Is there a Substitute for Toilet Paper

Best Selling Substitute for Toilet Paper

Is there a substitute for toilet paper we can all agree that the worst feeling in your home is when you have to go to the toilet for a long call and when you reach out the toilet paper, you find nothing but a cardboard roll. that is when you ponder the question ‘ is there a substitute for toilet paper I can use?’

A certain kind of panic kicks in and now you are all around the house trying to find something to wipe with. Now you are racing against time and your body can only hold it for some time as your frantic search plays out.

Whether you are in your home, surviving a long-term disaster, camping in the great outdoors, or simply out in public, it is time you consider some toilet paper substitutes. So, is there a substitute for toilet paper?

The good news is that there are several items that you can use as alternatives to toilet paper. I am sure that you can get creative if you run out of toilet paper and have nowhere to get one. Without much ado, let’s check out some of the best substitutes for toilet paper!

Is there a Substitute for Toilet Paper? Different Alternatives to Toilet Paper

Water-based Alternatives

Water is, without a doubt, one of the best substitutes for toilet paper. However, is it vital that you first make sure that the water you are using is not contaminated! Statistics from the World Health Organization show that water-related illnesses are the world’s leading cause of death. Even though the majority of the infected are in developing countries, water-borne illnesses are common globally. So, be sure that the water you’re using is clean and safe to use.


A bidet is a popular plumbing fixture and toilet seat attachment used in several countries across the world. Modern bidets have become more popular in the US, especially when seen as the cleanest method of washing your bum with excellent water pressure. Most of those who have gotten used to bidets say they never want to go back to using toilet paper.

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Water Bottle

A spray bottle can serve as an improvised bidet. You can do this by filling a water bottle with water and drill a small hole in the lid. When you squeeze the bottle, a stream of water comes out enabling you to clean yourself. Adding a couple of drops of gentle essential oils to make the water smell more pleasant. Caution! Don’t use anything minty such as tea tree oil or peppermint.

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DIY Portable Bidet

However, short water supply during dry seasons or in emergency and thus you may prioritize it for drinking, cooking and recycle it for sanitation or other household uses. However, if you have access to readily clean water, it may be the best option to toilet paper. But we highly recommend you to have a backup plan.

Paper-Based Alternatives

Compressed toilet paper coins

Compressed toilet paper coins are, without a doubt, a great invention. These paper coins are lightweight and are reconstituted with 1 tablespoon of any liquid most likely water. They immediately grow into a wipe that you can use to wipe yourself and then bury because they are biodegradable. Get a great deal by purchasing compressed toilet paper coins in bulk. You can store some in your car and your backpack.

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Compressed Toilet Paper Coin Tissues

Cardboard Tube

If you have made it to the end of your toilet paper roll, the cardboard tube can come in handy if you are out of toilet paper options. However, be sure to thin it a little and soak it in water to soften it up, otherwise, it might rough you up.

Cardboard tubes

Coffee Filters

Coffee filters are actually an excellent alternative to toilet paper as they work extremely well. Furthermore, they are readily available, cheap, and you can store large quantities in the small spaces in your bathroom.


During the great depression, it became a norm for people to use newspapers, old phone books, Sears Catalog, and any paper as an alternative to toilet paper. However, you may require to soak these papers a little in water to soften for a great experience. Although you might be left with ink stain, they will do the job nonetheless. Don’t try glossy paper because it won’t work. In fact, an Australian based newspaper printed extra paper sheets in response to the toilet paper shortage in March 2020.

Defying forecasts, newspapers have retained public notices (and ...

TP Tissue

Normally, toilet paper manufacturers wrap their toilet paper rolls in tissue paper instead of plastic wraps. You can save these paper wraps and use them as toilet paper alternatives once your toilet paper runs out. Even though it might be a little scratchy, it will work just fine. However, don’t flush it down your toilet!


The old receipts in your wallet might come in handy when your toilet runs out without notice. So, don’t throw them away.

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Paper Towels

Paper towels, paper napkins, and Kleenex are great alternatives to toilet paper. Although it is not a cost-effective alternative nor is it environmentally friendly, it is absorbent enough for a quick substitute. Besides, I recommend that you keep Kleenex tissues in your Go-bag, purse or car as they can come in handy in multiple ways and not just in the toilet.

Cotton-based Alternatives

Cotton Pads

Feminine sanitary towels are often thick, extremely absorbent and manufactured from cotton that feels gentle to the skin. However, once done don’t flush it down your toilet. you might risk experiencing clogs in your toilet.

Baby Wipes

Although baby wipes are not manufactured from cotton, they serve as one of the favourite substitutes for tissue paper. In the same way, they excellently clean a baby’s bottom, they can also leave you with a clean butt. Caution! You shouldn’t flush the wipes down the toilet as they can septic systems.

Besides, you can keep some baby wipes in your emergency kit, purse or your car as they have plenty of other uses. If you store them for longer in the open, they can end up drying out, but you can make again their moisture by adding a small amount of boiling water.

1,374 Baby Wipes Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Skoy Cloth

This is a simple piece of highly absorbent fabric that is made from cotton and plant cellulose. Even though it is durable, it is biodegradable and is available in multiple colours making it a great alternative to toilet paper.

Family Cloth

Family cloth is not limited to cotton only fabric, although cotton comes out as the best material for wiping your bottom. This alternative became more popular among environmental supporters.

Besides, it is a budget-friendly option if you sustain running your washing machine often. This toilet paper substitute can be made from old cloth rags, dirty cloths, ripped clothes, towels, bedsheets, old socks among other leftover clothes in your home.

So Long Disposables, Hello Family Cloth {How to Start Using Cloth ...

If you choose to try this alternative, keep the following in mind:

  • If more people will be using the cloth alternative, each should use a different colour so that you don’t share.
  • Use different colours for pee and faecal matter. Besides, keeping the clothes separated for each purpose is great.
  • Consider keeping the sued clothes in a sealed container in or near your bathroom. Also, add bleach water, vinegar, baking soda or some drops of bleach to the container and leave them to soak before washing.

Nature-based Alternatives

Nature offers plenty of options as substitutes to toilet paper. However, bear in mind that animals and insects also live in the land and therefore ensure to inspect all the plant materials you intend to use for insect eggs and other things found on plants that might be irritable or disturb your bottom regions.


Leaves make a good alternative to toilet paper and they come in different shapes, lengths and textures. However, it is crucial that you properly identify the right one that is not poisonous. Don’t even pick leaves from non-poisonous plants adjacent to poisonous plants.

Furthermore, bear in mind that plants with fuzzy leaves can cause serious irritation to your sensitive bottom skin. Some of the best plants leaf you can consider using include:

Cottonwood Leaves

Cottonwood leaves, especially the large-leaved variety are smooth thus making them a perfect alternative to toilet paper. Furthermore, these soft leaves are tough thus will not tear during wiping. And since they have an anti-pain effect, they equally make a perfect emergency bandage.

Kansas State Tree - Cottonwood | Cottonwood tree, Cottonwood leaf ...

Banana Leaves

Banana leaves are some of the most flexible leaves you can find as a substitute for toilet paper. This is because they are extremely smooth and even softer than most common dry and rough papers. Besides, banana leaves are quite big therefore you get plenty of surface space to use. Simply tear the leave apart to get the perfect size for you to use.

23,678 Banana Leaf Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images ...

Mullein Leaves

Mullein leaves are known as the ‘nature’s toilet paper’ by most backpackers because they think that they are ideally made for but cleaning. This owes to their soft and woolly texture nature as well as the large and water-absorbent surface. The Mullein leaves can be found almost anywhere.

Benefits of Mullein

Hazelnut Leaves

Hazelnut leaves make a good alternative to toilet paper even though they come slightly on the small side. Moreover, they have a little fuzz which could irritate you if you have very sensitive skin. Regardless, they are extremely soft and non-toxic.

Hazel tree filbert leaf. This is a leaf of a tree which births ...

Maple Leaves

The maple leaves, especially from the broadleaf maple make a great alternative for toilet paper. These leaves don’t have any irritable hairs, they are large and easily identifiable in the camping site or in the woods. Best yet, Maple produces plenty of leaves thus cannot run out that easily.

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Bolted Lettuce

In fact, any garden plants that have large and smooth leaves can also work as a substitute for toilet paper. Bolted Lettuce is a perfect example. This plant has larger leaves that can make a good wiping surface. However, be sure of the kind of leaves you take from your garden as some plants like squash have leaves that could be irritating to sensitive skills owing to their fuzzy texture.

5 Things You Can Do with Bolted Lettuce – Hobby Farms

Large Leaved Aster

Large-leaved Aster is also referred to as lumberjack toilet paper owing to its large, smooth and heart-shaped leaves that are excellent for wiping. Besides, this plant is found in plenty across many States and Canada.

Full size picture of Large Leaf Aster, Big-leaf Aster (Eurybia ...


It might be hard to believe, but the truth is that sticks can be used effectively as an alternative to toilet paper. The Japanese specifically used sanded bamboo sticks for butt wiping! However, it is very important to ensure that the sticks you intend to use are smooth enough without splinters. Besides, remove the back carefully to smooth them before using.


If you are hiking up in the mountains and you have no time to get down fast enough to relieve yourself, just know that that snow you are sliding on is a good toilet paper alternative. Snow can easily be molded into sheet form ideal for wiping your bottom. You simply grab a handful and make a quick wiping motion. This will leave your butt feeling cold but clean and very fresh.

Moscow digs out from a 'snow apocalypse.' And more is coming ...


Moss can be found in damp environments in the wild, particularly in trees and rocks. It features a soft texture that can make a perfect toilet paper substitute for wiping your buttock. However, you should be cautious when using moss as most moisture-loving insects may lay eggs in it or make their home around it. Therefore, do a thorough check before using it. Ideally, use it when wet!

500+ Moss Pictures | Download Free Images on Unsplash

Natural Water Source

A natural water source can be a great substitute for toilet paper. However, it is important to be cautious and strategic about where to choose to conduct your business. At least go two hundred feet downstream away from your campsite.

Water Resources | NRCS Vermont

Don’t just jump into the stream to wash up rather fill a bottle with water from the river and move a few feet away from the source of water before pooping and cleaning up.

Old School Alternatives

Corn Husks

Chances are that you have heard about this before if you grew up on the farm. Corns often grows quickly and can serve multiple purposes including toilet paper alternatives! The inner layers of the shelled corn cobs, especially the green husks are quite soft for toileting purposes. Besides, they do not spoil quickly after husking. So, if you run out of TP and corn husks are readily available, then you have the best option! : Corn Husk 1 Lb : Corn Produce : Grocery & Gourmet Food


The Ancient Romans used a sea sponge tied to the end of a stick to wipe their bottom after pooping. It was so popular that you could find these sponges even in public lavatories. I can’t even imagine how will I would be to try this TP alternative, but if am limited with options, a sponge is, without doubt, soft and absorbent. However, sanitize it maximally after every use.

Sponge On Stick, Ancient Rome, Replica | Object Lessons - Health ...


Sailors and pirates used to use the frayed end of a rope in the place of toilet paper. Since the rope passes through the deck below, they would just pull it up wipe their bottoms and slid it back into the ocean. If you are out of TP and you need something to wipe yourself, this option is still available.

Hemp Rope at Rs 15/meter | Rope | ID: 2340554212

Your Hand

In fact, this option is not entirely old school since most people still use it today – often the left one. However, be very hygienic when using this method as you have to make sure that nothing sticks under your nails. Therefore, sanitize your hands thoroughly after resorting to this method.

person showing left hand photo – Free Hand Image on Unsplash

Great Tips and Tricks for the Best Toilet Paper Experience

Without a doubt, we all never think about toilet paper. We just use it until it runs out, purchase more and use it until it runs out, the cycle continues. But have you ever wondered how you can save your toilet papers and serve you more?

If you are struggling with how to save your toilet paper like you save water and electricity in your home, we help you improve your daily experience of using your toilet paper. So, check out the tip and tricks you can utilize:

Calculate how much toilet paper your household need for a month

In a disaster or pandemic, there is no guarantee that your nearby stores will stockpile toilet papers just like they have under normal circumstances.  So, how prepared are you with a month’s worth of toilet paper in case the stores’ shelves become empty?

To know how much TP your family will need in a month, you need to figure out how much you are using and then calculate. You can easily do this by marking each toilet paper roll on the inside of the cardboard tube.

Be sure to keep the marked cartons for the whole month. At the need of the month, make a simple calculation as follows:

(X) rolls were used by (Y) people in a month

Divide X by Y to get an estimated number of toilet paper rolls each person uses in a month.

With this, you will have a rough idea of how many toilet paper rolls you need to buy and how long they will last.

Efficiency is Crucial

You need to re-educate yourself and your family members to use only the right amount of toilet paper per visit. However, rationing will be necessary, especially during an emergency but it will not hurt if you start kicking out the old habits of misusing TP and implement new ones that aim at saving.

When it comes to small kids, you can give them a limit so that they stay on track. For example, you can give 5 square pieces for pee and 10 for poo. Although they require more, this will serve as a reminder for keeping them on the new habit of being efficient with toilet paper.

Buy Cheap Toilet Paper

Although you are used to the soft three-ply toilet paper varieties when in an emergency or pandemic, you can put up with whatever is available. Under these circumstances, the quality of toilet paper is not as important as the quantity you need to store. Consider getting the most out of the generic brands and in bulk!

Keep the Mice Away

It is discouraging to set up an emergency supply kit and come to find that your toilet paper is eaten up by mice months later. As such, you need to do the following things to keep the mice at bay.

Store your toilet paper rolls in a plastic storage container with a tight-sealing lid

Hang your rolls when wrapped in a PVC pipe hanging from your garage rafters

Soak a few cotton balls with peppermint essential oil and place them around your toilet paper rolls

Have a Back-up Plan

We advise that you always have more than one alternative for toilet paper. After food and water, hygiene becomes the most crucial factor in keeping healthy during a pandemic or emergency.

In long-term disaster, you might not have access to clean water and therefore your bidet will become useless. While you may consider using family cloths and rags, washing them could be difficult as your washing machine may be running due to a lack of water. As such, you need to think about the short and long term solutions to toilet paper shortage should it arise, especially if you have a larger household.

Make more Space for Toilet Paper

Without a doubt, toilet paper rolls can be really bulky and will want more space if you intend to stockpile them. As such, make more space by removing the cardboard tubes and or flatten the rolls. Moreover, vacuum-sealed bags offer the best long-term storage for toilet paper since they get rid of all the air that makes them bulky. You can also consider storing your toilet paper rolls in a plastic bin under your bed or next to the bathroom for easy access.

Precautions of Using Toilet Paper Alternatives

Although there are plenty of substitutes for toilet paper, there are particular risks and side effects to taking into account. For instance, never flush items that aren’t toilet paper down your toilet. these items may include baby wipes and other items that are not organic and would potentially clog your toilet. If your toilet clogs it can cause sewer backups, mess your bathroom making it not only hazardous but also costly to unclog.

You may not use some household substitutes for toilet paper more than once. These alternatives may include sponges and cloth. However, make sure to wash any item that is reusable in hot water and dry it on high drier heat.

Make sure to wash the cloth used as a toilet paper alternative independently from your regular laundry. That way, you won’t contaminate your other laundry with TP. If you intend to reuse sponges, make sure to place them in hot water to get rid of any germs.

Most importantly, consider the safety standards of your intended toilet paper substitute. You may require to sanitize by cleaning and disinfecting any item you intend to use to get rid of bacterial infections.

Sharp or pointy alternatives that can harm you during wiping should be avoided at all costs.

Final Thought

Toilet paper is, without a doubt, one of the most important commodities since time immemorial. However, owing to shortages and lack of access to these precious rolls, you might get yourself running out of your favourite toilet paper.

Regardless, there are plenty of other alternatives to toilet paper that come in handy to save the situation. While some of the substitutes have been used for centuries, they are still great today. When using some toilet paper alternatives at home, safety must be your top priority. For instance, don’t use unsanitary, sharp or irritating substitutes on your body. Moreover, don’t flush non-flushable items down your toilet as you may risk serious clogging!

So, whenever you run out of TP and you are like ‘is there a substitute for toilet paper?’ Now you know there are plenty of options out there when it comes to wiping yourself and maintaining your dignity. We hope the substitutes for toilet paper we have given above serves you right!

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