Reader Contributed Article by Rebecca Alvarez
I haven’t used toilet paper for six months.
Well, at least not at home. In the comfort of my own house, I prefer to use family cloth, otherwise known as cloth toilet paper. It sounds gross, but it’s really not. Keep reading.
Making the switch to family cloth has two major obstacles: the name and the eww factor. The term family cloth is just awful. Remember that dingy roll of cloth towels you used to find in public restrooms? Yeah, that’s the image hearing “family cloth” evokes. People automatically think that family members share the same dirty wipes, which fortunately is not true. The reality is much cleaner and more sanitary! Once a single wipe is used, it’s thrown into a wet bag or container to await laundry day.
That brings me to my second point. I generally don’t have to deal with my bodily waste. I just wipe (wetting the cloth first if necessary) and throw the family cloth into the bag. It’s surprising how little, um, residue is left on the wipe after defecating. Think skid marks. On very rare occasions I may rinse a wipe if it seems especially dirty, to avoid staining. The majority of the time, however, cleaning myself with family cloth is no different than using toilet paper.
I don’t even have to worry about touching used wipes when I wash the family cloth. I simply turn the wet bag inside out into the washer. Since my daughter uses cloth diapers, I wash my family cloth with them, and as cloth diaper mamas know, a good hot wash and drying cycle (or sunshine) is enough to kill any germs, so I have no worries there.
Basically, it comes down to this: instead of using rough or fragile paper and throwing it into the toilet, I use soft, yet strong cloth that I throw into a wet bag. Instead of dealing with toilet paper lint (ladies, you know what I’m talking about), I feel fresh and clean. Instead of clogging landfills or sewage systems with paper, I simply wash my wipes and reuse them. Instead of worrying about other environmental and personal effects of making and using toilet paper (such as massive water usage, tree usage, and dioxin), I can feel good knowing that reusing cloth is a green and healthy choice. Instead of constantly purchasing toilet paper, I buy it very rarely (for my husband and for guests) and the rest of the time, I laugh all the way to the bank.
Intrigued by Rebecca's article? You can read more about her reasons for using family cloth, how to make the wipes, and details on set up and usage, by visiting her profile page at Associated Content and checking out her articles.