In 2020, everybody seemed to get into some DIY project or another. Since the pandemic hit, many of us have been shopping on budgets and looking to get the most out of the everyday products we use. With toilet paper shortages, some are even considering making their own reusable version. We know opinions are divided and that some of you probably won’t even consider this an option. How could this even be sanitary, right? Regardless of your possible disposition, reusable toilet paper in gaining popularity, and seemingly eco-friendly.
How Safe Is Reusable Toilet Paper
Making your own reusable toilet paper has pros and cons. For one, how sanitary is it? This is something that you’re going to use over and over again by multiple members of the household. Several factors go into something like this, and you have to make sure others in the house are onboard. While some attest they can be sanitary (as long as measures are taken), it’s up to how you deal with the reusable sheets after going to the bathroom. While most people say they use it for urine, people also use these sheets for feces.
The way you store your reusable sheets is critical. Some people say they store theirs in a sealed bag for up to two days. Director and public health researcher at the University of Arizona, Kelly Reynolds, says this might not be the most sanitary practice. She specializes in everyday contaminants found in households and is worried about how people store their soiled reusable toilet paper sheets.
“This is just a risky practice, overall, I think, and the potential for cross-contamination is just very high from your bathroom, where they’re stored, to your laundry room.” (1)Kelly Reynolds, Director and Public Health Researcher, University of Arizona
What’s The Safest Way To Clean Them
Not only is the way you store your reusable toilet paper important, but the way you clean them as well. Reynolds explains that there is a proper protocol that people should do to effectively sanitize their reusable toilet paper because of the potential for cross-contamination. It doesn’t take much for pathogens from the reusable toilet paper to make it your hands, which then make their way to your faucets, your face, your doorknobs, and the rest of your home. Even washing your reusable toilet paper poses a risk of cross-contamination. According to Reynolds,
“When you wash these clothes, you transfer these germs to the entire load of laundry, even subsequent loads, if you’re not using a protocol. Your hands will be covered with E.coli. E.coli is inherent in our laundry.”
She explains that you can use bleach and heated water that’s above-normal temperatures of your washing machine. However, she mentions that the necessary energy required for this process is actually counterproductive. Making this method not exactly the most sustainable way of conserving your money or the planet. Besides, standard toilet paper breaks down more sustainably anyways. (1)
“It’s the one thing I wouldn’t worry about in terms of biodegradable materials. There’s so much moisture and bacteria in septic tanks that all this stuff gets chewed up and utilized by bacteria as a food source.” Reynolds further explains (1)
Making Your Own Reusable Toilet Paper
If you’re willing to give reusable toilet paper a try anyways, give this video a watch. Of course, everybody has their own way of living and can decide for themselves if it’s for them.
There are multiple ways to make your own reusable toilet paper. This video provides a variety of ways you can sew fabric together for the sturdiest sheets. However, we definitely recommend doing a little bit of research before committing to this project. Just make sure you’re following proper sanitary protocols.
- “The Internet discovered reusable toilet paper. What you should know about it, according to a germ expert.” USA Today. Josh Hafner. March 15, 2018.