Not every culture uses toilet paper - many in Asia, for instance, favour water via a spray hose, while the bidet has made a successful global crossover from France.
First - why?
Angela Davis, creator of FrugalLivingNW said: "We wanted to explore different ways to go green."
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She and her family went without toilet paper for two weeks - instead, they used cloth that would be put in the washing machine - and it eventually stuck. She said: "We were spending about $136 a year. And the cost of wipes, I actually purchased the material for the wipes--other people who are much smarter than me just used old t-shirts or flannel sheets--so that cost was about $42 a year. And that included the cost of washing them two or three times a week, and the cost of the detergent, and also the cost of the water."
The concept of washing yours - and other people's - poo cloths may seem extreme (not to mention smelly) but the ladies say that as long as the cloth is washed in two to three days, it's not a problem. In fact, urine smells more than faeces.
Kathleen Quiring blogger at Becoming Peculiar says that she was inspired to use cloth after having a baby. She said: "I realised that if I can use them on the baby, why can I not use them on myself?"
When asked if washing the cloths - which uses electricity - is more environmentally sound, Makala Earley blogger at The Healthy Honeys says: "There are dioxins in toilet paper which is a chemical and once it is released in the environment it never goes away."
The big (job) question however is how gross can it get? To avoid spillage while tending to a poo, Makala has developed a method called the 'squatty potty'. She says; So you squat more, and when you wipe there is not much there. It helps to allow the bowel movements to pass through more smoothly. At a 90 degree angle it opens out and comes out more easier."