Mum hits back at 'outrage' after ditching toilet paper for rags

Turns out she might be on to something.

Cutting down the household budget is a common goal as the cost of living soars, but one mum's decision to start using rags instead of toilet paper is taking penny pinching too far for some.

Frith, who calls herself a "reusable nappy expert", frequently shares aspects of her eco-friendly family lifestyle on TikTok. In a recent video, she suggested cutting costs by swapping toilet paper for what she dubs "family cloth".

Toilet paper roll on bathroom shelf; TikToker Frith
The eco-conscious and budget savvy mum says ditching toilet paper is saving her a lot of money. Source: TikTok/@frithonlife

In the accompanying caption, she said she's saved £77, or around $150, since making the switch, even though her husband and guests are still using paper, for now. "We've had a toilet roll subscription for the last three years so I can easily see how much less we're using and how much we're saving," she stated.

How it works

As for how to clean the reusable wipes, Frith says you just need to keep them in a zip wetbag until you're ready to put them in the washing machine. "They only need a quick rinse cycle and then they can go in your normal laundry wash," she advised.

Frith claims the reusable toilet cloths are better for cleaning one's body and don't need to be touched once used. "Simply unzip the bag and pop it in the machine and it will do all the rest for you," she added.

Mum defends method

Unconvinced? You're not alone, as the Scottish mother said she'd copped a barrage of backlash since her wiping solution went viral. But she's standing by her decision, telling viewers in a follow-up video that she doesn't understand why people have a problem with using cloth instead of toilet paper.

"Somehow people are absolutely outraged that someone might want to use a reusable cloth to wipe their bottom, when it's far more hygienic then using paper that doesn't really clean you and you're more likely to get poo on your hands," she said.

"Washing machines are amazing things and they clean stuff way better than soap and water. So if anyone can explain to me what the issue is, that'd be great."

Toilet paper alternative cloths in basket on bathroom shelf
Frith showed viewers the 'family cloth' she uses instead of toilet paper. Source: TikTok/@frithonlife

Does she have a point?

When it comes to personal hygiene, Frith makes a valid argument, according to experts including Australian colorectal surgeon Dr Bradley Morris. Speaking on the I've Got News For You podcast last November, Dr Morris encouraged people to use alternatives to toilet paper in order to avoid health issues caused by excessive wiping.

"Most of the problems I see with the skin around the anus are due to excess attempts at hygiene, and it's very rarely due to inadequate hygiene. It's a very sensitive area," he said.

"I don't understand why we use toilet paper to wipe, if you imagine soiling your face or something else where you wouldn't smear it off with toilet paper."

Dr Morris even suggested Aussies shift their mindsets to join the 70 per cent of the world's population that doesn't use toilet paper. "I think we need to readdress culturally what we do, and maybe look at bidets, and using water to wash, but excess wiping can traumatise the skin."

The environmental benefits also can't be denied, as millions of trees are logged annually to satisfy the world's consumption of toilet paper. The material also contains chemicals that have been linked to a range of human and environmental health problems.

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