Why Is Toilet Paper White- The Ultimate Guide To Toilet Paper

Why Is Toilet Paper White? The Ultimate Toilet Paper Guide

Question: Why Is Toilet Paper White?

Probably the most common question about surrounding toilet paper is “Why is the color always white?”.

Well believe it or not this has not always been the case. In fact, colored toilet paper was first put on the market in the 1950’s and became popular in the 1970’s. Homeowners were attracted to this toilet paper because they could color coordinate their toilet paper with their bathrooms. Popular colors at the time were pink, blue, yellow, green, peach, and black. Unfortunately there were some unfortunate implications that caused the demise of colored toilet paper.

  • It turns out the dye in colored toilet paper had several negative consequences for both the users and producers.
  • It made colored toilet paper too expensive to produce than it’s white counterpart. Demand for colored rolls was shrinking as well.
  • Many doctors at the time began to associate it with increased health risks. Such risks included skin irritation, cervical cancer, urinary tract infections, rectal issues and others
  • Dye didn’t allow colored toilet paper to decompose as quickly. This means it was more likely to clog up septic tanks it was flushed down.

While most American producers have since halted production of colored TP, there are still some vendors like Renova who still sell it. Colored toilet paper is still prevalent in other countries, which leads us to our next part:

Question: Why Is Toilet Paper Pink In France?

There seems to be no definitive answer in this question. One blogger simply attributes this to cultural preference. She writes:

Pink is just a regional preference, although I can’t find out who started the craze for this colour in France. The idea behind coloured toilet paper was to make it match the décor in the bathroom. I cannot believe for a moment that anyone would paint their smallest room Grotesque Pink so I’m not convinced that rule holds for France. 


Question: What Did People Use Before Toilet Paper Was Invented?

It’s a truly disturbing thought indeed. While missing toilet paper may be a mild inconvenience for us, this was a harsh reality for our not-so-lucky forefathers. Throughout the years, different cultures experimented with multiple substitutes and not too many of them are pleasant:

  • Ancient Greeks: Clay & Stone
  • Romans: Sponges tied to sticks. These were communal.
  • Colonial Americans: Discarded Reading Material and Corn Cobs. Yes, you read that correctly.
  • Others: Grass, Leaves, Fur, the Hand

In fact, many countries today still don’t use toilet paper. Countries such as India only use water to cleanse themselves and view the use of toilet paper as an unsanitary practice.

Question: What Is Toilet Paper Made Out Of? How Is It Made?

Toilet paper is usually made from recyclable paper. The recycled paper is then mixed in with water to create a toilet paper “pulp”. To see the entire process, watch this video from the Discovery Channel:

Question: Why Does Toilet Paper Have Patterns?

We assume this questions gets asked because because most people probably don’t care what’s imprinted on their toilet paper. The majority of us would probably be fine using plain ol’ white toilet paper without any type of designs. However, we believe that these patterns are used for two things.

  • To signal freshness to the user
  • To implement branding strategies

Having the designs on them is a way to make the toilet paper more aesthetically pleasing to the consumer. These patterns can be a way for the different toilet paper manufacturers to differentiate their brand and make their products seem more elegant and elite.

Which Toilet Paper Orientation Is Better? Underhand Or Overhand?

This topic may seem completely irrelevant to you. However, many people have extremely strong opinions about it believe it or not to the point where they are willing to rip each other’s heads off. In fact, the topic has even got it’s own Wikipedia article dedicated to it. If you don’t feel like reading the whole article, here are the advantages to each style:

Advantages To Overhand

  • Lowers the chances that your knuckles touch the wall thus contracting unwanted germs
  • Easy to find and grab the end of the roll
  • Useful for hotel, cruise ships office buildings and other shared restrooms. Allows someone to fold over the first sheet to show that the restroom has been cleaned.
  • This is the way the manufacturers intend the toilet paper to be facing. Patterns show up better this way.

Advantages To Underhand

  • More aesthetically pleasing. Allows the loose end to be hidden from view.
  • Reduces the risk of wasting toilet paper from a child or pet batting at the roll.
  • If using toilet paper in a motorhome or other vehicle with a restroom, this reduces the chance the toilet paper unrolls while in motion.

After various surveys it’s been determined that 72% of people prefer “overhand” toilet paper. These people are also much more likely to notice the orientation at other people’s houses and adjust it.

Question: How Does Toilet Paper Dissolve When Facial Tissues and Paper Towels Don’t?

How toilet paper dissolves is dependent on the length of it’s fibres. Facial tissues and wet wipes both contain longer fibres that increase their sturdiness but make it harder to dissolve. Toilet paper has shorter fibres so it is easier for it to break up when exposed to water.

Question: Why Is Toilet Paper Cut In Squares?

Toilet paper is cut into squares to give the user consistent deviations of amounts that they wish to use. The perforations on these squares allow the user to easily tear off each square. And just in case you’re asking: it is possible to only use one square

Question: Is Toilet Paper Biodegradable?

Yes, toilet paper is in fact biodegradable. The wood pulp naturally breaks down overtime allowing it to leave zero traces in the environment.

Question: What Are Some Other Names For Toilet Paper?

Throughout the years toilet paper has developed a slew of different slang terms/euphemisms. Here are some of our favorites:

  • “Bathroom Tissue”
  • “TP”
  • “Crap Wrap”
  • “Bumpf”
  • “Arsewipe”
  • “Loo roll”
  • “Dunny Roll”
  • “Bog Roll”

Question: Is Toilet Paper Taxable In PA?

Although this may seem like an odd question, this question was actually brought to a Pittsburgh court  due to a K-Mart accidentally charging 28 cents too much for a 12-pack of Angel Soft Tissue for a female homemaker. The fact is toilet IS NOT taxable PA and the lady won the case with $100 to show for it.

Question: When Is National Toilet Paper Day?

National Toilet Paper Day is celebrated on August 26th.

Question: What Are Some Toilet Paper Alternatives?

It’s a problem we’ve all had. You’ve just finished doing your business and you go to grab
your roll. However, when you look, there is no toilet paper to be found! Instead of panicking, try one of these methods next time this happens to you.

  • Cardboard Roll: You can leverage the rolled up cardboard that the paper was wrapped around. All you have to do is break off a solid piece of it and run it through some water. May not be the most comfortable thing, but it’s probably your best option.
  • The Shower: Are you at your house? Do you have a little time to spare? Get up and use your shower, especially if you needed to already. The water can act as a substitute for your missing TP.
  • Extra Clothes Lying Around: If you had the good fortune of wearing something you don’t care about (and we mean REALLY don’t care about) then you can use the shirt off your back. You should also try scanning around the bathroom to see if there are any extra clothes or washcloths that you wouldn’t mind throwing away.
  • Old Magazines/Newspaper: If you have anyone in your house who’s a fan of reading in the bathroom you’ll thank them later. Take this time to realize that this is what the old pioneers used to use every single day.
  • Bidets: If you’re trying to swear off buying toilet paper all together then maybe you should consider installing a bidet in your toilet. Popular in places such as Europe, Latin America, and East Asia bidets use a stream of water for post-use cleaning instead of traditional toilet paper.

While it may be tempting to use wet wipes, remember that they are not an acceptable toilet paper substitute. They can cause damage to yours the the municipality’s plumbing systems.

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