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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Do Italians not use toilet paper? ›
But when faced with the prospect of a shortage, Italians knew there were alternatives. After pooping, Italians use toilet paper on their butt, but not obsessively so. The person will get themselves clean enough then slide themselves from the toilet seat to sit on the bidet and get extra-specially clean.Do they use toilet paper in Africa? ›
Yet 70% of the world's population doesn't use toilet paper at all. Big areas of southern Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia use water instead.Do Europeans not use toilet paper? ›
While Europeans do use toilet paper, WCs may not always be well stocked. If you're averse to the occasional drip-dry, carry pocket-size tissue packs (easy to buy in Europe) for WCs sans TP.Do the Japanese use toilet paper? ›
Toilet paper is used in Japan, even by those who own toilets with bidets and washlet functions (see below). In Japan, toilet paper is thrown directly into the toilet after use. However, please be sure to put just the toilet paper provided in the toilet.Why do Mexicans not put toilet paper in the toilet? ›
In Mexico, if there is a septic tank, it is probably far smaller than those in the United States—especially if it is in rural areas. Therefore, flushing toilet paper in Mexico would require the septic tank to be cleaned more frequently.Why do Greeks not have toilet paper? ›
So, why can't you flush toilet paper in Greece? Well, the country's plumbing system is not designed to handle large amounts of paper. The plumbing pipes are narrow, and paper or other waste materials would clog most Greek toilets, including those at rooms, hotels and restaurants.What countries don't flush toilet paper? ›
While Americans in particular are used to flushing their used toilet paper down the pipe, they must break that habit if they are traveling to Turkey, Greece, Beijing, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Bulgaria, Egypt and the Ukraine in particular. Restrooms will have special waste bins to place used toilet paper.Does Russia use toilet paper? ›
"Sandpaper"-like toilet paper is still in use in some toilets in Russia and Eastern Europe. Yes, the soft stuff is available for general purchase. The gray-to-brownish Soviet-issue toilet paper is as bad as the stereotype - to varying degrees.Do people in China use toilet paper? ›
Unlike in developed countries, most public toilets in China do not provide toilet paper onsite and users must bring their toilet paper. Moreover, an open waste bin is placed in each user's cubicle to collect used toilet paper and tissues.What religion Cannot use Toiletpaper? ›
Millions of Muslims and Hindus around the world were bowled over by this need to buy toilet paper since they typically wash their backsides with water. According to Sahih al-Bukhari, one of the six significant Hadith collections in Sunni Islam, the left hand should be used for anal ablution after defecation.
Why do Americans still use toilet paper? ›
In America, we use toilet paper for our hygiene, like cleaning up after using the bathroom, cleaning and clearing our noses, and more. Toilet paper is cheap, useful, and practical in our culture.Do French people use toilet paper? ›
If you were 'today years old' when you learned that the French people prefer their toilet paper pink, you're not alone. But why is pink such a popular choice in France, I hear you ask. Well, if we rewind a little, to around the 1960's, France started using recycled paper to manufacture their loo rolls.Do Filipinos use toilet paper? ›
Filipinos use the tabo in addition to or instead of toilet paper to wash after using the bathroom. Not all toilets in the Philippines have an automatic flush, so instead, a timbâ (generally a plastic pail with a metal handle) and a tabò kept floating inside it is used.Do Korean use toilet paper or water? ›
Do they use toilet paper or water in Korea? The people of this culture use water to clean themselves when necessary. China, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, and Taiwan: In most Asian countries, it is very difficult to find toilet paper, even in stores. Some hotels may have it available in the guestrooms.Does Canada use toilet paper? ›
A new study has revealed that the average Canadian uses 630 km of toilet paper in their lifetime, putting the country in 11th place when it comes to global TP usage.What do Egyptians use for toilet paper? ›
Modern Egyptian Toilets
Today, you'll find modern squat toilets, but instead of toilet paper, rinsing with water is the norm. In fact, using toilet paper is seen by many to be unsanitary, as the paper can stick to you and do a poor job of cleaning things up.
In the majority of Asian countries, the water management process is not as nice as compared to the West. Due to the sanitary issues it may cause, flushing toilet paper should be avoided. This is the result of why people there commonly use water bowls, bidets, or bidet showers in place of paper.Why can't you flush toilet paper in Dominican Republic? ›
Can you flush the toilet paper in the Dominican Republic? No! This is probably the hardest thing to get used to when you are visiting the DR. Because the septic system cannot handle the toilet paper, you will clog the pipes if you accidentally flush too much of it (definitely not a good plan!).Are there cultures that don't use toilet paper? ›
Bidet. France, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Argentina, Venezuela, and Spain all use bidets, they'll often have toilet paper available in public spaces for tourists, but homes would all have bidets installed. Japan is the one Asian stand-out in that they adopted bidets rather than other ways of washing the bum.Can you flush toilet paper in Cuba? ›
Many locations will also not have a high standard of running water. You will not necessarily be allowed to flush toilet paper or have taps to wash your hands. It's advisable to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser wherever you go.
Can you flush toilet paper Portugal? ›
Re Toilet paper their are some bars & restaurants who will have notices asking you to not flush paper down the toilet but use the bin provided, this is because their sanitation system will be on a pump/macerator and paper etc will block the pump and stop it working. if there are no notices displayed use as normal.Do Germans flush their toilet paper? ›
Toilet paper belongs into the toilet unless your sitting in an automobile caravan. Never throw tampons, sanitary towels or similar materials in the toilet but use the pedal bin.Can you put toilet paper in the toilet in Brazil? ›
Because of this you are not permitted to flush anything that did not first pass through your body down the toilet. This includes, but is not limited to: toilet paper, tissues, condoms, your dead fish, and vomit (because technically it didn't pass through).Do Romanians flush toilet paper? ›
The norm in Romania is toilet paper in the trash bin.Do people in India use toilet paper? ›
Squat toilets in India don't use toilet paper. Instead, they use water to rinse areas that come into contact with waste. Because toilet paper isn't used, you'll typically find a spray hose or a bucket of water in its place.Does Australia use toilet paper? ›
Do they use toilet paper in Australia? Because despite Australians' newfound passion for TP, it's actually pretty gross when you think about it. Yes, we're all used to our Western method of post-bathroom cleansing, which involves large wads – folded or scrunched – of this increasingly rare commodity.How do you dry after a bidet? ›
Pat dry with toilet paper
Since you're already clean from your bidet, you won't need much toilet paper to do so–just enough to remove any excess water. Use a gentle pat-dry motion instead of a wipe to avoid any irritation. That's all there is to it.
In the UK, most people use toilet paper to wipe themselves after they use the toilet. If you use toilet paper, only use what is necessary to clean yourself. Do not take reams and reams of toilet paper because it is wasteful and it can block the toilet (see below).What country wipes with their hands? ›
Wiping buttocks by hand
In the Republic of Sudan, a Muslim country in eastern Africa 10,000 kilometers away from Japan, it is common to wash hands before 5 daily prayers, after a meal and during excretion. During excretion, the left hand is used to wipe the buttocks.
This is a particular problem on the Sabbath – Judaism's holiest day running from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Orthodox Jews are forbidden from doing anything that's considered work – even using a deodorant. And that makes Sabbath prayers in packed synagogues a very smelly affair.
Why can't Indians use toilet paper? ›
India: Tourists are often surprised to learn that toilet paper is not easily accessible here. While you may find toilet paper in hotels and some stores in tourist spots, most homes and public places don't have them stocked. The people of this culture use water to clean themselves when necessary.Why Westerners don't use water in toilet? ›
One of the reasons some countries have always favoured toilet paper, it appears, is the climate. Most countries in Northern Europe are cold for a good part of the year, and although we live in the 21st century and water heating is available today, it's just a habit that's been passed down the ages.What did China use for toilet paper? ›
Toilet Paper and beyond in China
These are wooden – often bamboo – sticks vaguely shaped like a spatula. People would wrap a cloth around the end before they scraped/wiped. Along with these wooden sticks, the Chinese were the first people to use toilet paper.
Bidets haven't ever been widely embraced in American culture. A common origin story for this reluctance is that bidets were seen as lascivious because they were used in brothels as a form of emergency contraception.Do people in Greece use toilet paper? ›
In most places throughout Greece you can't put toilet paper down the toilet. Instead, you must put your toilet paper in the bin beside the loo. So long as the bins are tightly closed and emptied daily, the health risks are minimal to anyone who uses this method.Do bathrooms in Italy have toilet paper? ›
Usually, public toilets in Italy have toilet paper and soap holders but they tend to be empty as not replenished nearly as often as needed.Why do toilets in Germany have a shelf? ›
Advantages: Energy costs in Germany are much higher than in the United States, which includes the cost of water. Therefore, the shelf toilets were designed to use much less water than their American counterparts - hence the shelf.How do Koreans use toilet paper? ›
You have to flush toilet paper. It's water-soluble so there's no need to worry about clogging. But other bathrooms in restaurants and cafes usually ask people to throw toilet paper into the trash can due to low water pressure. You can often see a notice on the bathroom walls.Do Americans use toilet paper instead of water? ›
FYI, toilet paper is preferred across Europe, USA and many East Asian countries. Most countries in Southeast Asia, as well as parts of Southern Europe, favour the use of water.Is toilet paper an American thing? ›
They were invented in 1857 by a New York entrepreneur named Joseph Gayetty, who claimed his sheets prevented hemorrhoids. Gayetty was so proud of his therapeutic bathroom paper that he had his name printed on each sheet.
Which countries use squat toilets? ›
Squat toilets are common in many Asian countries, including China and India. They are also widespread in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Myanmar, Iran and Iraq. They can be found in nations like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Singapore.Why can't I flush toilet paper in Korea? ›
3 Don't Flush Your Toilet Paper
For many westerners, flushing the toilet paper in the toilet is just a given. But there are several countries throughout the world where that luxury is just not an option due to older-style plumbing systems. If you flush your toilet paper in South Korea, you risk clogging the toilet.
The same applies in Vietnam, where you'll often see a sign in toilets asking patrons not to flush toilet paper down the toilet. Primarily attributed to the inadequate plumbing systems and the threat of blockage, there will be a bidet shower (or bum gun) on hand to wash your derriere.Do you wipe before bidet? ›
When you first use a bidet, clean off with toilet paper first before attempting the bidet spray. You don't need to use soap to use a bidet. Some people do use the bidet like a mini-shower after a bowel movement, sexual intercourse, or for freshening up, but it isn't a requirement.How do you use a toilet in China? ›
Face forward and try to let your pants down while ensuring that the ends aren't touching the floor (hopefully you've rolled your cuffs.) There are grooved places for your feet on either side of the toilet. Try to get somewhere in the middle, feet flat on the floor, and aim for the potty. Just like that.Do people use toilet paper in Italy? ›
France, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Argentina, Venezuela, and Spain: Instead of toilet paper, people from these countries (most of them from Europe) usually have a bidet in their washrooms. A bidet like a toilet, but also includes a spout that streams water like a water fountain to rinse you clean.What culture does not flush toilet paper? ›
While Americans in particular are used to flushing their used toilet paper down the pipe, they must break that habit if they are traveling to Turkey, Greece, Beijing, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Bulgaria, Egypt and the Ukraine in particular. Restrooms will have special waste bins to place used toilet paper.Can you throw toilet paper in Italy? ›
If you see an wastebasket near the toilet with used toilet paper in it, that's a sign that the sewer system isn't up to snuff. Put your used TP in the wastebasket instead of flushing it. (The rule of thumb in those places: Don't put anything in the toilet unless you've eaten it first.)Do people in Russia use toilet paper? ›
"Sandpaper"-like toilet paper is still in use in some toilets in Russia and Eastern Europe. Yes, the soft stuff is available for general purchase. The gray-to-brownish Soviet-issue toilet paper is as bad as the stereotype - to varying degrees.Why do German toilets have a shelf? ›
Advantages: Energy costs in Germany are much higher than in the United States, which includes the cost of water. Therefore, the shelf toilets were designed to use much less water than their American counterparts - hence the shelf.
Is there toilet paper in Portugal? ›
Founded in 1939, Renova is a Portuguese brand that has transformed the way we look at toilet paper!Do they use toilet paper in China? ›
Unlike in developed countries, most public toilets in China do not provide toilet paper onsite and users must bring their toilet paper. Moreover, an open waste bin is placed in each user's cubicle to collect used toilet paper and tissues.What nationality does not use toilet paper? ›
France, Portugal, Italy, Japan, Argentina, Venezuela, and Spain: Instead of toilet paper, people from these countries (most of them from Europe) usually have a bidet in their washrooms. A bidet like a toilet, but also includes a spout that streams water like a water fountain to rinse you clean.Do Middle Eastern people not use toilet paper? ›
It's standard practice in the Muslim world to wash yourself with water after having gone to the toilet, rather than using paper, which is why in the Middle East you'll find TP a rarity.Why do American bathrooms have gaps? ›
They are there to replace soap, paper towels, maintain hand dryers, clean and sanitize fixtures and doors. So, leaving space for custodians and maintenance crews makes them happy. These openings also allow for air circulation in the restroom. With all the cleaning products, this may not seem like a big one, but it is.Do Germans throw toilet paper in the toilet? ›
As with every rule there is an exception. Toilet paper belongs into the toilet unless your sitting in an automobile caravan. Never throw tampons, sanitary towels or similar materials in the toilet but use the pedal bin.Why are there no toilet seats in France? ›
“The U-shaped seat in public restrooms is a requirement of IAPMO's Uniform Plumbing Code. ... The design “eliminates an area that could be contaminated with urine” and also “eliminates the user's genital contact with the seat.” There is a sensible exception to the Uniform Plumbing Code requirement.”