Millions of people all over the world are asking themselves a question they never thought they would have too, what can I use instead of toilet paper? Due to the coronavirus crisis, toilet paper is in short supply, and that means you may soon find yourself stuck in the bathroom without any toilet paper in Costa Mesa, CA. A good plumber will tell you only to use toilet paper, but in these desperate times sometimes you may not have that choice.
The toilet paper shortage is occurring for a variety of reasons, but none of them have a great solution. Some of it is due to the social quarantine which is forcing people to spend all of their time at home, which means instead of using public bathrooms half of the day you are using your own personal bathroom. The fear and hoarding certainly haven’t helped, and when you add in the industry shortages due to slowed production or in some areas even lack production at all you have a recipe for a toilet paper shortage.
Plumbers everywhere are cringing because we know it will only be a matter of time before the phone calls start alerting us to clogged toilets and drains all over the greater region. The good news is that you do have some options, and don’t have to face the option of a toilet paper shortage with quite so much abject horror.
Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures
If you are at the end of the roll and you can’t find toilet paper in stock anywhere, then it may be time to turn to some alternative sources of paper. Any professional will hesitate before telling you to use anything in place of toilet paper, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Just remember, that while you can use these to clean up after using the toilet, these alternative measures should never be flushed down the toilet. If you start flushing any of these down the toilet, there is a good chance you will be calling a plumber in a matter of days.
First off, you can take advantage of your baby’s wet wipes if you happen to have some extra. Just keep in mind that if you run out of wipes then you have to worry about cleaning your behind and your baby’s behind, and that’s not a great situation to be in either. Tissue paper like Kleenex is another choice, but you want to stick to using a few at a time to stretch out how long they will last.
If you have access to toilet covers you can fold over the paper to create a sheet that is about the same thickness of regular toilet paper. This is also a nifty trick if you are in a public bathroom and discover there is no toilet paper. A toilet cover is a great last-ditch effort that may save you the embarrassing waddle into the neighboring stall.
Finally, you can unfold a napkin or rip up some of your old newspapers. If you don’t have a regular paper delivery subscription, it may be a good reason to consider signing up for one. You may even find a coupon or two for a local plumber in the advertisements if you are lucky.
NEVER Flush the ”˜Stand-In’ Toilet Paper
While all of the above suggestions can help you keep your behind clean, you should never flush any of them down a toilet. The thought of any of these substances going down the toilet will make any plumber shudder. The only thing that should ever be flushed down a toilet is toilet paper. Even wet wipes that advertise themselves as “flushable” are not safe to flush down the toilet.
The reason your plumber will tell you only toilet paper is that TP is designed to dissolve and break down once it is flushed through the drain. No other type of paper material is. Instead of properly flushing, it will clump together and eventually cause a clog in your toilet. When you are stuck indoors, the last thing you want is a clog in your only toilet. Plus, you will have to invite a professional into your home which is also likely not high on your list of priorities.
What to Do With the Waste?
While you may not want to hear it, you should take any alternative toilet paper material you use and dispose of it in the trash after using it to clean up. You may want to consider lining a small pail or garbage bin with a liner or trash bag to collect the wasted paper after you are done. It may not feel dignified, but it is better than seeing the wastes later when the plumber cleans out the newly formed clog. This is not something that you can play around either.
You may be tempted at times to skip tossing a particularly gross piece of paper in the trash, and instead, just flush it. Even more so if you are in a rush or have young children in your home that don’t always follow the rules. However, it only takes one or two pieces of paper that shouldn’t be in the toilet to cause a clog. Unless you want to call an emergency plumber in Costa Mesa, CA, never give in to the temptation to flush away the paper.
Invest in Washable Rags
The other option is a bit more environmentally friendly but does require some cleaning. You can assign everyone in your house an old rag that they use to clean up with and then wash afterward. It may sound gross, but it’s a hygienic way to clean and will not require a call from the plumber. Old clothing you can cut into rags or old dish rags is great for this purpose.
Keep in mind that even though you are socially distancing essential services are still available to you. If you find yourself in a situation, you can always call on bluefrog Plumbing + Drain of Orange County for help. We will promptly send out a plumber and help you get your plumbing back into proper shape.
Photo By andriano_cz at istock