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National Toilet Paper Day: Top Toilet Paper Tips

Toilet paper! So timid a subject that shoppers in the late 1800’s asked for “Two, please” which was toilet paper wrapped in a brown paper bag. Toilet paper is a fairly modern invention developed in England by the British Perforated Paper Company and in America by the Scott Paper Company who introduced the Waldorf brand in the 1890’s.  Little has changed since its introduction except it’s now perforated, scented, embossed or colored and we are not timid when buying it.

I think it would be hard for most of us to imagine living without toilet paper.  Average Americans use over 100 rolls each year, not only in the toilet but for many other uses as well.  It is made from proportions of bleached kraft pulps and a creped process where the paper is dried on a cylinder and then scraped off. This softens the paper making it fairly weak and easy to disintegrate in water. Other processing materials include water, chemicals and bleaches.

Toilet paper has come a long way since the 1800’s and we all have our favorite brands and type.  Some people like softness, some like thickness; one, two, three-ply or Ultra.  Do you consider price per roll, absorbency, how well it dissolves, price, quality, is it green and coreless?

With so many brands on the market today, you should be able to buy any brand that will not clog your drains and septic tank. Consumer Reports tested 25 different toilet papers.  Charmin, Cottonelle and Quilted Northern, Kirkland Signature, Up & Up, Seventh Generation and Earth Essentials to name a few.  They used machines to check strength and how well the paper tore along the perforations.  A disintegration test determined how well a toilet paper broke down in a temperature and humidity-controlled room and sensory panelists sized up the softness.

I’m not here to tell you which toilet paper is the best choice for you, your plumbing or septic tank. Or, that these are very scientific findings about which toilet paper will not clog your toilet, but the brand that Consumer Reports found to be most toilet bowl friendly was White Cloud Ultra Soft and Thick toilet paper which flushed the competition. It is priced economically and its two-ply dissolved quickly when flushed.  Quilted Northern Ultra Plush came in second in the tests for softness and easy to tear. Other toilet papers also disintegrated in seconds, but Charmin’s Ultra Strong took the longest – more than a minute to break down.  As for the green toilet paper, none were great.  But, if that is a priority for you, Seventh Generation while not super-strong, rated very well for softness and excellent disintegration.

My toilet paper didn’t make their cut!  I personally prefer Cottonelle Clean Ripple. So now you know what one plumber’s family flushes down the toilet.  It all breaks down to what you prefer.  But PLEASE, never flush anything down your toilet, except toilet paper and that includes those sanitary wipes.

*Some material provided for this article by Consumer Reports

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