Wiping with toilet paper or washing down with water?




Toilet paper has received attention in recent times with people panic buying in anticipation of a lockdown. There have been videos of people fighting over toilet paper in countries such as Australia. Toilet paper is an essential product that has now become a rare commodity for most countries dealing with a lockdown situation. Stores around the world had to introduce limits to the number of toilet papers that can be bought at a given time. One may be wondering why people prioritised panic buying toilet paper at this given time. Experts attest that people’s vulnerability to disgust increases during a pandemic. Toilet paper is one of the items that come to mind when fortifying ourselves to deal with hygiene concerns. Many view the toilet paper as a conditional symbol of safety.  

The shortage of toilet paper has made some individuals contemplate alternatives. Venturing from store to store, has yielded no reward in the form of toilet paper for some. To these individuals, there is an option of using wet wipes to clean one’s buttocks. Water can also be used for washing off of faecal remnants. It is quite common in Southeast Asia, Southern Europe and Africa. People who opt to cleanse with water, usually use a bidet, lota or the hand. Choosing between these different forms of cleaning one’s butt depends on the availability of toilet paper, family traditions and religious beliefs. It will be great to compare between wiping down with a toilet paper to washing off using water. 


Wipe with toilet paper or wash with water? 

There are advantages for using one over the other as it relates to the thoroughness of clean, convenience and availability of the appropriate products. 

  1. Using toilet paper smears the faecal matter: Individuals who use water to clean their butt believe wiping with toilet paper fails to thoroughly get rid of the remnant. There is the thought of leaving behind daubs or coats of one’s number two. 
  2. Using water ensures our butt is free from any residue: Water could get rid of all remnants after a number two. Some suggest washing down with water and soap to adequately remove residues and the ensuing odour. You can take it further by wiping down with toilet paper after the wash. This is conceived as one of the most complete ways of cleaning after a poop.  
  3. Using toilet solely toilet paper can cause injuries to some: Individuals who use only toilet paper can run the risk of sustaining injuries to their backside. As the anus is considered a delicate part of the body that can suffer a little from the grinding or abrasive effect of the toilet paper.  
  4. Water is most suitable for recovering patients: People experiencing irritable bowel conditions or who recently underwent surgery may find washing with water a kinder method. Wiping with toilet paper may be slightly a painful or discomforting process for these toilet users.   
  5. Using bidet to wash down could negatively impact the bacteria floral: Bidet is a popular way of cleaning ones but with water. Research has shown that excessive use of this method of cleaning our butt can interrupt bacterial floral. 


It is best to decide which of the methods is most suitable based on your health condition, beliefs and convenience. 


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