I haven’t used toilet paper in a month! Honest. And I may never use it again … well at home at least.
I was determined that I was not going to wait unit the poo-to-hit-the-fan or any place else for that matter before securing an alternative to toilet paper.
And I don’t understand the concept of stockpiling toilet paper in your preps. It’s not like food where you can replenish it from a garden. When it’s gone – it’s gone. End of story.
As we all know, or should know, one of the many prepper mantras has always been - have backups for your backups. No exception. So it only seemed to reason I would want to have backups for my backend as well. I am a huge believer in cleanliness. Call me vain; call me a girlie-girl. Just don’t call to say you’re out of toilet paper. Sorry.
I began searching high and low for toilet paper alternatives. And there are a lot of things out there. I was amazed at what people are willing to use!
Let’s start with some bushcraft-type methods. Leaves. Large, relatively green leaves from plants such as abutilon, hollyhocks, mullein, comfrey, wild grape and mulberry are said to make a good alternative to toilet paper. But to me, it seemed more spreading than cleaning. Not good. Also, you need to make sure to avoid the scratchy or prickly varieties or you’ll have more issues than “poo-pants”. Then, there is snow. In the winter time snow - (brrrr, I know) can be used. Make a small snowball about the size of your palm and form it into an oval shaped and well ... nuff said.
Moving inside, there are the moist wipes … but to me this is the same as toilet paper, it takes up a lot of valuable space and it too will run out. So moving on …
There’s the cloth or rag method … or what I consider to be the big brother to ‘baby-poopy diapers’. You cut up wash cloths, old t-shirts or blankets into small squares to use. Once used, cling-ons and all, you put the cloth in a pail of chlorinated water only to have to deal with the poopy-foaties later (another ewwww and sprinkled with a grosssss.)
You can also use newspaper or phone books … but if you think we have a bad rap being called “horders” with our food stores and supplies, just wait ‘til someone catches a glimpse of your stacks of newspapers and phone books. As a caveat, I will say in paper’s defense, as an alternative you could just wait for the devaluation of the dollar then use crumpled paper money – I’m sure there will be plenty to go around as the Federal Reserve continues to print out more. Just sayin.
Next, portable bidets. These are plastic bottles with a hook shape nozzle filled with about a cup of water that you squeeze to produce a stream of water to cleanse yourself. The problem I’ve read with most of these is there’s no pressure (the key to a good cleaning is pressure) and one cup of water does not go a long way. Kinda like holding up a Kleenex in a hurricane to keep from getting wet. It doesn’t do the job.
And last, but not least … the left hand method where you wipe your fanny with your left hand … no paper just your hand. And that my friend, to me was the mac-daddy of grossness! It reminded me of going to the zoo. There was always that one monkey that seemed to entertain young and old alike. You know the one - “Whoo Flung Poo”?
Let me share some interesting facts I learned on my alternative-fanny-cleaning journey: Toilet paper has shrunk from 5 by 5 inches to 4.1 by 3.7 inches. On average we use 8.6 sheets per trip – a total of 57 sheets per day. And, in 1996, President Clinton passed a law on toilet paper, taxing each roll 6 cents.
As you can see, just as with all consumer products, we are getting less for more.
So, what marvelous method did I come up with? Well it’s not entirely my idea in fact it’s been around for ages. But I did modify it to my liking.
The reveal - drum roll please. A simple 1 gallon garden sprayer I purchased for $9!
Wait….wait! Before saying anything - hear me out.
I cut 4.5 – 5 inches off the wand to shorten it.
Then I placed the remaining wand (the part that connects to the tank) in boiling water to soften it to make a “hook-shape” (the hook shape makes it gender friendly for those hard to reach areas due to obstacles some of us have (grin).)
And - whaa-laa a bidet with a control for a light misting to a full-on power blast. I call it The Hiney-Hydrant™
But what about the wetness? Well I purchased 18 white washcloths for $4. I placed them in a tall Tupperware container (a celery holder) - folding them into each other like Kleenex. I found a little trash can with a plastic bucket in it I had laying around, and filled it 3/4 full with water and homemade oxyclean (2 parts water, 1 part hydrogen peroxide, 1 part washing soda). When I use a cloth – with very little or next to nothing on it from my business - I put it in the bucket. Then when I do laundry … I empty the cloths and liquid into the washing machine add a little detergent and they come out white as snow! (you don’t have to do the wash cloths and bucket thing. I just like to keep things as sanitary as possible.) Oh, and I do spray the nozzle with Lysol after each use just because.
A gallon of water can actually last a week. And the sprayer sans the water is so light you can attach it to your BOB. Empty a bottle of water – pump it up and you’re good to ‘go’ (giggle).
So there you have it. How easy is that!?
To purchase a sprayer and white wash cloths to make your own survival bidet click on any of the photos above or here Survival Items
- Survivor Jane
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