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October 22, 2009

Toilet Paper Alternative

Following up my well received post from yesterday about Stocking Up on Toilet Paper, I figured it would be good to talk about alternatives to toilet paper. There are people out there who think we as Americans use too much toilet paper. I don't agree with that but in the event of an emergency, especially a long term one, having a backup to your toilet paper storage would be a good idea. Some people have already switched to toilet paper alternatives and don't mind the change. I think that there is a stigma attached to using anything other than conventional toilet paper but as a prepper you should be accustomed to getting past most stigmas.

Reusable cloth wipes are becoming more and more popular as an alternative to regular toilet paper. The concept isn't much different than using cloth diapers on babies and there are now companies that sell these wipes. There are also wipe warmers that you can put in the bathroom and it will keep your #2 wipes warm and damp with a cleaning solution (of your choice). The idea is that you keep a stack of clean, dry wipes near your toilet for women to use after #1. The wipes in a warmer are to be used after #2. The warmers use electricity so in the event of a disaster you can't rely on it so I wouldn't recommend a warmer.

Instead of a warmer you can keep a squirt bottle with a water and lotion hand soap solution to dampen the wipes before using them after #2. This will make them clean your bum even better. The used wipes then can be deposited into a hanging sack or an open or closed container. An open container or hanging sack will not produce a smell but if you're worried about it get a flip-top trash can to keep used wipes in. The wipes are washable and can be washed as you wash your other towels and wash rags. You might want to wash the cloth wipes in a lingerie washing bag and add a little baking soda and vinegar for extra cleaning power. I would recommend washing them separate from anything else and soaking them in the washer for a hour or so before starting the wash.

Cloth wipes are better for the environment and will make you and your family that much more self sufficient. Green Mountain Diapers is a great site that sells these wipes, along with a solution for your spray bottle and more information about using cloth wipes. Most cloth wipes are made from flannel material which makes them nice and soft and from what I've read these are a lot more comfortable than using toilet paper and not as bad as it might sound. You can make your own from old flannel sheets or shirts but purchasing quality 2-ply wipes would be my recommendation. These are pretty cheap so it wouldn't be an issue to stock quite a few of these to go along with your toilet paper storage. Also make sure you have some lotion hand soap stocked up and a squirt bottle for your solution to dampen the wipes before use.

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