6 Useful Tips for Using Less Toilet Paper

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Are you using too much toilet paper at home? That’s understandable, especially if you’re in a big household. But, there are simple ways you can do to reduce or maximize toilet paper consumption.

We use toilet paper not just at home but anywhere because it’s already part of our necessities.  For many, it also serves as a backup for wiping surfaces clean which is part of the reason the average home goes through a lot of toilet paper. 

Although toilet paper is usually readily available, recent news has people panicking, and this leads to the shortages of many sanitary essentials like toilet paper and alcohol. Many stores run ran out of toilet paper and other essentials mostly because aside from panic buying, other people are hoarding toilet paper.

One of the easiest ways to drastically reduce your toilet paper consumption is by switching from toilet paper to a bidet. However, even though there are now convenient bidets that attach to your existing toilet seat many Americans still don’t embrace the idea. While this would help eliminate the need for toilet paper and that you can benefit from long-term, realistically many people are not going to do so and toilet paper is still the standard in most bathrooms. 

There are plenty of ways to save toilet paper, let’s look at some creative and resourceful ways to save using toilet paper.

Toilet Paper – How to Get the Most out of Every Roll

Don’t Use Toilet Paper for Cleaning!

Instead of using toilet paper to wipe down the bathroom vanity, clean spots off the mirror or dry up splashes and spill. Always utilize reusable cloth rags. Doing so can help reduce paper consumption on a daily basis. The same goes for paper towels when you’re prepping your meals in the kitchen – some people don’t realize how much paper can be saved by using rags for most of the work and keeping paper towels for convenience. 

While you can stock up on cleaning rags or shop towels by buying in bulk,  you can just or make your own out of old and used clothes. For an old t-shirt, for example, cut the upper part of the shirt, at the chest area, and then make use of the lower part as rags.

Cut the sides of the bottom part and you’ll have two cleaning rags already. Fold each rag and keep them in one place in your home for easier access.

Use a Toilet Paper Dispenser

A toilet paper dispenser primarily helps you control the number of sheets you’ll get in each use. Although this might be another addition to your expenses, it can give you a long-term advantage in terms of managing toilet paper use.

This also means you save money long-term because you’ll only buy toilet paper less often.

Only Put Out One Toilet Paper Roll at a Time

This popular decorating trend gives the wrong impression (especially to kids) that there is an endless supply of toilet paper).

This tip is a very effective way to lessen down toilet paper consumption. Leaving one toilet paper roll out at a time promotes self-discipline to family members and discourages wasteful habits.

While it’s become a popular interior decorating style to store an abundance of rolls in a wicker basket, wooden crate, or fill a whole bathroom shelf with geometric rows of toilet paper, there is something about seeing an abundance of something that leads your brain to think it’s expendable – kids especially get the idea that it’s cheap and readily available rather than something to conserve. 

Hide the remaining rolls in a cabinet so your family won’t see them. This keeps them from thinking that there are still plenty and that they shouldn’t mindfully use the toilet paper.

Also, it’s best to always remind them that you’re implementing this discipline because you don’t want to waste toilet paper. Make sure that you completely consume each roll before replacing it with another to maximize the use of each sheet.

Press the Roll Flat Before Using

Toilet roll squashed flat
Flatting a toilet paper roll only takes a second. (Image: TheToiletZone.com

One good trick to lessen the use of toilet paper is to press the roll flatter before placing it in the holder. This way, you’ll prevent the sheets from sliding freely from the roll and have control over the number of sheets you’ll get in each use. This is a great trick if you have kids – it teaches them not to pull off a big long roll of paper – and they’ll have fun helping you smashing them down flat!

An added benefit is that they take up less space when you store them in a bathroom cabinet, vanity or shelf.

Just make sure to educate your family members about this, so they also understand your purpose.  The goal here is to somewhat “unshape” the cardboard roll of the toilet paper, so it doesn’t allow a free slide of the sheets, instead of getting a long stream of paper, the uneven roll will cause the paper to break apart every few sheets- it also teaches kids to “Fold” a few sheets rather than ” wad” a bunch of paper into a big bunch that doesn’t even really get used.

Flat toilet paper roll. It won’t spin and forces you to think about how much to use. (Image: TheToiletZone.com)

Teach Your Kids to Use Toilet Paper Correctly

No to be a party-pooper…while playing with toilet paper can be fun (making the roll spin and ending up with a pile on the floor) it does teach the wrong message. There are plenty of household items to play with that are fun (pot + wooden spoon) without being wasteful.

For young children at home, while they are potty training, it’s best to be with them every time they use the toilet paper and teach them how to use it efficiently. This allows you to educate them about the disadvantages of wasteful habits. You will want your children to be good consumers, and also good neighbors. If they learn to not waste toilet paper at your home, then they will carry that habit with them when they are outside your home – visiting friends and neighbors, when using porta potties and public toilets, and when visiting restaurants and convenience stores, for example.

For older children, you may not need to be with them when they use it but make sure to let them understand the environmental effects of not properly using the toilet paper. Having them pick out toilet paper when you shop and comparing prices helps them understand the cost – they may be surprised how much a family can spend per year on toilet paper!

You can also show your children how much is too many if this helps them understand better. Flatting the roll (the tip above) also prevents them from rolling out a long string of paper.

Like the article you just read? Check out How Toilet Paper Is Made so you know the production process of the toilet paper!

Get High-Quality Toilet Paper

Cheap toilet paper tends to rip apart easily.

Although it’s tempting to get the cheaper ones, it’s more practical and cost-effect if you’ll buy high-quality toilet paper. One reason is that high-quality toilet paper is highly absorbent because it usually has two to four plies. It’s tempting to buy the cheapest toilet paper in the aisle but with that thin, cheap quality paper often times just end up using more because you end up folding it multiple times to make it thick enough. 

Sturdier, multi-ply toilet paper doesn’t tear as easily or break apart as much so you can achieve efficient wiping and cleaning.

The price for this type might be a little higher, but you’ll definitely save more money and sheets if you opt for this.  

You might check out for discounts or sale at the nearest stores or online to get a cheaper price for the high-quality toilet paper. You can also ask people you know if they have an idea of where to look for high-quality ones at a lesser price. Once you find a brand you like, using the “subscription” option on Amazon or other online retailers can help you save 10% or more. While I rarely use this option, toilet paper is one of the things I do set up since the amount we use in a month is pretty predictable, and as it’s non-perishable and easy to store it’s really not a huge downside if we were to get overstocked. 

Featured Image by Vlada Karpovich