Is Toilet Paper or Water More Hygienic?

Is using toilet paper more hygienic than using water? It is a typical western practice to use toilet paper rather than water when wiping their butt, but people often wonder which is a better choice. Toilet paper has become synonymous with pooping, but is it always the best choice?

Is toilet paper or water more hygienic? According to doctors, toilet paper is not the healthiest way to clean up after pooping. It will not completely clean your butt and will only smear around the fecal matter in the area. On the other hand, using water is more hygienic and will also cause less injury to your butt.

Why is water more hygienic as compared to toilet paper? Are there any injuries or health problems that one can get from using toilet paper? If there are, what are these injuries, and how can one avoid them? Read the rest of the post for more information.

is toilet paper or water more hygienic
Image by Thomas Malyska from Pixabay

Toilet Paper Leaves Behind Fecal Traces

Using only toilet paper when wiping your butt can leave feces behind. This can lead to various health conditions like infections and UTIs. Toilet paper moves feces but it does not completely remove it.

Toilet paper removes the feces, but using water will clean everything thoroughly. It is disgusting to touch the feces directly, so it is best to first clean with a tissue and use water for thorough cleaning. Make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water afterward.

Excess Use of Toilet Paper Can Cause Health Issues

Using toilet paper in excess can cause severe damage to the sensitive skin around your butt. This practice can also lead to health problems like urinary tract infections (UTIs) and anal fissures. Washing with water is a healthier practice.

Is Toilet Paper or Water More Hygienic
Photo by Kev Bation on Unsplash

You can also harm your butt by wiping it too aggressively. It can chaff your butt, and it will take some time to heal. It can be very uncomfortable, especially if you are sitting down. No matter how soft manufacturers claim their toilet paper to be, it can still chaff your soft-skinned butts. The skin on the anus is quite delicate and thin. Dry toilet paper can be abrasive, and wiping it many times or in any harsh actions can lead to painful tears and bleeding.

Moreover, some toilet paper contains bleach. Chlorine bleach can be toxic, and if accumulated, it can lead to various health conditions. Using water is a safer and gentler way to clean your butt.

✅ Video – Toilet Paper or Water to Clean Butt

The video below talks about the difference between using toilet paper and water to clean your butt. For a demonstration, she uses a makeup foundation and a mirror. She put a dab of foundation on the mirror and wipes it with a tissue. The tissue merely smears the foundation in the mirror without wiping it completely.

Next, she uses wet wipes to clean the mirror. It is easier to get rid of the foundation using wet tissue. She added that if you do not have wet tissue, you can also water to wipe your butt. For more information, you can watch the video below.

Using Water Can Prevent Hemorrhoids and Other Genital Problems

If you bleed while you wipe, using water that comes from a bidet is a great alternative. Many people are dealing with hemorrhoids. The research behind using bidets for hemorrhoids is not that extensive but so far, the results are positive.

According to a study of electronic bidets in 2011, healthy volunteers found that low-to-medium warm water pressure can relieve pressure on the anus like a traditional warm sitz bath. Warm water can promote blood circulation in the skin around the anus.

Wiping is Not Enough

In case of persistent or severe diarrhea, it can be difficult to keep the anus clean especially if it is sore and red. Using toilet paper can cause pain and can lead to tears and bleeding. Using a bidet to spray residue from the skin is more soothing, especially because you can choose cool to lukewarm water in rinsing your butt.

Wiping using toilet paper is not enough because it does not thoroughly remove fecal matter. There are many ways to clean your butt using water, which include a bidet, an electronic bidet toilet seat, a tabo, and a bidet shower spray. You will need to install the fixture in your existing toilet, but it will provide a lot of benefits not only to your health but to the environment as well.

Why is Water More Hygienic than Toilet Paper?

Water is more hygienic than toilet paper because it washes off all feces and urine and does not leave a bad smell in our underwear.  On the other hand, wiping with toilet paper leaves a residual smell behind.  Moreover, during menstruation, doctors recommend women use water to avoid the risk of infection. Using water also prevents friction against the skin which can often be caused by wiping too much using toilet paper.

Water Thoroughly Cleans

One of the reasons why water is more hygienic as compared to toilet paper is because it thoroughly cleans. You can make sure that no traces of fecal or bacteria are left. The downside of using toilet paper is that it does not clean thoroughly no matter how you wipe it. Adding soap into the water is also ideal to kill all the bacteria.

Water is More Comfortable

Using water is more comfortable and gentle as compared to using toilet paper. If you have skin irritations, you will be more comfortable when you use water instead of scrubbing your bum with toilet paper which can increase your symptoms.  Take note that toilet paper can aggravate itches.

Water is Sustainable

As compared to toilet paper, water is a more sustainable option. It is easier to get as compared to toilet paper.  Toilet paper supplies can easily run out in stores. Aside from making sure that you are thoroughly clean after using the toilet, water is also more eco-friendly as compared to using toilet paper.

Why is Using Water Environmental Friendly?

Using toilet paper can clog the plumbing and force the sewer system and water treatment to work much harder. If you are only using toilet paper to clean yourself, that means using a lot of toilet paper. The average American uses an average of 3 rolls of toilet paper a week. The whole country goes through about 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper a year.

Is Toilet Paper or Water More Hygienic
Photo by visuals on Unsplash

About 140 liters of water is spent just to make one roll of toilet paper. Moreover, making toilet paper also involves pulping millions of trees and using tonnes of chlorine. You also need to consider the amount of electricity that goes into processing toilet paper. Using water is environmentally friendly as compared to using toilet paper. You can also check out this guide to using water instead of toilet paper. We have shared tips and ideas that you can refer to.

✅ Video – Using water instead of toilet paper (Sustainable Zero Waste Options)

In the video below, Julie shares why she does not use toilet paper and uses water instead. Her first reason was that using water saves money, it is environmentally friendly, and she finds it gross to wipe using toilet paper. She does not have to worry about wondering if she has toilet paper while she is using the toilet.

She is also able to help the environment by not using toilet paper. Moreover, she finds it more hygienic to use water. She installed a bidet on her toilet, and she has been using water ever since. Julie also shares the kind of bidet that she is using and the many benefits that she gets from it. Watch the video below to find out more about sustainable zero-waste options by using water.

Is Bidet Ideal for Using Water in Cleaning Your Butt?

One of the ideal ways to clean your butt with water is with the use of a bidet. Washing with water is gentler as compared to wiping using dry toilet paper. The skin around your anus is tender with lots of nerve endings. Wiping with toilet paper can irritate and damage the area further, especially for those who have irritable bowel syndrome, those who have given birth, or those who underwent surgery.

Moreover, the soothing water that comes from the bidet helps in relieving the discomfort that is associated with hemorrhoids and constipation. The bidet is most beneficial to pregnant women. Women who are a pregnant increase in weight and the shape of their body also changes. It makes it awkward to reach back and wipe the butt area. The bidets offer an excellent cleaning solution. Simple turn on the prayer and let the water do the cleaning.

What are the Health Issues from Excessive Use of Toilet Paper?

Excessive use of toilet paper can lead to various health issues like hemorrhoids, which can occur in people of all ages. Anal fissures can also develop with the excessive wiping of the anus. Moreover, Pruitus ani, which is an itchy butt, can be a result of poor hygiene. Take note that when you are wiping your butt, it will not thoroughly remove fecal matter. The remaining fecal matter can lead to irritation, which can be uncomfortable.

Another health issue that comes from excessive use of toilet paper is UTI. Urinary tract infections can be the result of poor hygiene. Women are prone to getting UTIs. If you are a healthy person, but you have poor butt health, any of the mentioned conditions can develop. It is the reason why it is essential to maintain clean hygiene, especially when cleaning fecal matter from your butt.

Is It Hygienic to Use Toilet Paper?

As compared to water, toilet paper is less hygienic.  There are instances in that toilet paper can cause irritations and allergies. Some toilet paper contains chemicals that can irritate your skin when you use it. Aside from that, too much scrubbing is not good for your skin.

Does Toilet Paper or Water Remove Bacteria?

Water does an excellent job in removing bacteria in your bum as compared to toilet paper. The toilet paper is dry and does not thoroughly cleaned. No matter how hard you wipe, there are still traces of fecal matter, bacteria, and odor left behind.


Using water is more hygienic as compared to using toilet paper. On the other hand, some people find it easy and convenient to use toilet paper. Westerners have used toilet paper all their lives, and not everyone has a bidet at home. However, if you want to maintain clean hygiene and avoid health issues that come with using toilet paper, you should use water.

The idea can be foreign at first, most especially for those who used toilet paper since they were small. However, if you are open to change, you can easily take baby steps and change from using toilet paper to water, which is more hygienic. Thank you for reading!

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