The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to a very strange phenomenon where toilet paper seems to be the first thing that people are panic buying and thus most retail stores are running out of toilet paper.
It almost boggles the mind as to how a respiratory illness from China can cause the stores in the US to sell out all their toilet paper in hours.
Panic makes people illogical and selfish.
The only possible explanation for all the hoarding is that people are afraid that the pandemic will last indefinitely, and they will be left without any more toilet paper.
While this is hardly likely because there are no production hiccups and supply chains are still strong, you may encounter a situation where you can not buy toilet paper because the store shelves are empty.
This is thanks to the panic buying, which now many stores have put an end to by limiting the amount of toilet paper and other essential supplies.
However, that does not stop someone from having multiple family members buy it or making multiple trips to the store to get more.
For those who are running low or have completely run out, here are some options on what you can do until you can get more toilet paper.
Use Bidets Instead Of Toilet Paper
The most difficult hurdle to overcome will be to shift your mindset.
Itís also the easiest way to deal with the toilet paper shortage.
Millions of people in Europe, Asia, etc. use bidets to clean up after defecation.
A spray of water is delivered directly to the anus and cleans the area pristinely. Itís more hygienic than toilet paper and its hassle-free.
Youíll not need any toilet paper when water is your friend.
Americans who are not used to this practice and canít even fathom the idea of using a ëbum guní to clean themselves will be hesitant to try it out.
Do give it a try and you may never look back.
Tough times call for improvisation and adaptation.
Rather than spending hours in queues or jostling with other people just to get toilet paper, you could easily purchase a bidet from Amazon and install it in your house.
Wet Wipes Work In An Emergency
Wet wipes are another alternative to toilet paper.
However, there are two potential problems here.
First, these may be sold out right along with the wet ones that are in the toilet paper aisle.
Secondly, flushing wet wipes down your toilet may clog your plumbing or cause issues to your cities sewers.
If your toilet gets clogged, you will need to find a plumber to fix the problem and during these times of self-isolation, that will be harder to do than what it usually is.
A good way to prevent a possible clog is to place the used wet wipes in a trash bag and throw them away with your regular trash.
Another problem with this is that people may hoard baby wipes as a toilet paper substitute.
This is not recommended because babies need those wipes too, since their skin is softer and more sensitive.
Be thoughtful even when times are tough because some babies skins are so sensitive that using any other type of wipe other than what they are used to will cause a severe rash.
The last thing we need during a pandemic such as the Coronavirus is for a baby or young child to need medical attention and risk being exposed.
Fast Food Napkins Also Make A Good Toilet Paper Substitution
Sometimes you have to think out of the box and come up with a solution to the solve the problem.
Fast food outlets usually provide paper napkins with their meals.
Buy a Happy Meal and voila!
You are now the proud owner of some McToiletPaper.
With that said, please do not rush into restaurants and hoard all of their napkins.
This will have consequences, such as a limited supply in the future along with price increases to the food.
Simply buy the food you normally would and ask for some napkins to be added to the bag.
In The Old Days, People Used Washable Towels Or Cloth Rags
Many people consider this one nasty, but it works.
Washable towels and cloth rags have been used the world over as a toilet paper substitution.
After using the cloth towels or rags, they are generally shaken in the toilet to get any debris off, then rinsed out under running water to remove any further debris.
If the idea of doing this makes you sick, you are better off getting a bidet and calling it a day.
Out Of Toilet Paper? Try These Paper Products
There are many other types of paper that you could repurpose as toilet paper.
You could use old newspapers, catalog pages or you could use the paper from your printer.
CVS receipts or other store receipts that are longer are another option.
The problem here is that you will need to soften the paper with water first and that is going to make it want to come apart.
The reason the paper needs softened is because the last thing you want are paper cuts on your behind.
Another consideration when doing this is the issue of safety.
You don’t know if the inks on the paper or the receipts will have any negative effect on your health and that ink just might be absorbed by your skin.
If this is what you decide to do, make sure you do not flush these types of paper down the toilet.
They will clog your plumbing.
Instead put the used paper in a bag so it can go out with the trash.
Sanitary Pads Or Sponges Also Work In An Emergency
Feminine hygiene products are another item that sell out quickly, but if all you can get your hands on are sanitary pads, those can be used as toilet paper too.
Once again, none of these products should be flushed down your toilet because they do not break down like toilet paper, and will clog the sewer lines.
So please, if you are doing this, take the time to put these items in bags and send them out with the trash.
While I realize how nasty this is, it is an emergency alternative when you are running out of toilet paper.
Plant Material And Other Toilet Paper Alternatives
Besides the options mentioned above, hardcore survivalists will recommend toilet paper alternatives such as leaves, rocks, corn husks, etc.
These are extreme measures, and if you’re not already a survivalist, you might feel like this is extreme.
The store shelves will eventually be restocked and by then, will have instituted limits on the essential items to prevent hoarding.
Your best bet during this time will be to use a bidet and get through the shortage until the situation returns to a relative state of normalcy.
Rest assured that it will happen soon.
On an interesting note, if you want to know how long your existing supply of toilet paper will last, check out The Coronavirus Toilet Paper Calculator.