More often than not, toilet paper is one of the last items on even an experienced prepper’s list, and even when you do stock up on this, you’re bound to run out of toilet paper at some point.
When this does happen, it will be valuable to know which alternatives you can use. Traditionally is easy to come by and definitely convenient to use and dispose of. Stocking up on store-bought toilet paper is an excellent prepping idea, but when SHTF and the pandemic or disaster outlast your stash, you’ll need to have alternatives ready or at least in mind.
Many realistic alternatives to traditional toilet paper are out there. While some are well known, others might seem strange at first. Knowing what you can use as a toilet paper alternative that is both commercially available now or can be scouted in nature when needed will be extremely valuable when the time comes.
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Alternatives That You Can Stock-up On
Stocking on toilet paper alternatives will give you some peace of mind. Most of these can be store-bought, are usually disposed of, or might already be on your prepping list for other purposes. Below we cover a list of what to use instead of toilet paper which can already be stocked. All items listed can be stored for years, allowing you to purchase them as your budget allows or start collecting them as you go.
Besides stocking on traditional toilet paper, you can build a stash of baby wipes. These make a suitable toilet paper replacement, and when left unopened in a cool, dry place, they’ll keep their moisture for years. Their softness is an added bonus, and while you can use them as you would toilet paper, remember to keep in mind that baby wipes aren’t flushable since they don’t break down. If you flush them, you can end up clogging your drain.
Before you toss those empty toilet paper rolls, remember that they, too, can be used to wipe. If you pull off a few strips and lightly soak it with water, you’ll have a great toilet paper alternative on hand. You can use cardboard boxes as well, though it might be more challenging to rip thin strips from them.
If throwing out paper is part of your everyday habits, you should reconsider how you dispose of them. Keeping different forms of paper stored away in a big box will be helpful when doomsday arrives, and you’re in search of what to use instead of toilet paper. Old notebooks and letters will do, while receipts and newspapers are softer and make a better toilet paper alternative.
If you’re desperate for a wipe, you can reach for your stash of menstrual items too. Although cotton pads are thicker, making it more challenging to wipe, they and especially pantyliners make an excellent toilet paper alternative. You can dive into your menstrual stash when needed or start storing extras away as part of your prep.
If you still have running water in the end-times, you’ll thank your past-self for installing a bidet sprayer today. Used to spray instead of wipe yourself clean, this method is convenient and thorough. If you didn’t prepare but still have an abundant water supply, you can make your own bidet sprayer by cutting a small hole in the lid of a water bottle.
Toilet Paper Alternatives You Don’t Need to Stock
While adding both traditional toilet paper and alternatives to your prepping list is best, your stash can run out at any time. When this happens, you’ll find value in knowing which alternatives you can scout for in your surroundings.
No matter where you find yourself, you’re bound to have access to sticks. They make an effective toilet paper alternative and have been used throughout history. The key is to sand the sticks down, making sure that it’s smooth and splinter-free. If you don’t have sanding material, you can simply remove the bark with a knife to make sure it’s smooth.
Nature has a way of continuously extending a helping hand, and when you need toilet paper, it doesn’t shy away. Although any non-poisonous leave will work, banana tree leaves are one of the most suitable options. They’re smooth, soft, and enormous, which means you’ll get a lot of use from a single leave.
If you run out of toilet paper alternatives (or simply prefer this one), using your hand is actually a pretty good choice to clean yourself with. It might sound disgusting, but so long you have access to clean water and soap, it’s easy to sanitize your working hand afterward. Hands are easy and quick to disinfect when no debris gets under your nails.
How to Make Toilet Paper at Home
Most traditional toilet paper is made in the same way. Manufacturers use a fiber base combined with paper to create a mulch. The mulch is spread out to dry and then cut to the desired size and packaged. Under survivalist conditions, you can make your own toilet paper if you have all the needed supplies. To learn how to make toilet paper at home, read through the supply list and steps below.
- Newspapers, copy paper, or cardboard boxes
- Fiber base (grass, leaves)
- Plastic buckets or tubs
- Large pot
- Heating Source
- Rolling Pin
- Old Towels
Steps to Follow
- Start by shredding the paper into small pieces and placing them in a plastic bucket covered with water to soak for 12-24 hours.
- Once soaked, you can place the paper into a large pot with your chosen fiber base and cover it with water. Let it simmer for about an hour and then bring to boil for another 30 minutes.
- Once paper mulch has formed, remove it from the heat and drain as much water as you can without disturbing the mulch. After all the water has been removed, blend the paper mulch to form a smoother consistency.
- Place your towel onto a flat surface and scoop the paper mulch onto it. Use your rolling pin to flatten the mulch and spread it into a thin layer. Place a second towel on top of the mulch layer and put the board on top of it.
- Position heavy objects on the board to weigh it down and leave it sitting for at least 30 minutes.
- Once all excess water has been squeezed out, you can remove the weights and board and flip the towels upside down. Remove the top towel and place the remaining one with the paper mulch on it in the sun.
- After the paper mulch has dried, you can remove it from the towel and cut it into your desired size.
Sustainable Toilet Paper Alternatives
If you’re a serious prepper, you know that sustainability goes hand in hand with survival. Though there are many toilet paper alternatives available, not all of them are sustainable. Investing in a sustainable alternative is your best bet if you want something that will last. If you have an abundance of water, a bidet sprayer is an excellent investment, though cloth toilet paper uses less water and is long-term too.
You can either buy or make reusable toilet paper cloths from cotton or flannel. If you decide to make your own, you can simply cut your desired material into square blocks and secure the edges by sewing them to ensure longevity. You don’t have to use any fabric softeners when washing them since leaving this out will improve their absorbency.
If you don’t have the means to purchase or make cloth toilet paper, you can use various cloth items around the house. Old socks, kitchen rags, t-shirts, and cut-up towels make great alternatives when you run out of toilet paper.
Having a system in place helps keep cloth toilet paper a hygienic option. Place an open bin next to your toilet with clean cloths for use and a closed one to dispose of used ones. Do 2 – 3 laundry loads weekly to keep any smells from building up. You can rinse the cloths in a vinegar and water solution to disinfect them or do a monthly bleach strip.
There’s much we can’t control about the times we’re living in, but one thing we can do is prepare for the worst-case scenarios. Finding ways to keep yourself and your family ready for unprecedented times can give you a sense of control and peace of mind. Though many may not consider how to make your own toilet paper at home a priority, having this knowledge comes with perks.
Whether you choose to stock heaps of it now, arm yourself with knowledge and the supplies to make your own, or simply prepare a list of alternatives you can use when the need arises, you’re already ahead of the rest. Luckily, there’s plenty of options for alternatives, and when you’re in a desperate situation where you’ve run out of toilet paper, your planning will save your butt!