Why Toilet Paper is Used Instead of Water?

Are you wondering why some countries use toilet paper instead of water? The U.S.A., Europe, as well as many East Asian countries, prefer the use of toilet paper. On the other hand, most counties in South East Asia, as well as parts of Southern Europe, use water.

Why toilet paper is used instead of water? There are many reasons for using toilet paper, which includes climate and culture. Countries that use toilet paper are cold for a good part of the year, and while we are now living in a century blessed with water heating, the habit of using toilet paper has been passed down. Culture is also another reason. The use of toilet paper has been going on for so long that it is difficult for people to change their lifestyles.

Aside from climate and culture, what are the other reasons why toilet paper is used instead of water? Are there are health risks that can result from using toilet paper? What are the benefits of using water as an alternative to toilet paper and vice versa? Check out the rest of the post for more information.

Why Toilet Paper is Used Instead of Water?
Image by renateko from Pixabay

Little Interest in Bidets

Numerous bidet companies have tried to market their products in North America advertising the different benefits that people can get from it. However, North American consumers are not that interested in purchasing bidets unless they need one immediately.

According to Rose George, author of The Big Necessity: The unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters, “The toilet in North America is not seen as an upgradable item in the home.” She also added that “You only get a new toilet if you move or if your toilet breaks. There has been some change in the industry at marketing a toilet as a desirable, upgradable object rather than what is known as a ‘distress purchase,’ but it’s slow-going.”

According to research made by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, About twenty-two percent of bathroom designers saw requests for bidets in American homes in 2015. However, the group skews towards the higher-end markets.

History Plays a Big Part in The Use of Toilet Paper

America is founded by the Europeans who traveled across the seas to search for a “new world.” The country adopted many customs from the Europeans which includes the use of toilet paper.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Englishmen first encountered bidets in Paris where they went to lead an exciting lifestyle. Bidets are mostly used and often associated with brothels. Thus, considered them to be dirty. This notion has passed down to the Americans.

✅ Video – A Brief History of Toilet Paper

In the video below, the history guy talks about the history of toilet paper. Where did it come from? How is it invented? Toilet paper has become indispensable, especially to western countries, but most have forgotten how it was invented. The history guy shares a brief discussion regarding the creation and the evolution of toilet paper. Check out the video below for more information.

Why American Do Not Use Bidets

The American Bidet Company took another chance in introducing the bidet to Americans in 1964. They have combined the toilet seat with a spritzing function. Arnold Cohen, the founder of the company created the device for his ailing father. According to a study, bidet bathing can help in healing hemorrhoids, rashes, and other irritations.

Cohen also made it his mission to “Changing the habits of a nation, weaning us off the Charmin.” On the other hand, Cohen struggled to broadcast his message for what he called the Sitz bath. He said, “I installed thousands of my seats all over the suburbs of New York … but advertising was a next-to-impossible challenge,” He also added, “Nobody wants to hear about Tushy Washing 101.”

The Toilegami

The hotel toilet paper folding or toilegami is a common practice done by hotels all over the world to assure their guests that the bathroom has been cleaned. The common fold involves creating a triangle or “V” shape from the first sheet on a toilet paper roll. The two corners of the sheet are tucked behind the paper. It will form a point at the end of the roll.

According to Susan Blackmore, a British science writer, toilet paper folding has become a worldwide phenomenon not just in fancy places or first-world places. She also said that the reason why it is practiced everywhere is because of the classic example of how specific ideas manage to catch on and spread in ways that resemble biological replication.

According to James P. McCauley, executive director of the International Association of Holiday Inns, “Hotels want to give their guests the confidence that the bathroom has been cleaned since the last guest used the room.” Toilegami has become a worldwide trend.

✅ Video – Toilet Paper Origami Leaf

In the video below, Jenny shared how to fold an origami leaf using toilet paper. According to her, it is a nice way to surprise your guests or your friends when they visit your house and use your bathroom. Check out the easy and simple instructions on how to create the leaf origami. Watch the video below for the demonstration.

What Are the Water-Based Techniques to Choose From?

Many countries across the world use water as an alternative to toilet paper. An alternative technique when using water to clean your bottom is the lota. It is a water vessel that resembles a teapot. The lota exists for over two thousand years. It is a classic water vessel still used today. Another option that you can have is the bidet. It is a toilet that features an extended wand or arm that comes out at the touch of a button.

The recent innovation is the bidet shower. You can find it on the right side of the toilet, where it is easy to reach. By squeezing the trigger, a high-pressure jet of water comes out and directed to where you need it. Check out this post for more alternatives to toilet paper.

Water VS Toilet Paper

Is water more hygienic than toilet paper? Check out the comparison below.


  • Water is considered to be hygienic because all the poop and urine get washed off leaving a clean bottom.
  • Using water will leave no poop-y smell in the underwear. No matter how you scrub using a toilet paper, there is always some residual smell left behind.
  • Using clean water will reduce the chance of infection that toilet paper causes when one forgets to wipe from the front to the back.
  • Water provides less friction against the skin. Excessive wiping of toilet paper can irritate and can damage the skin.
  • Using water is cheaper and you do not have to spend a fortune just to buy toilet paper.

Toilet Paper

  • It is easy to carry, and one does not have to touch the poop when using toilet paper.
  • Using toilet paper will not get rid of the smell that comes from the pool and it will leave a residual smell into the underwear.
  • Wiping with toilet paper does not remove all of the poop and urine which can lead to rectal and genital infections.
  • Toilet paper can aggravate various health issues like diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids, anal fissure, and rectal itching.

Check out this post that discusses whether using toilet paper or water is more hygienic for more tips and information.

What is the Best Alternative to Toilet Paper?

The best alternative to toilet paper is water. Not only is water hygienic, but it will also improve your health. Toilet paper is dry and rough regardless of the percentage of celluloses included in its creation. However, the surface of the hand is softer, and adding water will result in a frictionless wiping. Using toilet paper can lead to skin issues depending on how sensitive your skin is. Water is also ideal for those who are suffering from hemorrhoids and other rectal problems.


You have reached the end of this post that dicusses why toilet paper is used instead of water. There are many reasons why toilet paper is used most, especially by westerners. If you live in the western hemisphere, the question of whether to use water or toilet paper will somehow remain unresolved. On the other hand, this will give you the chance to choose a method that would benefit you and your household the most. Thank you for reading!

Recent Posts