Alternatives To Toilet Paper: A Coronavirus Survival Kit

I’m writing this in March 2020 during the ramp up of the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) worldwide outbreak. It’s difficult to determine where this will go, or what it will look like when you are reading this. One thing that is already abundantly clear though, is that human beings seem to think that hoarding toilet paper is one of the best responses when faced with such great uncertainty. Here are some alternatives to toilet paper that might just help beyond the craziness we are currently experiencing.

Alternatives to Toilet Paper

Like me, you might be wondering what you’ll do when your own supply of toilet paper runs out and the shelves are still bare. One option is to try shopping on-line for toilet paper. Certainly the market there is shifting rapidly also but there still seems to be quite a number of options available – let’s hope that the prices remain reasonable.

There are, of course, other alternatives to toilet paper. I have read some articles that list ridiculous options (such as banana leaves or rope) but I wanted to present some very realistic options that will help you get through this crisis; we have enough to worry about without thinking too hard about toilet hygiene.



Bidets were already seeing a rise in popularity before the Great Toilet Paper Hoarding of 2020. They are convenient, effective, efficient, hygienic, comfortable, and good for the environment. They are one of the best alternatives to toilet paper whose value will continue on past our current situation.

Bidet Attachments. These are the simplest, and least expensive, option for quickly adding a bidet into your bathroom. Bidet attachments fit under your existing toilet seat, plumb into the existing water supply, and provide basic bidet functions such as directional spray control and water pressure.

We named the Luxe Bidet Neo 120 as our absolute best pick; you can read about other models in our article to see the differences between them all.

Toilet Seat Bidets. One level up from bidet attachments are toilet seat bidets. These replace your existing toilet seat and have more features included. They usually have forward and rear washing nozzles, directional spray control, and water pressure modulation also.

The Genie Bidet came out on top for value and features. This article also includes tips on what to consider when choosing a bidet for your family.

Electric Bidets. If you’re looking for a premium alternative to toilet paper, then an electric toilet seat bidet is where it’s at. Warm water washing, a heated toilet seat, and warm air drying bring this bidet to the next level.

The BioBidet BLISS may change your toilet game forever and may be the best thing to come out of this toilet paper shortage yet.

Other Paper Products

Paper Towel

Of course, we can use other paper products as alternatives to toilet paper. Paper towels can be cut in half or quarters and perform decently as a substitute. Don’t flush this though; plumbing and septic systems are not designed to handle this type of paper though so be careful to dispose in a garbage can rather than flushing.

Paper Napkins

Paper napkins are another good paper product that can be used as toilet paper. Again, be careful not to flush these especially if they are heavily coloured or patterned as they will not break down in the same way that toilet paper does and may cause trouble downstream.

Facial Tissue

Probably the best alternative to toilet paper is facial tissue. It’s a bit more delicate than the other options so can be flushed; the downside is that tissues are not as strong as toilet paper so you may need to use more. Try to flush only the soiled tissues and consider putting the not visibly soiled tissues in the garbage to avoid overwhelming your system.

Cloth Rags

In the same way that we can use cloth diapers for babies, we can use cloth rags as an alternative to toilet paper. You can cut up old t-shirts, towels, dishrags etc into squares and store them near the toilet. Place a bucket with a mixture of water and baking soda nearby for the soiled rags; wash them daily to keep everything neat and clean.


Using a sponge along with cloth rags is a great combo. A wet sponge can offer a better cleaning experience and then the rags can be used to make sure everything is dry.

Interesting Times Indeed

These are interesting times; ‘social distancing’ is a thing that most of us didn’t even know about a week ago. Let’s be kind to each other, find ways to cope the best we can, and manage where we have to.


Toilet Paper Alternatives