Friday, January 11, 2013

Tee Shirt TP Inspired by Extreme Cheapskates on TLC

I read a lot about the "crazy" things people do to save money. I really enjoyed some episodes of TLC's "Extreme Cheapskates", one of which had a women who used cloth toilet paper for her family.  I admit that never having to buy toilet paper ever again appealed to me. I don't know if I will ever be dumpster diving for food or washing my clothes while wearing them, in the shower, like some of the characters on the show, but I do love saving money.

My husband had a grossed out reaction when I told him I was cutting up his old tee shirts to use as toilet paper. I assured him that it was only for pee and I could save money by using less of the disposable rolls of wastefulness and take another baby step away from the grid.

You can buy or make lovely reusable toilet paper, but if I was going to go cheapskate, it was going to have to be nearly free.

Here's how I got started:
I acquired several of my husbands old large 100% cotton tee shirts.

I cut the old tee shirts in the pattern seen above to make 8 strips. The strips are a little wider than normal toilet paper and about 4 "sheets" long.

I used a large round tupperware type bins on the floor next to the toilet for the dirties, and a decorative toilet paper roll holder for the clean strips.

They are soft, absorbent, and they go in the laundry with regular clothing and come out clean and ready to reuse!

Why use cloth toilet paper?
According to National Geographic's Green Guide, toilet paper wipes out 27,000 trees yearly, and this number is increasing due to the demands of developing countries, and it is only getting worse as populations grow and progress. Re-using cloth toilet paper can greatly decrease the amount of fossil fuels and de-forestation used to make and transport toilet paper and packaging.

What about poop?
I've been using the cloth to wipe pee only. I cloth diaper and get all the poo off my diapers before they go in the wash, but I'm not sure how I would deal with adult poo. I have some ideas, but I need to put a little more thought into the logistics.

How do you wash the cloth toilet paper?
I throw in a hot water wash with soap. Add other towels to make it a full load. If you use the cloth for poop, do a small hot water wash with soap alone, then I like add clothing or towels and do a regular wash (so the cloth goes around 2x for extra clean). This is the way I do my cloth diapers, as well, making sure all my excess poop is knocked and rinsed off before I put the diapers and wipes in the hot water wash. They come out very clean!

I drink a lot of water, and visit the restroom quite frequently, so I know my disposable toilet paper needs have decreased with the cloth, less trees will have to be cut down for me, and I'm saving money. Extreme? Maybe. Cheap? Yes. I like to think of it as easy, smart and good.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I don't think I could quite do this.... I would feel like I am stepping back about a century!


Thanks for the comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...