I know - CRINGE, right?
So, help me figure out how the cloth diaper movement can be so trendy and massive, but adults aren't following suit? TP Free isn't just about being "green" - it's an excellent indicator of where you’re at with your integrity. And, it's a hell of a lot cheaper!
There are plenty of folk out there who are raw-vegan, only wear organic clothing, buy fair-trade and WholeFoods...drive around in hybrid cars, and are highly conscious of their carbon footprint. But they aren't TP Free!
Americans use more than 3.2 million tons of toilet paper annually, cutting down 54 million trees in the process. The production of each roll requires an average of 37 gallons [140 liters] of water. The average American uses 57 sheets of toilet paper per day, about 3.7 gallons of water per day figured for just for the manufacturing process!
UNHYGIENIC – Cloth diapers are safe for babies - so why not everyone else?
MESSY/GROSS– Not as messy as cloth diapers. The wipes aren’t soaked with urine and full of mushy poop. Yes, they’re soiled and they can be a little stinky, but if done correctly your hands need never touch the soiled wipes – till they’re c an, and ready to reuse.
EMBARRASSING – You don’t have to go 100% TP-Free. You can still have a roll of toilet paper available for big jobs, and if you can’t bare the thought of guests finding out – you can keep your wipes in a lidded basket, or hanging in a nice cloth dispenser bag close by. Most likely, no one will ever know............until you're ready to brag about it!
- Never run out of toilet paper again
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
THE MIND SET
All the reasons why someone can't take on this kind of challenge are in the head. The argument can be made - that it's just as good as toilet paper, but I honestly - it's better.
Imagine the most supreme royalty, the highest of high - sitting on their personal thrown doing some dirty work. Are they reaching for a fist full of 2-ply? Of course not! First of all - there's a servant to perform that task (wink wink) - and nothing touches the most glorious derrières expect the finest silk or softest Egyptian cotton. Of course, it's burned after the fact, or maybe auctioned off? Point being? Don't be silly to take this too seriously. Treat yourself royally....you can slowly build up a stock of the finest fabrics available.
CONTAINER FOR SOILED WIPES
You'll need a container of some sort for soiled wipes. A small plastic pail with lid is the best option, but it will depend on how much space you have available, and how much you value 'decor'. You can get 5-gallon buckets (w/ lids) for around $5 at big box stores, but unless you have a large family - this will be too big. There are lots of stylish cloth diaper pails to choose from, but pricey. The nice thing about a plastic container with tight fitting lid - no smell, and the ability to line it with a mesh laundry bag - so you can simply toss the whole bag in the wash.
Though - pail type containers can confuse houseguests who will probably think it's your trash can.
If you're handy at sewing - you can easily put together a nice hanging bag. Upcycle old clothing, and consider lining it with vinyl to control odor and dampness. Dump the contents into the washing machine without touching a single wipe.
If you're like me you have the best of intentions, but not always the money or time to pull off perfection. I had a wonderful little butt-wipe concept in my mind that was going to be this sacred situation - wafting with the scent of essential oils, and all that. I ended up cutting up old thin towels and t-shirts - stuff that was slated for the rag bin. I didn't even sew them - I just tore them into squares. It's been several years and I have yet to sew together a soiled wipe bag, and there's no room in my bathroom for another bin. I just toss them in the laundry hamper - bcuz I'm the only one that does the laundry anyway.
I think the sewn, double-sided wipes (shown below) are way cute, and eventually, I'll get that done. Since it's just me and my son, there's no pressure to impress anyone with the beauty of being TP-Free.
I fold my wipes and stack them in an old baby wipe container, and then mix up a solution of about 2 cups water and 1 Tbs. liquid peppermint Castile soap. Pack them high, bcuz once you add the liquid they smush down a lot. You want them barely damp, so don't worry if the top wipes still feel dry - they'll wick up the moisture.
If any wipes are soiled beyond solution - just toss them out. No big deal. It's easy to come by more wipes. You can get about a dozen out of an old t-shirt. I've never had a problem getting them clean, and I wash in cold water with my homemade laundry soap. I do presoak, and use a small amount of bleach and wash them in with the whites - since there aren't enough wipes to make a small load.
There are more and more folk selling handmade wipes online, and cloth feminine products as well. If you're short on time, want something nice, and money isn't short - support these indie sellers on Etsy, etc. Think about having a basket of dry wipes, and a container of wet wipes. Add gentle essential oils like chamomile, lavender, Calendula, comfrey, geranium, rosewood, palmarosa, or rose. If you want to go that extra (royal) mile - consider getting yourself a baby wipe warmer!! Oh yeah! I've seen them from time to time at Goodwill for a few dollars....so keep your eyes open.
There's really nothing to converting over to being TP Free, and I promise you they do a MUCH better job! While you're at it - make up a rag bin if you don't have one. You definitely want to go paper-towel free as well. You can also make wet dusting and cleaning cloths for around the house, and really wonderful facial wipes.