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Toilet Paper - Let's Get Real!

Updated on August 9, 2014

Starting With The Basics

You can’t get much more basic than toilet paper. That’s right; toilet paper. It serves a purpose and is a necessity of life for the most civilized among us. It was never intended to be considered décor, yet through the years we have run the gamut from solid colored to flowered toilet paper, color coordinating with bathroom furnishings. More recently we’ve been presented with choices such as aloe or lanolin treated toilet paper.

Well, I wasn’t impressed then and I’m not impressed now. I say save the flowers for your wallpaper. Itchy allergies to colored paper will certainly leave an impression, though not the intended one, I’m sure. And, who really likes the icky feel of toilet paper soaked in lotion?

With gasoline prices climbing relentlessly, people are struggling to buy gas to get to work to put groceries on the table for the kids, and there, on the store shelves, is designer toilet paper: lotion treated, perfumed, quilted, single ply, double ply, soft as a baby’s skin and rough as a corn cob. Everything you might want, except a simple good quality, reasonably priced, white, unscented toilet paper.

What A Consumer Wants

I won’t even mention brand names. Every time I find a brand I like it seems like everyone else starts using it too and suddenly the manufacturer gets greedy - the price goes up and the quality goes down. In recent months I’ve noticed other subtle changes that I’m sure the manufacturers are hoping we, the people, won’t pick up on. Have you noticed the play on either end of your toilet paper on the holder? It used to be that the paper left just enough room on either end to roll easily. Now it is a quarter to half inch shorter, leaving your paper roll sliding back and forth on the roller. If they keep this up, we’ll soon be using adding machine paper. As if saving on the width of a roll isn’t enough, they offer fewer sheets on a roll for the same price we’ve previously paid. It’s just another little subterfuge to slip past a less than savvy consumer.

Just in case you are reading this article and happen to have any influence in toilet paper manufacturing, please take it from a regular toilet paper customer and consider the following guidelines for what consumers want:

We’d like it somewhere in the middle of sandpaper and pillows in softness. This is not M&M’s; nobody wants it to “melt in your hand”. To measure proper width, it should be easily used to blow one’s nose. When pricing, please keep in mind that it is flushed down the toilet. There is no return on your money, so cheaper is better. And, please, stop advertising toilet paper as recycled. Even if it is recycled, I promise you, we don’t want to know.

Did You Know?

There are two categories of toilet papers, toilet paper made from trees, and toilet paper made from recycled paper.

White is the most popular color of toilet paper with pink second and then peach.

Before toilet paper was invented, people in the US used sheets torn from paper catalogs.

Perfumed and scented toilet paper can cause allergic vaginitis (

Additives in some toilet papers that may cause irritation and itching are alcohol, peroxide, bleach, aloe, lotion, perfume and dye.

Some toilet paper, particularly the paper that is thick, absorptive, strong, bleached and expensive is likely to contain formaldehyde, according to an article by Dr. Alwyn Wong on the Bel Marra Health website. Dr. Wong’s article also states skin irritation of the anus and vulva can be the result of contact dermatitis due to an allergic reaction to toilet paper dyes, fragrances and additives.

Uses For Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are often used for children’s crafts. Following are a few ideas for toilet paper roll crafts:

  • Yarn organizer
  • Bird feeder (cover in peanut butter and roll in bird seed)
  • Candy popper
  • Holders for pens/pencils; paint or makeup brushes
  • Play toy for your pet hamster
  • Eyeglass holder

Directions for these and other toilet paper roll crafts are readily available online.

Toilet Paper Poll

What is your toilet paper preference?

See results


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    • Karen Ray profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Ray 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      I never thought about the glue! lol This kind of stuff drives me crazy. Thanks so much for your comments.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      4 years ago from USA

      Now that you mention it, they did previously make toilet paper in green, blue, pink, peach, and patterns with flowers but it's nearly impossible to find in the stores anymore. White is all I need anyhow. I liked your observations as well as your facts at the end. You should hear the meetings and discussions that are had at paper manufacturers about the glue that is used to stick the paper to the roll, how much scrap is required, etc. I have relatives in the paper industry and used to work in the industry myself but did not make this. ;-)

    • Karen Ray profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Ray 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading ruffridyer. Some things are just not meant to be perfumed, or come in ones choice of color, lol.

    • profile image


      7 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      I was visiting my sister-in-laws family once time and used their toilet paper to blow my nose. My eyes swelled up and itched from the stupid perfume. Why would anyone want perfumed toilet paper?

    • Cindy Phillips profile image

      Cindy Phillips 

      7 years ago

      Great stuff.

    • Karen Ray profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Ray 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Truckstop Sally & Shelvajay.

    • Shelvajay profile image


      7 years ago from If You Know Me Personally, You Know Where I Am...

      I heard that! I liked this!

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Fun hub! Love your last paragraph! I'm looking forward to reading more.


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