Reusable Toilet Paper Is As Disgusting As It Sounds

reusable toilet paper

As veterans in the butt wiping biz, we’ve heard about some strange, desperate, and dirty ways people clean up after dropping a dookie: hosing themselves down in the yard, Chipotle napkins, paper towels, the list goes on.

But no wiping technique has filled us with as much horror as reusable toilet paper.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: A piece of reusable fabric that you smear around your filthy butt crack, wash out the poop, then use it again.

What could possibly tempt a rational human being to try such an atrocity? We wondered the same thing, so we conducted a thorough investigation into the orgins of reusable toilet paper, whether it’s safe, and some smarter alternatives to wipe your ass with.

What Is Reusable Toilet Paper?

Reusable toilet paper is a catch-all term for a piece of fabric you use to wipe your butt after taking a dump. Instead of regular toilet paper, people use a cloth to clean up their nether regions. When you’re done doing your business, you toss the cloth in a hamper, wash it, then use it again.

If that sounds smelly, unsanitary, and borderline insane, that’s because it is (more on that later).

Reusable toilet paper became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic when a roll of two-ply was as rare as a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card. Today you can buy reusable toilet paper online, although it’s mostly indistinguishable from a thin washcloth.

We also learned on Reddit that people are really into making their own reusable butt-wiping contraptions using old clothing, towels, blankets, or other fabrics they have lying around the house.

“I use old clothing,” explains one person in r/ZeroWaste. “T-shirt fabric and other knit fabrics are great because you just cut it and it won't unravel. But my favorite to use for this purpose are cotton hoodies because it's thicker.”

These people probably never would’ve imagined they’d use their hoodies to mop up the residue from a sloppy deuce—and yet here they are.

FYI, reusable toilet paper goes by many names, including:

  • Cloth wipes
  • Un-toilet paper
  • Upcycled toilet paper
  • Family cloth
  • Reusable toilet wipes

Why Do People Use Reusable Toilet Paper?

You won’t catch us defending anyone tearing up an old hoodie to wipe their ass. But DUDE nation has questions, and we’re obliged to answer. Here are a few reasons people opt for reusable toilet paper:

Environmental Impact

One of the biggest reasons people buy reusable TP is to reduce waste. Regular toilet paper adds up fast in landfills, and it's not exactly eco-friendly. By switching to reusable TP, people are trying to cut down on their environmental footprint.

However, reusable toilet paper requires a lot of washing—and using all that extra water isn’t ideal for the planet either. So in our opinion, it’s kind of a wash (no pun intended).

Cost Savings

A lot of people tout reusable toilet paper as a way to save money in the long run. You buy it once and then you're set for years. But you end up paying the price with increased water and heating bills to keep that stuff clean.


Polishing your pooper with glorified sandpaper is brutal. Understandably, people would rather wipe with something softer, hence the hoodies and hand towels. But at the end of the day, reusable toilet paper is still dry and can easily leave you with a chapped rear if you get overzealous.

Is Reusable Toilet Paper Sanitary?

It’s one thing to wipe your butt with an torn up T-shirt if you’re out of options. But is it safe to wipe your butt with that T-shirt over and over?

The short answer is: not really.

According to our Reddit research, most people toss their dirty wiping material in a container immediately after dropping a deuce. Assuming you take two dumps per day, that means you have 14 pieces of cloth contaminated with feces festering in your home until you do your laundry. The thought alone of inhaling that stench makes us gag up our lunch.

The main thing to worry about here is bacteria, specifically E. coli, which lives in your intestines. According to Mayo Clinic, E. coli can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

If you thought washing your reusable toilet paper with the rest of your laundry was enough to keep your wiping routine safe, think again. Unless you wash your clothes with super hot water (160 degrees Fahrenheit) and bleach, you can’t kill the bacteria from poop.

But even if you do manage to sanitize your reusable toilet paper, it’s still going to be covered with sh*t stains—and that’s the last thing your guests want to see when they use your bathroom.

What Should You Use Instead of Toilet Paper?

Dry toilet paper chafes your butthole and doesn’t clean you up. Reusable toilet paper stinks up your bathroom and poses a threat of bacterial infections. So, how else are you supposed to tidy up your undercarriage after a bowel movement? Here are your two best options.

DUDE Wipes

Wet things clean better than dry things, and that applies to cleaning your butt too. DUDE Wipes are flushable wet wipes infused with naturally soothing aloe vera and vitamin E, so they’re gentle on your sensitive sides but tough on dingleberries.

Unlike baby wipes, DUDE Wipes are septic safe and 35% bigger than your average butt wipe to handle the messiest of deuces.

The DUDE Wiper 1000 Bidet Attachment

The bidet is the gold standard for anal hygiene, bar none. If there’s one thing Europe has us beat on, it’s the ubiquity of bidets. Luckily, we’re changing the game with the DUDE Wiper 1000 bidet attachment.

Suitable for most standard toilets, the DUDE Wiper 1000 cleans, refreshes, and eliminates odor all at once. Just remove your toilet seat, hook up the toilet bidet attachment to a clean water source, and slap the seat back on. No plumber or electricity required!

When you’re ready to quit toilet paper (in all of its forms) we’ll be waiting for you.

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