alternatives to toilet paper

Alternatives to toilet paper ( Top 31 Alternatives )

You will probably never notice how important and useful toilet paper is until you run out of it or you find yourself in the middle of nowhere taking care of business. Luckily for you, there are many items that can be used instead of toilet paper.

The alternatives to toilet paper are water, cloth, cotton, bum gun, paper, bidet, wet wipes, family cloth, coffee filter, bamboo toilet paper, leaves, moss, snow, rocks, sponge, corn husks, cardboard tubes, menstrual pads, rope, your hand, socks, toilet paper spray, diapers, thimbleberry leaves, bolted lettuce, hazelnut leaves, cottonwood leaves, large-leaved aster, mullein leaves, and maple leaves.

If you are looking for something to replace your toilet paper with, then my personal recommendation is to use wet wipes which are biodegradable and contain natural aloe and Vitamin E Click here to check it out on

In an emergency situation the last thing you would think about is toilet paper. I have seen far too often preppers with tactical flashlights and other high-end gear, but when I ask them what kind of toilet paper they will use during SHTF they had no clue and most of them were thinking they would use anything on what they can lay their hands on at that time. On the other hand, there are people who live off the grid who know how important toilet paper is especially as they do not have access to normal toilets.

During an SHTF situation, it is vital that you keep up with your daily hygiene routine. Although most people will probably neglect their hygiene as they will be focused on surviving than cleaning their teeth or wiping themselves. The problem is that only after a couple of days of not wiping well enough or not washing your teeth you will start experiencing discomfort and you will put your health at risk.

Sooner or later you will have to think about what you can use as toilet paper if you do not have access to some toilet paper. One of the biggest reasons why people do not consider bringing toilet paper with them is that they can be fairly large and you could easily put something more useful in your bug out bag. Although if you take the cardboard out from the middle of the toilet paper and put some pressure on the sides of the toilet paper you will notice that it will occupy a lot less space.

If you look online you can even find tactical toilet papers, most of these come in tablet forms and you will have to add water to use them. The problem with these is that they need water, although when you are calculating how much water you should bring, but most people only take enough water for them to drink for 3 days, and not taking into account that they will need water for cooking and even for cleaning themselves. If you want to get a bugout bag, make sure to check my recent article and chose one which has personal hygiene items Best premade bug out bag ( Top 21 Premade Bug Out Bags ).

alternatives to toilet paper


Using water instead of toilet paper is a good idea if you have access to plenty of water. On the other hand, if you are nearby a lower or a creek you should use the water from here instead of your drinking water. The problem is that you will have to use your hands as a scrub yourself which most people will not be a fan of.


The best thing about cloth toilet paper is that you can use it even for starting a fire. Cloth toilet paper is fairly lightweight and if you compress them with enough force than they will occupy very little space. The main problem with them is that you will have to clean them fairly well, otherwise they will start to smell and might even get you sick eventually.


If you have some extra cotton, then you can use it as a toilet paper, the best thing about cotton is that you can simply throw it away after you have used it. Cotton is fairly lightweight so you could pack as much as you want, just make sure that you do not keep your bag near an open flame as cotton is fairly flammable.

Bum gun

A bum gun is fairly similar to a bidet and they are mostly used in Asian countries. Bum guns look like a shower hose with a specialized shower head attached to it, which you can use to clean yourself, people who have a bum gun rarely use toilet paper.


Most people who do not have toilet paper with them in an urban area will probably use paper as magazines and newspapers are fairly abundant, even after a global SHTF even, you will still have no problem finding some paper. In case of a world war erupting, then you probably be using everyday paper for a long time as toilet paper, for more information check out my recent article What would happen if world war 3 started? ( Top 8 Predictions ).


Having a bidet is considered by many a luxury item, although they are fairly common in Europe. During an SHTF you probably will not have any water so it might be useless, but under normal circumstances, the bidet is an excellent alternative to toilet paper. A bidet is similar to a fountain on how it works, as it only needs water.

Wet wipes

Wet wipes were actually created to be used for babies as their skin gets irritated fairly fast, although a lot of adults have started using wet wipes as they do have cleaning agents and some of them even have moisturizing agents in them.

Family cloth

If you want a zero waste toilet paper then a family cloth would probably be a good choice. The problem is that these are simple cloth rags which you use to clean yourself and then you have to clean the cloth itself, which probably isn’t the most hygienic thing in the world.

Coffee filter

Living without toilet paper can be fairly difficult, but you can use almost anything you have in your house, even coffee filters, just do not reuse the coffee filter for making coffee.

Bamboo toilet paper

For a couple of decades already people have been using bamboo as toilet paper, mainly because it is fairly easy to make paper out of bamboo. Bamboo toilet paper is fairly similar to normal toilet paper although their price is considerably higher.


If you are in the middle of a forest and you do not have toilet paper with you then your best alternative will be using leaves. Just make sure that the leaves which you will use are fairly clean and do not have any bugs on it, the last thing you would want is some bug crawling down there.


In some cases, moss is even better then leaves as a toilet paper, mostly because moss tends to retain a lot of water which will also help you clean yourself. Just make sure to check for small bugs and critters before using it.


During wintertime the last thing you would think of using as toilet paper is snow, but snow is actually a very good substitute if you do not have toilet paper, just make sure you do not eat the brown snow.


You can use rocks to clean your behind, just be careful to use one that has smooth edges and to sprinkle some water on it. Sprinkling it with water is vital especially during summertime as these rocks can get fairly hot.


Sponges have been used as toilet paper for centuries already, you just have to dip them in water before using them. You can either use synthetic sponges or natural sponges as both do the job.

Corn husks

Corn husks have also been used as toilet paper for centuries, the center of the corn husks is fairly soft to the touch, although the edges might be sharp enough to cut you, so be careful how you fold the corn husks when you are using them.

Cardboard tubes

Most toilet papers will have cardboard tubes, which you can actually use to clean yourself. Cardboard tubes are rolled up just like toilet paper, so grab a corner of the tube and start pulling down, this way you will unfold the tube into larger sized cardboard.

Menstrual pad

A lot of women use them when they are menstruating, but they are also great for wiping, especially if you have nothing else to wipe with.


You probably wouldn’t have thought of rope being an alternative to wet wipes or toilet paper. The truth is that rope has been used as toilet paper for a long time by sailors.

Your hand

When you simply have nothing to use as toilet paper then you will have to use your hand. Under no circumstances should you just let it be and not wipe, people will smell you from a mile away.


If you ever find yourself having to go to the bathroom and there is nothing which you can use to wipe, then you should look at your socks as these are excellent for wiping, although flushing them down the toilet might cause a blockage.

Toilet paper spray

Yes, you have read it correctly there is such a thing as toilet paper spray. Although the problem with it is that this is not an actual alternative to toilet paper, but a hydration agent mostly and you will have to spray it on your toilet paper to use it.


Diapers are excellent for wiping, although it will be a fairly expensive toilet paper alternative.

Thimbleberry leaves

This plant grows near small creeks and they are excellent for wiping, although you might misidentify them with the Devil’s club plant which has small thorns and this will cause you a lot of pain, so if you are not sure then it is better not to use it as a toilet paper. If you plan on living in the woods for long periods of time you will probably use leaves as toilet paper, for more information check out my recent article How to survive in the woods for a year? ( Can you ? ).

Hazelnut leaves

The hazelnut trees are fairly small, but you can still use them. When you touch the leaves you will notice small hairs on them, if the leave is fairly dry then do not use them as toilet paper as it will irritate your skin and break up into smaller pieces.

Bolted lettuce

If you want a fully organic toilet paper than you can use bolted lettuce, once the lettuce has bolted it no longer tastes good and you can use it as a toilet paper. Just make sure to check its texture first as some of them will have small hairs o them which will cause irritation.

Cottonwood leaves

Cottonwood leaves are not only good for wiping but also for bandaging small cuts and bruises, the leaves are fairly large and sturdy which is good both for wiping and even bandaging.

Large-leaved aster

Lumberjacks have been using the large-leaved aster for a long tie as toilet paper and some people even call it the lumberjack toilet paper. This plant can be found virtually in almost any forest in the US and Canada.

Mullein leaves

Mullein leaves are fairly large and they even have some absorbent properties due to the numerous small hairs found on the leaves, on the other hand, these small hairs can irritate the skin of people with sensitive skin.

Maple leaves

The best thing about using Maple leaves as toilet paper is that they are extremely easy to identify. The leaves are fairly large and unlike some other leaves, they do not have small thorns or hairs so you can use them fairly comfortably for wiping.

In conclusion

As you can see there are a lot of alternatives to toilet paper, some more useful than others. So if you are sitting on a toilet somewhere and you are searching the internet what you could use as a toilet paper than hopefully, I helped you out, ps use your socks if you can’t find anything reachable.

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