Although I am very holistic today, that journey started with frugality. Cloth diapering and breastfeeding were initiated for their money-saving benefits (although we kept with it when realizing the overall health benefits).
Over the last 9 years, we have grown into a healthier, more holistic and environmentally friendly family for reasons that have OFTEN stemmed from frugality. Packaged food gave way to home made. Bottled cleaners gave way to vinegar and lemon juice. Paper towels gave way to cloth dish towels. Sanitary napkins were defeated by the Diva cup (and I was a LATE transition to THAT one).
Alas, something I never thought I could wrap my head around was cloth toilet paper.
Oh yes–you read that right: cloth. toilet. paper.
I should divulge that I have actually had visions of being a young widow and putting in my online dating profile “Yes–I even use cloth toilet paper” just to avoid having to go through the inevitable awkward end after wasted dates.
Wait… my husband is young and healthy… I digress…
A few weeks ago we were at a gathering with a few families that the kids and I have been hanging with and we convened at one family’s home. It happened in the bathroom. I saw it. A small, rectangular basket with what looked like handkerchiefs inside.
And I KNEW…
I was excited! Someone I KNEW was using cloth toilet paper!! OMG! OMG! OMG! Someone I could ask for the low-down! Did they use it exclusively? Did they use it for poop? How did they clean it? Really? No, REALLY? I said nothing at the gathering (after all, there was toilet paper there so it’s not like the issue was forced to be dealt with) and the next day, I e-mailed the hostess. She was simultaneously surprised that I knew what the little clothes were and a little excited that I was “into” it. She sent me a link to the flannel wipes she bought from Amazon and said that she may have had roughly 30 per bathroom. She collected them in a container in the bathroom and didn’t do anything special to wash them. But then I thought to myself that I washed cloth diapers for years–poop, pee… how was this any different?
She noted that it’s really her and her daughter that used them the most; but then, aren’t we ladies the mass consumers of toilet paper anyway?
And off I went… ordering up my unbleached OsoCozy flannel baby wipes, washing them when they arrived and getting a few small garbage cans with a lid to contain the dirty “toilet paper”. I chose some simplehuman 4.5-Liter /1.2-Gallon round step trash cans specifically because they were really small, and they had the removable interior liner. This meant that I could open up the top, pull out the plastic liner bucket, take it down to the laundry room, rinse it out (if needed) and put it back into the garbage container. Awesomesauce…
It’s been a little over two weeks and here’s what I’m finding:
- It actually makes you take pause the first few times you use them because your habit is to throw your stuff into the toilet. To date, I’ve thrown ONE wipe into the toilet… during a 3am bathroom visit. But in that first week I came close a few times.
- I sometimes reach for the toilet PAPER sometimes now and then throw it in the toilet, realize that I threw something into the toilet and then momentarily panic that I threw a wipe in there. Duh.
- It’s so NOTHING like I thought–in a good way. If I ever imagined it would be so, so, so much LESS messy than I imagined, I’d have seriously done this long ago.
- They’re a lot sturdier than toilet paper and a lot softer. Both nice.
The boys don’t use a lot of toilet paper, but husband started the transition when the powder room ran out of “real” toilet paper. He noted that it was weird, but he also noted that they were “nice”. *evil grin*
Next will be transitioning the kids… We’re already set up. Here is their bathroom, complete with the picture frame that STILL has the photo that came in it a year ago. Priorities, people… at least the picture is happy! Stay tuned….!