It just seems so common-sense.  I may keep Kleenex around for nosebleeds (this is the high desert y'all) but we will see.

Another Reader, don't you worry, I'm keeping TP around just for guests like you :)  And I won't be "handling" the used cloths, really, just flipping the canister upside down so the cloths drop right into the washer, then sanitizing the canister with boiling water and/or bleach.  I work surgeries at one job and I work with extremely hazardous infectious disease organisms at my other job.  My sterile technique is not something I'm worried about.

arebelspy and Adventine, I read around a bit and a peri bottle would probably be a good economic alternative to a full-on toilet bidet.  While I do have a fairly predictable digestive tract, my work requires high-level biosafety, including a shower out.  I only take that one shower per day when working, but on the plus side, I don't have to buy as much shampoo etc.  Also, arebelspy, my whites load almost never fills the washer, so I won't be using any more water, detergent, or bleach than usual, and everything will come out squeaky clean.

Nudelkopf, I had to laugh!  I used to have a roommate who would drag her heels on buying TP.  The rest of the roommates and I just took to carrying our own TP in.  She was so stingy and cheap, she'd buy a 4 pack that felt like it was made from a cheese grater.  We bought big ol' jumbo packs of the generic brand white stuff.

happy, we don't get newspapers at all, but your idea has merit.  I don't like the black ink getting everywhere, which is what would bother me.  As for your own cloth TP, maybe if you just set it up in the bathroom and explained it to the teens only when they asked, without asking them to get on board, you may find that they try it out of curiosity.  You'll never hear about it of course.  Just suddenly you'll have more wipes to wash.

Thanks for the support, guys!  I am very excited about this, which just shows you how thrilling a life I lead.  I'll update with photos of the setup and such when I get it all ready to go!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 08:16:30 AM by Perpetual_Student »

arebelspy

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2012, 08:17:52 AM »
Also, arebelspy, my whites load almost never fills the washer, so I won't be using any more water, detergent, or bleach than usual, and everything will come out squeaky clean.

Doesn't that mean you should be doing laundry less frequently, or cramming more in there?

Or do you literally wear and wash every white you own when you do laundry (and it doesn't fill a full load)?  If so, I salute you.
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Mr. Everyday Dollar

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2012, 08:21:26 AM »
Yeah, I don't think I'd go to cloth toilet paper. If I considered it a medium-to-high recurring cost I'd look at options. But, like others have mentioned, I'm usually at work when nature calls so 5 days out of the week I'm not even using my own toilet paper.

When I was travelling in Africa, I don't think I ever used traditional toilet paper. Newspaper was the weapon of choice. So, that's one option.

I've looked at washlets/wands that are built into toilet seats. I discovered them in Japan and I like them a lot. Toto makes a few different models. The Toto B100 is the cheapest because it doesn't have all the bells and whistles (heated seat, heated water,drying function). Right now it is on Amazon for $363 with free shipping. So at some point you will reach break-even over buying toilet paper and then above that it's all extra dollars in your pocket!

I've also read good things about the Bio Bidet 1000, also on Amazon, currently $499 with free shipping.

James

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2012, 08:36:41 AM »
My dad was a daily hankie user.  However, colds got the paper tissue treatment because of germs and convenience, at least after Kleenex became a household item.  Hankies require hot water and bleach or some other type of disinfectant.

Washing hands does not eliminate all germs and anyway not everyone does a perfect job.  No hospital scrub sink in the average home bathroom.  Handling used toilet cloths is just another disease vector that has to be carefully controlled.  I will stick with disposable.

Hate to break it to you, but you are exposed to a lot more germs than you probably realize.  Hankies don't require bleach, and used toilet cloths are not the biohazard you imply.  You don't need to sterile your hands after using them anymore than you need to sterilize after changing a kids diaper or using TP, not sure why everyone gets so weirded out by this idea.  Throwing out terms like "disease vector" doesn't actually make them dangerous, and "carefully controlled" simply means throwing them in the right container and then washing them.  Obviously there is no problem with using disposable, nor with arguing that using cloth isn't worth it or has valid reasons to avoid it.  I just don't like to see straw men built.

No, I don't use cloth and I don't plan to start.

AJ

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2012, 09:18:36 AM »
My dad was a daily hankie user.  However, colds got the paper tissue treatment because of germs and convenience, at least after Kleenex became a household item.  Hankies require hot water and bleach or some other type of disinfectant.

Washing hands does not eliminate all germs and anyway not everyone does a perfect job.  No hospital scrub sink in the average home bathroom.  Handling used toilet cloths is just another disease vector that has to be carefully controlled.  I will stick with disposable.

Hate to break it to you, but you are exposed to a lot more germs than you probably realize.  Hankies don't require bleach, and used toilet cloths are not the biohazard you imply.  You don't need to sterile your hands after using them anymore than you need to sterilize after changing a kids diaper or using TP, not sure why everyone gets so weirded out by this idea.  Throwing out terms like "disease vector" doesn't actually make them dangerous, and "carefully controlled" simply means throwing them in the right container and then washing them.  Obviously there is no problem with using disposable, nor with arguing that using cloth isn't worth it or has valid reasons to avoid it.  I just don't like to see straw men built.

No, I don't use cloth and I don't plan to start.

Yes, this. Its just one more example of "selective squeamishness". I really think this is more about ingrained habits than anything else. Personally, I have more cost-effective habits I'm trying to cultivate at the moment, but I'll stash this idea away for maybe another time. I like that I have a community of folks that are open-minded enough to consider this type of thing and actually weigh the pros and cons rather than outright dismissing it as "icky".

AJ

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2012, 09:20:02 AM »
Actually, now that I think about it, this is literally the same thing as using cloth baby wipes, which is not altogether uncommon...

JohnGalt

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2012, 09:36:57 AM »
Actually, now that I think about it, this is literally the same thing as using cloth baby wipes, which is not altogether uncommon...

The big difference I see between this and cloth diapers is that diapers are a temporary need and the disposable version is way more expensive than toilet paper. 

I can't imagine this is really that economically.  I've never calculated what I spend on TP in a year - $120 sounds high, but I'll go with it...

How much time are you going to spend washing and cleaning the flannel version?  If you spend 30 minutes/week doing this, that's 26 hours per year.  $120/26 = $4.16 / hour.  And that's not counting any additional costs - buying the flannel, special container to put it in, cleaning chemicals, laundry.

Even if it's only 10 minutes / week, it would take a lot more than $12/hr to get me to do something like this.

If you want to do it for environment reasons - fine - but I don't think it makes economical sense.

totoro

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2012, 09:59:59 AM »
I don't think this is about ingrained habits for me anyway, although there would be a quality of life impact for me in this. 

I've travelled to lots of places with different approaches and adapted.  When I was in Russia with extended family in a village they did in fact use cloth TP at home.   I used cloth diapers happily because it was far less expensive and good for the environment and the volume used was high - making it worth it vs. the disposable diaper prices and impacts.

This all said, the cost benefit does not work for me for TP unless the environmental impact was signficant - which I don't see here.  With the time I have to devote to earning an hourly wage by saving this is low priority.  Food preparation, biking and learning about investing bring higher ROI.   Might be different for those who are motivated by absolute maximization on all fronts.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2012, 12:05:43 PM »
Lots of good points.

We live on very very little, so every penny currently counts for us.  Startup costs for wipes and canister come to about $35, but for someone with more sewing expertise you could probably do it for under $10 by buying an old flannel sheet and making your own.  I bought mine because I wanted something well-made that would last for a long time.

arebelspy, I do actually wait until I have a maximal white load to wash it.  I don't have many whites.  My white washcloths that I use for cleaning all sorts of stuff, a pair of white jeans, a white shirt and a few pairs of white drawers.  Some white socks...that's it.  Doesn't fill a load.  I also have white sheets but they are HUGE (cal king) and take a load of their own.  White towels too, but again, a load of their own.  I pack the washer as best I can while leaving enough room to agitate.  With the addition of wipes, my white load "misc" load will fill the washer.

We run our whites through the dryer, though we hang everything else to dry.  I don't mind the time spent folding warm cuddly just-dried things - it's actually fun for me and takes only a few minutes.  It's a great break from the high-intellectual-load things I do with the rest of my day.

I think the most salient points are that if this represents a huge inconvenience and unpleasantness for you, then it's not going to appeal to you.  For me, better ass cleanliness, money saved, and no more lugging huge bales of TP up and down the stairs to my house are motivators.  I have a very high gross-out threshold, so I'm not bothered at all by the washing etc.  For more squeamish folks, I suppose the imagined ick factor would be a barrier.

It's not a massive ROI, but I think it will bring me a higher quality of life.  So let's do a little math: currently I spend $120 year on TP.  Let's say the cloth cuts that down to $20 (guests, etc.).  That's $100 saved a year.  Start-up costs of $35, and let's say the wipes themselves last for 5 years.  Then they are replaced for $30 ($5 was my canister).  So over 5 years, I spend $135 instead of $600.  I'm incorporating the washing into a laundry schedule that won't need to be changed, so I'm setting myself up for 5 minutes a week of extra folding.  Over 5 years, I save $465, which is $93/yr, or $1.79 paid for that extra 5 minutes of work.  That's a hourly "wage" of saved money that I calculate at $21.48 for that time spent folding.  Right now as a student my two jobs each pay an hourly wage that is half that.

I already find the concept appealing, so the extra money saved is icing on my super-broke cake.  It won't cost me hardly any extra time or effort, actually probably equivalent to the time and effort I already spend.  Think about it: between finding and buying toilet paper, making that extra trip back to the car to go lug the fucker up to the house, pulling it open to store all the little 4-packs in the closet of my tiny apartment (no room to just leave a bale of TP on the floor), and opening those little 4-packs to replace the TP that sits on the holder and the reserve holder in my bathroom, I probably break even on the time spent, will save myself the physical effort of hauling TP across the parking lot and up my stairs.

Across the world, I've used all sorts of local remedies - Korean built-in toilet bidets, Cambodian water ladles (you ladle up water from a little reservoir and use your left hand to wash up), Kenyan bring-your-own situations.  I like the bidet thing, but I don't have the extra income right now for Mr. Everyday Dollar's great finds.  I guess I'm just not a huge fan of TP - after getting quite sick while traveling and discovering the joys of baby wipes, I have been open to suggestions since.

So no hate to the folks who will only give up TP if it is ripped from their cold dead hands - there's room enough for all of us.  And I know that for some if not most, saving $93 a year is not enough financial incentive to change one of our most ingrained hygienic habits.  But for me, fuck yeah it is, hand me the ass rags buddy because I'm as broke as a joke!

I guess I'm saying I really like the discussion and all the points everyone is raising.  If it ain't for ya, it ain't for ya.  But for me it's money saved and no more work, and even though I can't afford Charmin I'll feel like I'm wiping my ass with a fluffy cloud.

On another note: who can tell me about good places to find hankies?  How do the people who carry them use them?  SO CURIOUS
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 12:10:20 PM by Perpetual_Student »

Russ

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2012, 02:43:59 PM »
On another note: who can tell me about good places to find hankies?  How do the people who carry them use them?  SO CURIOUS

Most of the big-box type place stock them. I bought my first box on a whim while I was at Target on a trip for some paper tissues. I found one or two stuffed into coat jackets at Goodwill (clean), and a couple more on the side of the road while riding my bike (dirty, but road-dirty not bodily-fluid-dirty). They're also probably the easiest and least expensive thing to sew ever - just check out the clearance bin at the fabric store for soft, lightweight material. If I ever need more, I'll be making them myself. Bandannas also do just as well if you have some laying around, although they're not nearly as classy and are a little too bulky for carrying around in a pocket, IMO.

For use, I stuff one in my back pocket in the morning, use it when I need it, and toss it in the whites pile when I want a fresh one. Sometimes I go through 2 a day, other times one lasts half a week.

edit: spelling
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 06:28:12 PM by Russ »

fidgiegirl

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2012, 05:44:50 PM »
Ooh!  I like this kind of discussion.  And now you have me wanting to sew.

I am an avid hanky user, and just keep them in my pocket for the day and then throw down the chute to wash when done.

I also use cloth menstrual pads and put them in a bucket in the basement when done, then dump and wash.  Going to make a new batch soon.  Mine are five years old or so and need to go - falling apart.  I sooooooo prefer them to plastic, but I still do use plastic on my heaviest days.  I sewed super duty pad-panties to use over night and want to make a daytime pair, too, that isn't too bulky because EVERY.SINGLE.MONTH I bleed through my pants in the weirdest spots.

We've also cut up our old t-shirts for kitchen cloths for years and years but now I have found that terry wash cloths are better for it.

Have been wanting to go cloth on TP for a while.  Once I make the flannelettes I am going to take the plunge, most likely only for #1.  Maybe if I do more reading on procedures for #2 I'll do that at some point.  We already buy the moistened adult flushable wipes and I can't live without them.  Seriously - it's a drama if I'm ever caught without.  (I am NOT one of those blessed with the clockwork system, and if I have to go, I have to go.  Now.)

Nudelkopf

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2012, 08:10:18 PM »
Or if you're the kind of blessed individual with regular bowel movements, why not schedule your toilet breaks right before your usual showertime? This would work especially well with cleaning up after #2. Then you wouldn't even have to use the cloth TP in the first place.
I like this! Although I feel like there'd be an awkward waddle from the toilet to the shower :P

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #26 on: August 31, 2012, 08:35:13 PM »
fidgie, wet wipes are great!  Baby wipes are cheaper...I have bought them for years.  GI distress in the middle of the savannah makes you a huge fan of baby wipes, holy cow.

I've been known to do a quick wash in the tub if I'm sick and really need a hose down to get clean before toddling back to bed.  I wish I could just tell my system "hey I'm ready for a shower, LET'S DO THIS" but alas...

kisserofsinners

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #27 on: August 31, 2012, 10:02:37 PM »
Lots of good points.

...

So no hate to the folks who will only give up TP if it is ripped from their cold dead hands - there's room enough for all of us.  And I know that for some if not most, saving $93 a year is not enough financial incentive to change one of our most ingrained hygienic habits.  But for me, fuck yeah it is, hand me the ass rags buddy because I'm as broke as a joke!

I guess I'm saying I really like the discussion and all the points everyone is raising.  If it ain't for ya, it ain't for ya.  But for me it's money saved and no more work, and even though I can't afford Charmin I'll feel like I'm wiping my ass with a fluffy cloud.

On another note: who can tell me about good places to find hankies?  How do the people who carry them use them?  SO CURIOUS

Way to show your work!!!

dahlink

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2012, 01:49:46 AM »
I've been pushing the bidet thing on others ever since I used one in Japan.  I'm sure that I wouldn't feel as clean after a BM with cloth just as I now do not fee clean when only using TP.  However, this made me think that perhaps I could go for a cloth clean up after the bidet?  Perhaps one day I'll give it a go.  Thanks for sharing.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2012, 05:15:33 PM »
Ha, kisserofsinners, I just wanted to show my thinking!  I know there's a good solution for all of us.

dahlink, this bidet unit on Amazon looks affordable and has rave reviews.  I am kind of considering it to dial down the "eww" factor of the toilet cloth.  If the cloth is only used like a towel to dry oneself, then maybe I'll stop taking so much flak.

OTOH, dampening a toilet cloth in the sink (tiny bathroom, right by the toilet) would cleanse just as well.  But if one were suffering some gastrointestinal woes, it could be a messier situation.  For the everyday, I don't see it being an issue at all.

Hmm, going back and forth on the bidet...worth the $30?  What do y'all think?

Adventine

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2012, 06:12:17 PM »
@Perpetual_Student I know, why don't you install a bidet and have a bar of soap handy, so you can really wash thoroughly after your BMs and use the cloth TP as a regular old towel?

D-T

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2012, 06:12:43 PM »
We bought a Luxe Bidet vi-110 on Amazon for $39 for cleanliness really and not economical reasons.  It's been fantastic.  The savings are great but the best part really is the cleanliness.

I personally couldn't do the toilet cloth alone. But I could see it working coupled with a bidet if you're just drying with it.

Norman Johnson

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2012, 07:51:27 PM »
We bought a Washlet on amazon and at first I was asking myself WTF I was thinking, but since it's been offline for a few days due to renovations, I'm really missing it. I use much less TP and if I couldn't shower for some reason, I would be okay with just washing my hair because the undercarriage is fresh!

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2012, 09:53:38 PM »
I do love a good clean undercarriage, 'tis true.

I think for the sake of science and also my meager funds, I'm going to give the toilet cloth a test run for a couple of weeks before I decide to buy a bidet.  If the clean-feeling-ness of toilet cloth is equivalent to that of the bidet (which will be a subjective judgment on my part) I might skip the bidet.  Mr. PS started off aghast at the whole enterprise, but is now mostly equal parts bemused and resigned to my perverse ways.  I mentioned the bidet idea to him, and his main concern is that visitors will think we are weird.  Well, probably too late for that...

To ease Mr. PS's social anxiety, we may wait it out.  Though man, I do miss my bidet days from time to time.  I like baby wipes and feel like they do a great job, so a dampened toilet cloth may be enough for me.

Bidet users, what do you find best about your bidets?  What things annoy you?  Any suggestions on features I should be looking for?

momo27

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2012, 03:45:36 AM »
We used cloth TP when my kids were in cloth diapers.  I made my own, I bought flannel sheets at the thrift shop for $1 each and that made a huge supply.  I actually liked them a lot, I felt cleaner and they were nicer on my skin.  If I had my own washing facilities, I probably would have kept on with them when our diapering years were over.  The $2.25 to wash them is more expensive than just buying TP, plus it would take me a long time to have a full load.  I don't relish using my laundry quarters on anything less than a completely full load.

Norman Johnson

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2012, 08:21:44 AM »
Yeah, people already thnk we are weird and with all the other robots/machines in my house (that's my weakness!) working for me, it's probably not too surprising.

I'll also add that from a woman's point of view, it also makes a difference during the monthly visitor. Our washlet is fairly deluxe. The only thing on it I find pointless is the dryer. It works about the same as the hand dryer in public bathrooms. That being said, if you have the time to sit and wait, it would completely eliminate the need for TP, except for guests who are too chicken!

windawake

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2012, 08:33:50 AM »
I hate TP.  Seriously.  It doesn't do the job it's intended for well.

I would someday like a bidet, possibly.  But for now I use those wet-wipes, and am in perpetual search for cheap, organic ones.  It's much more socially acceptable than cloth TP, I think.  Plus you use less.  As far as being cheaper, it probably isn't.  But that's why my search continues.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2012, 08:39:32 PM »
So my toilet cloth came in the mail and I set the whole thing up.

This is what the cloth actually looks like.  Two layers of white flannel serged together at the edges.  I've washed some already, and it keeps its shape aside from a few loose threads at the corners.

The second photo is of my setup.  You can see the stack of cloths on the back of the toilet and the silver can with a drawstring bag to the left of the toilet.

How is it using cloth?  Surprisingly effective.  Far more comfortable and cleansing for #1 than even a big wad of the fluffy white paper stuff.  I don't want to get too detailed, but the words thirsty and wicking come to mind.

I have yet to venture into the realm of #2 since I am usually out of the house at those times, but I'll report back.  So far, the whole thing has been surprisingly easy.  The toilet cloth barely gets damp at all...imagine using thick doubled flannel to dab a few drops of water off of something.  Truly inoffensive.  And I ran a load already and they came out sparkling white and fresh as daisies.

Just for the sense of luxury and comfort, I think I'd use these things.  It's like when you go to a friend's house who always buys the fluffiest softest stuff.  Well, these are fluffier and softer and impervious to dissolving at inopportune times.  I'm really very pleased.

CG

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2012, 04:55:34 AM »
What a to-do!
 
I just use an old face flannel after urinating and rinse it out in the bath each week with my undies after hair-washing. On the infrequent occasions when I have a full load for the washing-machine it (and the undies) do get included.

However, I do still use loo paper for faeces, but get through much less overall than I used to.

AllChoptUp

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2012, 08:34:02 AM »
We wet a small wad of TP in the sink prior to #2, then use it to cleanse afterwards.  Very effective.  Usually will use a square or 2 to dry off.  Does require the good stuff (charmin) or it will melt in your hand :(

Advantages:
- Cleans the undercarriage very well
- Very comfortable - water makes the TP soft
- Flushable in all septic scenarios
- Seems to use less TP since don't need to rewipe in messy situations
- Does not add to laundry burden

Disadvantages
- Requires expensive TP

Overall not especially mustachian, but an effective way to get a cleaner and more comfortable experience.

ShavenLlama

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2012, 02:02:11 PM »
Not to hijack your thread, but do tell us more about pooping in Kenya! I'm headed that way next month.
I am fairly regular after morning coffee, but I have performance issues when I'm not in a private bathroom. When we hiked the Narrows in Zion, they gave us bags to pack out *everything,* but I still have mine. Couldn't go.
And I have to have my fluffy cloud-like Charmin. I often travel with my own roll. If I get into trouble and have to crap at work, I feel dirty the rest of the day because the paper isn't right.
We were on a trip once and someone in the group used a bandanna to wipe, and he said it rubbed him raw.

So you can see, I am a bit on edge now for the savannah.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2012, 06:27:37 PM »
Hey Llama!

I highly recommend bringing a big thing of baby wipes.  They will come in handy wherever you are, and it will help your feeling of ickiness.  They are also good for when you aren't able to get a shower for a while, and whatever clean-ups you may need along the way.

I was in Kenya in 2004, but I imagine it's much the same.  It all depends on where you are and what accommodations you seek.  Everything from a squatty potty to the usual porcelain throne.  It's really not a big deal, just try to be adventurous!

TwoPupsOnACouch

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2012, 07:39:53 PM »
Do you know of any links to purchase the cloth tp online?  Right now, I'm trying to get over the ick factor of using a handkerchief for allergies.  Who knows? Maybe my next mountain to climb is made of cloth tp! A fluffy mountain indeed!

jbhernandez

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2012, 09:20:57 PM »
In Dubai all the toilets are equipped with a spray hose. The TP is just to dry yourself off with.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2012, 09:23:31 PM by jbhernandez »

MsGuided

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2012, 11:19:00 PM »
Ok, I can't believe I'm posting on this topic.  I guess MMM is cracking my very reserved on-line shell!  Perpetual_Student, your post about an old roommate brought back some funny memories for me, too.

When I was in college, my close friend/roommate and I traveled to England for a semester of study.  We were placed with 2 boys from our college.  They were decent boys & we got along find with them . . . until the "Great Toilet Paper Controversy."  The boys banded together in demanding that we buy our tp separately, boys for boys & girls for girls.  They would take their tp and hide it in their room to keep us from using theirs.  We girls were incensed & thought them petty & small. 

In retrospect, I can kind of see their side of it.  I (& my roommate) did use tp excessively.  I had forgotten all about this little saga until I read your post.  My takeaway here is not that I'm going to buy flannel tp (at least not yet when I have dozens and dozens of other, more fundamentals things to do to become more frugal), but that I can use a fraction of the tp I currently do.  I am a wasteful and excessive tp user.  Can't believe I'm confessing to this, but hey, it's all typed up & I'm about to post!

CG

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #45 on: September 14, 2012, 04:24:43 AM »
Why this buying of cloths? Surely you have half-worn out face flannels (washers?) or really old towels, or worn thin or torn underpants that could be pressed into service? 

Adventine

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2012, 06:40:58 AM »
Why this buying of cloths? Surely you have half-worn out face flannels (washers?) or really old towels, or worn thin or torn underpants that could be pressed into service? 

But those things would be really rough and abrasive on some of the most sensitive areas of the human body... Not fun. Not fun at all :|

TwoPupsOnACouch

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #47 on: September 14, 2012, 07:02:55 AM »
I see what you're saying CG...  But in this case I want something specifically made for the job.  I would not want to confuse cloths. 
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 05:03:02 PM by TwoPupsOnACouch »

CG

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2012, 04:29:41 AM »
Why this buying of cloths? Surely you have half-worn out face flannels (washers?) or really old towels, or worn thin or torn underpants that could be pressed into service? 

But those things would be really rough and abrasive on some of the most sensitive areas of the human body... Not fun. Not fun at all :|

That's about the most wimpy thing I've read on this forum. All you need is absorbency and natural (not synthetic) fibre, i.e. cotton. We're taking about patting dry, not rubbing. And, to avoid any confusion, just use a different colour from your face washer.

Perpetual_Student

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Re: How frugal are you willing to go? How about cloth toilet paper?
« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2012, 11:35:54 AM »
CG, I bought cloths for several reasons. I wanted thick flannel to approximate the way I habitually used TP (I too am an over-user* I suspect).  I wanted something that would really last for a while, and I wanted something that I could convince Mr. PS to use too, since he's much more squeamish than I.

I don't have enough old or ratty undies to repurpose (I supposed I'd cut them into squares?).  Trust me, I did a mental inventory to see if I had an old sheet or something to cut up, but I don't.  I'm pretty good about selling/donating things to get them out of the house.  Also, the flannel is important, because plain jersey is just not as absorbent.

Thirdly, I wanted something that wouldn't look nasty in my bathroom.  Part of my mustachian life is living in spaces that I find visually appealing, and I also don't want to double-horrify my guests by a) using toilet cloth and b) USING OLD UNDERWEAR as toilet cloth.  Nothing wrong with it; just not for me.  Having my double-layer serged white squares pleases me to see, and they dry flat, are easy to use and stack, and all-around make me pleased to make the change.  So that's why.

Someone who wants to make their own may be better served by buying an old flannel sheet or two and sewing them up.  Knowing myself, I'd NEVER get around to it.  I wanted to get started NOW.  So, good point, but in this case, buying was for me the mustachian option.

For others who wish to buy rather than sew, toilet cloth can be bought through Amazon or Etsy by searching for cloth baby wipes, family cloth, cloth toilet paper, etc.  I wanted all-white cloths, double-layered, for a good price.  I found a woman on Etsy in Utah who sews cloth baby wipes.  Do some searching, Pups, and you'll find the style you want.

P.S. Having used the toilet cloth for ALL situations now, I can say it's effective and inoffensive.  I was worried about it, but I shouldn't have!

* There are generally three types of toilet paper styles: folders, wadders, and wrappers.  People carefully fold sheets, just make a big wad, or wrap the paper around their hand as they pull it off the roll before using the roll.  Rollers use the most, wadders use less, and folders use least per use.  I read some industry study about this somewhere, but I just can't find it right now, so here's another related one: http://blogs.wsj.com/numbersguy/saving-the-planet-one-square-of-toilet-paper-at-a-time-96/