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I finally did it... Toilet cloth

 
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I spent a good chunk of my Sunday turning a thick flannel sheet into "toilet cloth" aka pee rags. I have only been using them for number one and only during the day (when I'm home) so I don't accidentally flush them at night.

I just rinse them with water after and hang dry. Will wash with laundry. So far so good. And my toilet paper stash should last a good long while now.
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pollinator
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Sonja Draven wrote:I spent a good chunk of my Sunday turning a thick flannel sheet into "toilet cloth" aka pee rags. I have only been using them for number one and only during the day (when I'm home) so I don't accidentally flush them at night.

I just rinse them with water after and hang dry. Will wash with laundry. So far so good. And my toilet paper stash should last a good long while now.



I only read this to appease my internal *gasp*

However, I applaud this effort you are taking

Personally, I cannot envision getting down with the toilet cloth in any other way.
 
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Wow! That's more impressive than my method. I cut up old cotton T-shirts! We have a "butt sprayer" so it's just for drying. We've been using this system for 2 weeks. Looks like we ain't going back to TP ever!

I've been washing them separately. Hang dry is a good call!
 
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good job!
 
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I like "toilet cloth."  The term "Family Cloth" always seemed a bit disturbing--I won't want to think about sharing it with my family! And "Washable Toilet Paper" is a bit off, too. When I tell people online about using rags if they have to, I call talk about them as "Washable Wipes," because that's what we called them when I used them to wipe my babies' bums.

I've yet to have to use them as a replacement for TP, (we still have enough), but I'm glad to have a back-up plan, and a term to call it!
 
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Ashley Cottonwood wrote:Wow! That's more impressive than my method. I cut up old cotton T-shirts! We have a "butt sprayer" so it's just for drying. We've been using this system for 2 weeks. Looks like we ain't going back to TP ever!

I've been washing them separately. Hang dry is a good call!



My first experience with a "butt sprayer" was when I went to India about a year and a half ago.  I did not install one at home afterwards, though I can see why they're popular there.  At least they used warm water for the sprayers in the hotels I was put up in, and in the office restrooms.  I think it would take the zombie apocalypse to get my family to be accepting of a sprayer and washable rags.
 
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Bravo!!!  Sharing with my daughter whose children use an obscene amount of TP, but might be persuaded to this.  She, after all, made her own baby diapers back in the day.

And further back - Yeah!  All we had in the 50s-60s, perhaps even 70s, was cloth wipes for baby butts.  I didn't see one case of disease that came from the practice.  I personally don't know of issues before that time.
 
Sonja Draven
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I have a lot of TP stockpiled because I use a special expensive kind to protect my septic system, especially from guests who use WAY too much, and need to order it online.  Now I can't get it anymore, of course.

I was always aware of how little it actually got damp so felt extra wasteful. I'm not sharing with anyone else (although I would) so it feels extra sanitary.

I'm grateful I don't need to use it for #2 but we used cloth diapers when I was a kid so I'm familiar. You do what you gotta do.

I had a thick flannel sheet that needed to be recycled into something in pieces. I doubled them so they are thick and no chance of pee on my hands and hemmed so they don't unravel. They're actually nicer feeling than any TP.

Nicole, I agree with you. Hate the term family cloth. Glad you like the phrase I coined. :)
 
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I've been using "toilet cloths" for #1 for years. It started out as a game to see how self sufficient I could become, breaking my dependency on buying toilet paper. Over time, it became a permanent habit. I started out by using various rag material, basically worn out clothing destined for the trash. I quickly discovered that not all cloth was equal. Some miserably failed the absorptive test. Right now I'm using cut up terry cloth towel. Very absorbent, but they shed lint. I ended up sewing a narrow hem around the edges which ended the lint issue. I bet flannel sheets would make fine toilet cloths. I haven't tried that yet, simply because I don't have any old flannel sheets.

I throw the used toilet cloths right in with the wash.  The wash water has a bit of bleach in it already, since I use rain catchment water. Plus everything gets dried out on a line in the sun. I have no concerns about the "clean" factor. Between a tad of bleach and the sunlight, that's taken care of. And besides, I work with livestock and composts all day, so my regular clothes have far worse sanitation issues. Hahaha.

For #2 I use cotton wipes made out of discarded clothing and bedding. I can pick up this stuff for free from the thrift shop at out dump. They always put the damaged stuff in a bin for people to take away. By using cotton, I know that they will decompose in my humanure system.

Oh yes, none of these cloths go into the toilet. I save my urine to use in the gardens. And I save the humanure for its own compost system. Th only time I use TP is for an urgent emergency trip to the toilet at night, or if I were to become sick and wish to divert the humanure. Hubby's our household TP user. Being a city boy at heart, he has no intentions of discontuing the use of TP......ever!
 
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When we bought this place, in 10/18 we discovered there was no clean-out access to the septic tank. I started right then. I had some diaper flannel in my fabric stash, leftover from another project, so I just used my pinking shears, and cut it all up into pieces. As it frays, I trim it off, because I didn't have a working sewing machine, at the time. I put them(after use) into an old plastic coffee can with a lid, I keep next to the toilet, filled with a water/ vinegar solution, and dump all of it into the same load with the rest of the towels. We also have a portable bidet right by the toilet, to wash with, so only water &/or urine end up on the cloth. Honestly, I feel like I'm treating my bottom rather luxuriously, and hate going to the bathroom anywhere else, now! There's always a roll on the spindle,  though - for guests.
 
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Came up with a great strategy for dealing with inability to get any TP. My diaper sprayer that I use for my seedling trays and sprout jars works great as a bidet, and I've come up with an easy washing machine for the quick-dry cotton baby washcloths I bought: quart mason jar with water and a few squirts of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner (the only disinfectant I could find on Amazon last week) that I soak a soiled cloth or two in during the course of the day, shaking it like you do herbal tinctures or sprouts every time I'm in there. Then, at the end of the day, I wring them out into the toilet and hand-wash/rinse them in the sink, then hang them to dry overnight, which they do. So far so good.

I use this system for both #1 and #2. I use the clean cloths a handful of times for drying only for #1, then when they are more soiled (#2), they go in the jar. It's just me using this bathroom, but if it were more than one person, we'd each have our own jar and do our own washing. I've got some hydrogen peroxide, so I may put some in a spritzer bottle to lightly spritz after using them as a drying cloth.

I have to admit: I like the feel of these cloths a whole heck of a lot better than the usual TP. Besides, I wouldn't put it past Koch Industries to be driving this TP shortage.

Oh, I also like to put a little antiseptic mouthwash on a cloth for doing a little cleansing. The generic Kroger brand of Listerine costs half as much as the branded version and works well for this purpose.





 
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Wasn't there a topic about this before? Or was it somewhere else? Anyway: I heard or read about 'pee rags' and made them out of old (thin) towels. I am using them now for about a year. Like the name says: only for pee droplets.
For the other cleaning I have a jar of water, I use the 'left hand' and then some t.p. People in/from Asian countries use water for cleaning for ages, so why not we?
 
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Back in the day we washed out cloth diapers in the toilet with our bare hands! Sounds shocking now, doesn't it? LOL. For cloth toilet wipes you can make and use diaper pail soaking solution to removes odors and stains.

  • 1/2 cup of borax (as in 20 Mule Team)
  • 1 gallon of warm water.

  • Mix until dissolved. This is very handy if the cloths can't be rinsed out and washed immediately.
     
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    What a great thread.  I'm definitely jumping in on this band wagon. Thanks!!!
     
    pollinator
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    We used cloth wipes for my son when he was a baby. Now, I've been trying to use them at least for #l. I'm having to untrain myself of taking toilet paper when I won't need it! The other part I'm struggling with is where to put them in the bathroom in my reach but not a toddler's plaything. Toddlers love containers.
    Still, the hard part is changing my own habits and creating a system to maintain.
     
    Sonja Draven
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    Bihai Il wrote:We used cloth wipes for my son when he was a baby. Now, I've been trying to use them at least for #l. I'm having to untrain myself of taking toilet paper when I won't need it! The other part I'm struggling with is where to put them in the bathroom in my reach but not a toddler's plaything. Toddlers love containers.
    Still, the hard part is changing my own habits and creating a system to maintain.


    This is so true! I am mostly doing really well with it and my stash lasts a good while. I am appalled at how much paper I use to waste am and grateful to change that.

    This week I was sick a couple days with a migraine and recovery and I wasn't up to standing long enough to wash the cloths so back to paper. Realized I was out of the habit again so I put a cloth on the paper roll. Worked for me. I sacrifice counter space for my cloth bin, but that might not work in your situation.
     
    Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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    I don't have a toddler crawling around. I'm only by myself. My clean pee rags are in a sort of basket hanging on the wall next to the toilet and on the floor beneath is another basket standing for the used ones. I wash them together with the other laundry (like underwear and payamas)
     
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    Other ideas I had were to use old handkerchiefs (men's) or hankies (ladies) for the more "light duty" tasks when flannel might be "overkill".  Also I had a stash of used dryer sheets that I thought to repurpose as disposable dust cloths or spot cleaners/wiper-uppers.  They work as #2 wipes since they are woven and hold up to being moistened for a better cleaning. Half of a large sheet goes a long way. After use they go into the trash.  They do have a bit of a "soapy" residue on them which for the #2 wiping purpose is not too bad of an effect and leaves skin feeling softer as a "moisturizing" effect.  Not certain of the chemical composition used in the fabric softener (perfumes, etc. which may be unwanted) or whether it could cause a skin reaction in sensitive individuals, so use with care.  Not all dryer sheets are created equal. :)  If followed with a bidet or plain water rinse/spray it should reduce that possibility.
     
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    Just before the whole TP crisis started, we added a bidet under-the-lid attachment to the toilet and started using what we call "under-chassis chamois" that I made from a 30+ year-old flannel sheet. I cut it into 12" x 6" rectangles, sewed up the three edges leaving a space to turn them right side out, then topstitched around the entire perimeter. Result is a double-thick, very worn flannel that's large enough but not too bulky.

    After a bit of spray, we use the cloth to dry the bits and then drop said cloth in a muslin bag that hangs next to the toilet. Every two to three days we wash them in hot water and dry on hot as well (like we used to do for the littl'uns' cloth diapers) - shake the bag out into the washer, drop bag in washer, and go. We have two bags, so if one is in the laundry the other is available for service. No smells, no issues. Bacteria really like moist environments, so my theory was to reduce the moisture potential as much as possible; that seems to be holding up.  Softer and significantly stronger than TP and overall quite pleasant to use. Feels like an upgrade to make the switch. Spousal unit has only once habit-thrown a cloth into the toilet and has been exceedingly careful to avoid that experience a second time. <grin>
     
    Bihai Il
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    Those are helpful tips, Shawn!! I'm going to try the bag idea, I think that's the missing element for me. I also like the simple doubled-up cloth sewing technique.

    So far I've found that placing a cloth on the TP holder helps me remember. Also I've repurposed a drawer for holding the clean cloths and my son has lost interest in redistributing them, and if they end up all over it's okay for the clean ones. It's the dirty ones that I've not found a solution to, until Shawn's post.

    I've also been using them for #2. I didn't expect to like  it, but it's actually quite luxurious.
     
    Shawn Foster
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    Glad it was helpful! The muslin bags are approximately the length of my leg from mid-thigh to ankle—wanted enough room in them so I wasn’t having to reach in and stuff anything down. How do I know it’s that long? Wellllll...I had a muslin makeup from a trousers pattern I was trying out. Just cut the legs off it, stitched the ankle portion and added a casing and drawstring at the top, and voilá! I imagine it would be easy enough to do the same with a worn out pair of pants.
     
    Bihai Il
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    That's another good idea. I've been saving cloth items for fixing, repurposing, and learning when I have time and need. I like that you figured a way with less effort and repurpose.
     
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