Cultures That Don’t Use Toilet Paper

If you are living on the western side of the world then you are used to using toilet paper after using the toilet. On the other hand, some cultures do not use toilet paper. If you have done some traveling around the world, then you probably have noticed that bathrooms are not usually what you are used to. You will find different things in the bathroom of every country that you visit and some of those may appear strange at first sight. For instance, some have toilet paper while others have a bidet.

What are the cultures that don’t use toilet paper? Most countries in Asia especially the South East do not use toilet paper. Moreover, some European and South American countries use a bidet instead of toilet paper.

Why do some cultures do not use toilet paper? What do other cultures use instead of toilet paper? What did people use before toilet paper? These are some of the questions that we will answer in this article. For more tips and information, you can check out the rest of the article below.

Cultures That Don’t Use Toilet Paper
Image by Leonid Portnoy from Pixabay

What are the Countries that do not Use Toilet Paper?

Many countries do not use toilet paper. Most countries in Asia use water to clean themselves after using the toilet. Below are some of the countries that do not use toilet paper.

France, Portugal, and Italy

In these counties, they have a bidet on their toilet. It features water jets that are used instead of toilet paper. Bidets are common in households and hotels. Some bidets are separate from the toilet while others have a toilet and bidet in one

Korea, China, and India

These Asian countries use water to clean themselves after using the toilet. While you may find toilet paper in hotels and stores, most households do not have them in stock. People of these cultures use water to clean themselves after using the toilet.


In this country, there is often no water on the toilet bowl and they are using a bidet instead of toilet paper. There are two toilet bowls in the public bathroom. One is where you do your business, and the other one is meant for cleaning your bum.

Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan

These countries do not use toilet paper and it is also common in these Asian countries to use your leg muscle and squat when using the restroom. The toilet bowls are in the ground with steps on each side where you place your feet.

Egypt, Morocco, and Jordan

These countries use water in the toilet. Like the Asian culture, the restroom mainly consists of a hole in the floor and you have to squat over the hole. This option is considered healthier, safer, and more hygienic for the reason that you do not have to touch the toilet as you use it. Some households have a small shower for rinsing. On the other hand, most households do not use running water and mugs and cups, and cups are instead used to scoop water.

Why Some Cultures do Not Use Toilet Paper?

There are different reasons why some countries and cultures do not use toilet paper. These reasons are hygiene, and that the use of toilet paper can lead to health issues. Below are some of the reasons why some cultures do not use toilet paper.

Wiping is not Enough

Some cultures like India believe that it can be difficult to keep the anus clean by just wiping it with toilet paper. Using toilet paper can even cause tears and bleeding in cases where a person is suffering from severe diarrhea. Tissue paper does not remove fecal matter thoroughly and wiping is not enough. The best way to clean the butt is by using water.

Toilet Paper can Cause Health Problems

Excessive use of toilet paper can lead to health problems because it can damage the sensitive skin around the butt area. This can cause health problems to arise like anal fissures and UTI. Toilet paper can also chaff your butt which can be uncomfortable and take some time to heal. Also, some toilet paper contains bleach.

This can be toxic and can also lead to various health conditions. You can also check out this article titled, is toilet paper or water more hygienic? We have shared useful tips and information regarding the topic.

What do Other Cultures Use Instead of Toilet Paper?

Instead of toilet paper, other cultures use a bidet, toilet showers, the lota, and the tabo. For these cultures, water is considered the best option used in cleaning their butts after using the toilet. Check out the different methods below.


The bidet is a toilet with an extendable wand or arm that comes out at the touch of a button. It will squirt clean and warm water at the push of the button. There are different models of bidets that are available on the market. Some have remote controls while others use a blast of warm air to dry you off. You can easily install a bidet at home. They can be a bit expensive but they are worth the investment especially if tissue paper is unavailable.

Toilet Showers

Another alternative to toilet paper is the toilet shower. It is also called the bidet shower or the bum gun. They are attached to the right side of the toilet and are easy to reach. Toilet showers are convenient to use. As you squeeze its trigger, a high-pressure jet of water comes out and can be directed where you need it. You can also adjust the pressure of the water according to your preferences.


This water vessel is traditionally made from polished brass or copper but it is now mostly made in plastic. It resembles a teapot. To use it, you need to hold the handle and point it towards your bottom. Tip the lota so that water will come out.


This small plastic cup is used to scoop water and is commonly used in the Philippines. The tabo is originally made from bamboo or coconut but is now made from plastic. It has a handle and is usually seen with a bucket of water. To use the tabo, scoop water out of the bucket and pour it over your bottom. For more information about the different methods used as an alternative to toilet paper, you can check out this article that talks about the guide to using water instead of toilet paper.

✅ Video – Toilet Paper Alternatives

MJ Gordon shared the video below on her YouTube channel. She talked about the different alternatives that you can use when you run out of toilet paper. According to her, their family does not use toilet paper, and she is sharing simple and sanitary options of living without toilet paper.

She hopes that the information that she shared might help those who are looking for other options to use instead of toilet paper. Check out the video below for more information.

What Did People Use Before Toilet Paper?

Before the invention of toilet paper, there are different methods to clean the bottom after using the toilet. Ancient Greeks used pieces of clay for personal hygiene. The Romans use a sponge. Chinese people used random paper products to wipe their bottom. In colonial America, they are using corncobs. Today, we can enjoy the luxury of toilet paper and bidets, but they make do with what is readily available during those times.

Why Toilet Paper is Used Instead of Water?

There are different reasons why toilet paper is used instead of water, including the culture and climate. Most of the countries that use toilet paper have a cold climate, which prompts them to use toilet paper instead of water. Even now that water heating is available, toilet paper has been passed down to generations.

Culture also plays a big role. Some cultures are used to their method of washing their butts after using the toilet that changing them can be a bit uncomfortable. For more information about the topic, you can check out this article that discusses why toilet paper is used instead of water.

Why do Westerners Love to Use Toilet Paper?

In American culture, toilet paper is considered useful, cheap, and practical. Americans are the world leader in toilet paper consumption. The average American uses over 140 rolls of toilet paper every year. Every American household and the public restroom have toilet paper available. Toilet paper is used not only after using the bathroom but also in cleaning the noses, wiping hands, and many more. 

How Did People Wipe their Butts before Toilet Paper?

Before toilet paper is invented, many things are used for wiping after using the toilet. A sponge on a stick that is doused in vinegar or sea brine, used shards of broken ceramics, lace, wool, hemp, corn cob, leaves, grass, water, fruit skins, and even stones are some of the common things that are used by different cultures before toilet paper.

  • A sponge on a stick that is doused in vinegar or sea brine is used by Romans. It is also known as the tersorium. Romans also used a communal toilet which can have up to 80 cess holes. This means that the tersorium is passed around among 80 people.
  • According to research, ancient Greeks use shards of broken ceramics to wipe after using the toilet.
  • During the 16th century in France, wealthy people used lace, hemp, and wool to clean themselves after using the toilet.

✅ Video – What Did They Do Before Toilet Paper?

The Infographics Show shared the video below on YouTube. It discusses what people use before toilet paper. Check out the video below to find out more. Some of these things will surprise you.

Is it better to Wipe or Wash after Using the Toilet?

A lot of people would suggest using water after using the toilet because it is more hygienic. Using toilet paper will not completely remove fecal matter in the anus and. Moreover, water is gentler as compared to toilet paper. The excessive use of toilet paper can cause the skin around the anus to chaff, leading to health issues. Many people are using bidets and toilet showers because they feel that their bottoms are cleaner when they use water.

Can I Use Wet Wipes Instead of Toilet Paper?

Yes, you can use wet wipes instead of toilet paper. Some people may prefer using wet wipes instead of toilet paper because they feel cleaner after using them. You can use adult wet wipes if baby wipes are not available. On the other hand, wet wipes are more expensive than toilet paper.

What Percentage of the World Does Not Use Toilet Paper?

About 4 billion people or 70% to 75% of the world’s population do not use toilet paper. Countries across the US, Europe, as well as many East Asian countries prefer to use toilet paper. On the other hand, most Southeast Asian countries and parts of Southern Europe favor the use of water to clean themselves after using the toilet.

What Can I Use if I Have No Toilet Paper?

If you run out of toilet paper, alternatives that you can use includes baby wipes, flannel squares, bidet, portable bidets, sanitary pads, rags, or washcloths. These materials are easy to find and are efficient and comfortable to use.

Flannel Squares

One alternative that you can use if you run out of toilet paper is flannel squares. Measure and cut 8 inches by 8 inches of fabric squares that are made from cotton flannel. You can choose to throw away the flannel squares after use or you can wash, dry, and reuse them.

Baby Wipes

A good alternative is baby wipes. They are ideal for those who have sensitive skin because they do not cause irritation and do not leave lint. You can also use adult wet wipes. If you cannot find baby or adult wipes, you can try clean-up wipes. On the other hand, take note that while some wipes contain water or a trace of alcohol, some contain disinfectants like ammonia and bleach. Make sure to check the label before you use the product.


This is a small receptacle or bowl that can be used to rinse after using the toilet. Some bidets are designed to attach directly into the toilet while others are stand-alone pieces of furniture for the bathroom. It sprays water into your bum area to clean yourself.

Portable Bidet

Otherwise known as the cleansing bottles or Peri bottles, portable bidets are useful when you are traveling from home. It works like a bidet. Simply fill the bottle with water and squeeze it out to clean your backside.

Sanitary Pad

These are soft, absorbent, but are thicker as compared to traditional toilet paper. A little amount of sanitary pad is used to clean your backside. Reusable or cloth sanitary pads are also a good option. You can find soft and washable sanitary pads if you are comfortable in washing and reusing them. Take note that you should not flush any kind of sanitary pad down the toilet because it can block the drains and pipes.

Rags or Washcloths

You can also use rags or washcloths if toilet paper is not available. There are affordable washcloths that you can purchase in bulk. You can stock them for emergency use. The rags are washable and reusable. On the other hand, reusable washcloths can transmit infections from one family member to another since they can harbor bacteria according to the University of Arizona Office of Public Affairs. Make sure that you properly disinfect and sanitize rags and washcloths when reusing them.


You have reached the end of this article that talks about the different cultures that do not use toilet paper. As we have discussed above, there are different reasons why other cultures use water and other methods when cleaning their butt. For others, using water is more hygienic, and they do not feel that their bottoms are not completely clean just by using toilet paper. Moreover, other cultures are also used to their own cleaning butts methods after using the toilet. Thank you for reading!

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