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Toilet Paper Alternative: Use Cheeky Wipes Instead


Cheeky Wipes - the Toilet Paper Alternative

Cheeky Wipes as a Toilet Paper Alternative

What can I use instead of toilet paper?

You can use reusable wipes instead of toilet paper.  And we've been doing it for a while now and not only is it easy but it's SO much nicer for wiping than paper!  You're left feeling properly clean - after all if you got dog poo on your arm would you just wipe it off with tissue?  

I've been thinking about using a toilet paper alternative (also called family cloth) for a while - and now we're doing it!   I've seen a few blogs on it and chatted with a few people at baby shows and quite randomly decided to do something about it a couple of weeks back - after all I've got LOADS of Cheeky Wipes from using cloth diapers / nappies. and I might as well put them to good use (aside from face & hand wiping after meal-times).

How to use reusable wipes as toilet paper - Infographic

How to use reusable wipes as toilet paper

To use reusable wipes as Toilet Paper:

  • Keep a box full of cloth wipes in your bathroom, soaked in water and our fresh wipes solution.  Or keep them dry and spritz with our wet and wipes solution
  • If soaked, the Wipes will stay fresh for 2 days before they need refreshing
  • Wipe your bottom with the wet wipes.  You'll feel clean and fresh!
  • The used wipes should be placed in the mucky wipes box with it's mesh bag insert, where the teatree oil solution will keep them smelling fresh
  • Every other day or so,  gather up our mucky reusable toilet wipes, bung them into the washing machine and change the solutions in both boxes / make some fresh wipes up

I've got boxes of freshly made up Cheeky Toilet Wipes in the cloakroom downstairs and the bathroom upstairs - and a mucky box in each room (discreetly set to the side / rear of the toilet). There IS toilet paper for guests, aside from anything else, I can cope with washing my own family wipes, but not anyone elses!

What are the pros and cons of reusable toilet paper?

The pro's of reusable toilet paper:

  • Leaves you feeling properly fresh and clean (no wee bits of toilet paper stuck in lady bits or bum cracks, yuck!)
  • Great for hairy bums and messy poo's!
  • Eco-friendly, great if you've got a septic tank, eco sewage system or perhaps live on a boat
  • Easy - no smell (really) no hassle as the washing machine is going on anyway.
  • Money saving. My family get through 16 rolls of toilet paper roll a month (lots of small children!), even with own brand that's about £12 monthly. The extra washing is about 50 wipes per week (500 grams) so with a 7kg washing machine full load, that's only one extra load of washing per month at about £1 to £2 if you use the tumble dryer. Should save me £100 a year ish - but I've already got the wipes.

The con's of reusable toilet paper:

  • Forgetful children dropping the dirty wipe down the toilet
  • Other people think it's gross (but no-one is asking them to do it!)
  • Remembering to make up the clean wipes (although we now have a stash of clean, dry wipes in both toilets, which can be wet under the tap quickly)

All in all, it has been surprisingly easy to switch to being a TP Free household. Maybe because we were already happy to use Cheeky Wipes for nappy changing and mealtime clean ups anyway.

Can you make your own toilet paper?

No, you can't easily make your own toilet paper because it would involve processing wood pulp or bamboo pulp to make paper, which would probably be too time-consuming for most of us. But you could make your own reusable toilet paper, using old towels or flannels and wash them in the same way. Beware though if you cut up an old towel...I did this when I started out using reusable wipes and within 2 or 3 weeks they looked like rags for washing the car, so I don't recommend it.

The Cheeky Wipes Toilet Paper Alternative kit makes switching to reusable wipes easy, with the storage boxes for clean and dirty wipes and the handy mesh bag insert which means you NEVER have to touch the dirty wipes.

Can you use wet wipes as toilet paper?

No, no, no. You definitely shouldn't use wet wipes as toilet paper.  Even 'flushable' plastic free toilet wipes can still clog our sewers, causing fatbergs and blockages. Standard plastic containing baby wipes are even worse! NEVER use kitchen roll or paper towels either. Avoid unless you want a hefty bill for clearing your drains!

Anyway, why would you want to? Instead of 30 sheets of toilet paper (as one commenter has posted), 3 reusable cloth wipes will clean even the messiest poo.

Is Reusable Toilet Paper hygienic? 

Yes, reusable toilet paper is hygienic.  We've been using these wipes for 8 years now as alternatives to toilet paper and have never had a urinary tract infection. If anything our genital health has improved from not dragging or scrubbing dry tissue over delicate areas!

What do you think - is this something you would consider or is it WAY too gross? Let us know. In the meantime, check out our full range of reusable wipes here. 




About the author:  Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes back in 2008, when people thought she was crackers selling reusable wipes.  She's also a Mum of 4 and has suffered through the occasionally toe-curling pain of breast-feeding with all 4 children, so is well placed to give advice on breast pads.  Cheeky Wipes have been specialists in 'Simple Reusables' since 2008 and are especially proud of their friendly, helpful customer services, answered by real people who have all used the products themselves.

19 March 2014  |  9:17

We have been using family wipes for almost 12 months problems apart from the occasional guest having a moan! Means my 3yo can wipe his own bottom :)

Laura B
19 March 2014  |  10:50

I would definately consider it and think my daughter would adapt easily but suspect hubby would veto the idea!! Mind you I never thought he'd use reusable nappies / wipes...

Anna Hale
01 July 2014  |  20:10

Quick question - do you feel wet after using them?

02 July 2014  |  7:55

If I use them for a wee I often just use a dry one (the flannel ones are fine to use dry) but it's actually quite nice using a wet one after a poo, leaves you feeling much cleaner!

05 August 2014  |  14:36

Although hubby was initially sceptical he agreed to a weekend trial - that was almost 3mths ago! I know some people might consider it a bit gross but honestly there's no need to handle the used wipes & the whole process is very quick & simple. We feel fresher & cleaner AND it's better for the planet & our pockets! I recommend a trial - you won't go back!! ��

Judith Scholes
19 August 2014  |  11:35

Do you use the same wipes for baby bums, hands and faces, and family wipes? I'm not convinced about mixing them all up! I suppose I could have a different colour for family wipes...

20 August 2014  |  7:44

We do Judith - we just wash twice a week in dettol anti-bac washing liquid and it is dead easy. Honestly!

20 October 2018  |  16:37

Been using for over 6 months and feel much cleaner than with loo roll.

05 July 2019  |  16:02

Hello, sorry if I'm a bit thick, but what about wee-wees?

31 March 2022  |  14:00

Perfect for wee! Even if you're poo squeamish definitely use them for wee, either dry or wet.

09 July 2019  |  11:13

I don't use toilet paper but don't use this method either - I use the Indian style method which doesn't involve any washing of dirty wipes!!

I have a little cup of water which I pour between my legs with one hand and use the other hand to clean myself. Some people may find it gross having to touch stuff with your bare hand but it's fine with the water being poured. Once I'm sure it's all clean I use a dry wipe to dry myself off. If it's summer and I'm not too wet I don't even bother drying - water is sufficient. I only need to keep a single wipe in the bathroom (well one each for each family member) which I change and wash every few days (it doesn't get dirty cos I'm only using it to dry - any dirt has been removed with the water). Afterwards I just need to wash my hands with soap, All good! Feels great going toilet paper free but without having to give myself any gross dirty wipes to wash!

31 March 2022  |  14:03

I guess it all comes down to preference and I'm glad your way works for you. Personally I would rather have any mess on a wipe which gets washed in the machine, than on my hand. But each to their own.

Great that you're toilet paper / wet wipe free though!

Claire Turner
28 November 2019  |  17:42

I've had trouble wiping since broke my dominant wrist. Fingers crossed this helps

31 March 2022  |  14:04

Fingers crossed for you Claire

Jay Blackburn
23 March 2020  |  12:24

I do not understand how you see them ? I use around 4 - 5 sheets of TP, First is 2 pieces thickness takes an amount, 3rd cleans it up, 4th and 5th polish ! And that may not be all .
So am I meant to use 3 wipes ? That seems a lot of wipes. ?

23 March 2020  |  14:51

Unlike toilet paper, these are thicker and therefore make cleaning up much easier. I rarely use more than one wipe. Unless it's a particularly messy poo. :-)

Jay Blackburn
24 March 2020  |  14:13

Ah Ha I think Im getting it now ! Use it just like a baby wipe up. Of course its much larger and unlike TP it is designed to clean up - not for writing letters on ! I have been so helped by the admin here. It has to be the most efficient site on the whole net!
Well I think its time to give it a go - I empty caravan toilets OK cant be worse than that !
Thank you Cheeky

28 April 2020  |  10:58

Why does everything on the site seem to refer to just "Baby" wipes. Eg, In the FAQ at it just has sections for "Cloth Baby Wipes" and "Period Protection".

What about adults? Is there a kit for people who don't have a baby as part of the family?

Thanks in advance.

29 April 2020  |  13:02

Hi Leuan,
We do indeed have toilet paper altermative kits can view them here:


05 June 2020  |  11:25

We have been using Cheeky Wipes instead of toilet paper since lockdown began when the supermarket shelves were bare of loo rolls, and we are complete converts. Having read some of the questions on this website, I thought my experience so far might be useful. I find that one wipe is nearly always sufficient because a towelling wipe is thick enough and absorbent enough. You use it open, then fold it in half and use it again and finally fold it again (now 1/4 size) and finish off. Females should only need to use a wipe for mucky jobs. Males, having a slightly different anatomy in that region, may often need more than one wipe. If all you are doing is a wee then a damp facecloth is enough to ensure you feel clean and dry afterwards: obviously such a facecloth is kept specifically for that purpose, rinsed and hung up to dry each time and washed once a week. That way, you don't go through your stack of clean wipes so quickly, meaning less washing. So that is our experience and not having to buy loo roll very often (I will keep some for guests) is wonderful.

05 June 2020  |  15:30

Love this SO much! We completely understand the 'yuck' factor, but in reality that doesn't exist. Thank you for taking a chance to test us out.

Emma Hood
16 July 2020  |  8:34

I have just bought a mucky wipes kit for faces and hands and for bums. My 6 year old is loving it! He is so excited that they don't go in the bin. I always use cloth sanitry items and used reusable nappies with my boy, so this next step seemed obvious.

I am then thinking well why am I still using paper loo roll for the wee trips? If I wanted to switch, what would you recommend. I already have a fresh and mucky box for the loo wipes and already have 1 set of wipes for the bottoms.

16 July 2020  |  10:39

The key is having the wipes ready for a fresh box to store the clean ones in and a mucky box (or they could go into your nappy bin, if that is in the bathroom?) And that's assuming that you have the oils already...
How many wipes you need depends on how often you have a wash going on and how many girls you have in the house / how often everyone else poo's! But I would say an extra set or two of wipes would be helpful.

15 November 2020  |  17:51

I really can't get over how gross this sounds to me but how much I want to try it....pooey wipes in with my clothes washing??

17 November 2020  |  9:15

Ok, so unless there's something really wrong with your anus, you shouldn't have 'lumps' of poo on a wipe as your anal sphincter does a really good job of ensuring that doesn't happen.

You will of course have smears and if there's anything on a wipe that's more than s smear, hold one end of the wipe in the loo and flush the toilet, which will rinse the wipe off further.

Even if you wipe with toilet paper first and finish off with a Cheeky Wipe, or (if you're female) use Cheeky Wipes after urinating, you'll still enjoy the benefits.

23 February 2022  |  13:27

You REALLY should NOT be advocating flushing the toilet with the lid open. Thats ben proven to shoot germs into the air, including covid. Look at the Harpic #closethelid campaign and research. You should be leading the pack to encourage everyone to close the lid before flushing.

23 February 2022  |  13:33

I don't think we were advocating how to flush the loo anywhere? Interesting campaign though, thanks for sharing.

03 December 2020  |  20:52

So is adult poo smear on the wipe water soluble in the wash machine? Will it clean fully and not contaminate the machine or the rest of the laundry in the wash? Do the mucky wipes need to be rinsed on a rinse cycle first before putting in with the rest of the washing (as recommended for cloth nappies)?

04 December 2020  |  12:52

Any poo smears will wash away, just wash in a decent length wash, using your normal washing detergent. (Although in saying that, we don't recommend soap nuts or eco-balls as they just don't wash as well as standard laundry products). Because you are soaking the wipes in the mucky box, they don't require a rinse cycle.

20 December 2020  |  20:52

I am definitely intrigued, but my husband and I sometimes use 30 pieces of TP just for one poo session. I don't see how changing to these will help - and we'd have to use the whole box of wipes for one poo job hahahaha. I suppose if you don't eat curry often these would work, but for a very Asian cuisine household hmmmmm.... Anyone can share what you do the day after a spicy Korean noodle meal? XD

31 March 2022  |  14:08

That's a LOT of loo roll! You'll definitely save by switching to Reusable wipes. The great thing about cloth wipes instead of loo roll is that they have some traction, so make cleaning quicker and easier.

Even after the WORST 'ring of fire' poo two or three wipes will do. Plus of course you can do the fold / wipe technique:
wipe for the first time
fold the wipe in two in on itself
wipe for the second time
fold the wipe in two in on itself
wipefor the third time

Three wipes - from one cloth wipe.

And no poo on your fingers either!

Vickie Warrington
06 May 2021  |  21:44

I'm so conflicted about giving these a go... i absolutely love the idea of all of your products, and already use plastic free period towels... so on one hand it freaks me out wiping poo onto a flannel. On the other, I've spent my whole working life so far wiping poo ( I've been a nursery nurse & mum) so why would it be any weirder wiping my own? Also not 100 times different to rinsing my period pants (which the thought of freaked me out as well in the beginning). We're currently using recycled tp (recycled post consumer office waste.... not literal recycled toilet paper haha) which is a step in the right direction.... but still lots of manufacturing and things.

Now I'm torn!

17 May 2021  |  10:13

Hey Vickie...I tell you what. Try them and if you don't get on with them I'll refund your money! (Helen founder and CEO here). They're great and they work and you feel MUCH cleaner using them. Let me know how you get on!

23 February 2022  |  13:30

Promise you - you'll love it or we'll happily refund you!

21 July 2021  |  22:05

I've been using washable sanitary towels for 20 years and have only just come across this idea. I tend to get thrush from perfumed disposable sanitary products on the occasions that I do use them and have to use the non perfumed ones. So my question is are the oils hyper allergenic? I guess I would be ok with using for a poo and maybe just use fresh dry ones not in oil mix for a wee. Did you have any thoughts on sensitivities down below?

23 February 2022  |  13:31

If I haven't got any soaked I sometimes use them dry, or just give a quick run under the tap. Pee for dry is fine, but a wet one is SO much better for poo. Your bum will thank you.

22 July 2021  |  5:24

Hi Fiona, I have eczema myself and find the wipes with oil absolutely fine to use. However you could just run them under the tap as you're about to use them. Trust me, try it and you'll never go back. Helen

10 March 2022  |  20:38

I am thinking of trying this for my 4 year old girl, who seems to use half a roll of toilet paper to get dry after a wee! However, even after two children, I have never managed to get to grips with the whole mucky net bag situation without still having to touch mucky water. Even if I loop the cord around the inside of the box, I find it soaks up liquid via the net bag and so drips onto whatever surface. Then I have to carry the whole sloshy (non leak proof) tub down to the washing machine and try to get the bag out without it dripping. Am I missing something? I currently dry pail the baby's wipes but would like to soak and the bag would make it so much easier! Any tips appreciated! Thanks

11 March 2022  |  10:04

Hi, it's Jo (Customer Experience Manager) and great question! I can see you have one of the original boxes and the bag should sit neatly inside and not wick up water that will then drip over the side. If your box is in the bathroom, you can then empty the dirty water down the loo and when you are then carrying the box downstairs, there won't be any water in there. When you reach the washing machine you can pull the bag strings together and almost pop the box inside the drum of the machine and then lift the bag out so there is no dripping on the floor from any residue water.
The other tip we have is getting the strings pulled together as above and tipping the bag into the machine from the box - again this is helped by having already tipped the water out down the loo. It's also quite satisfying slinging the bag in!
I hope that all helps and drop us an email to or pop into our live chat (Mon-Fri) if you have any other questions.

Hannah Hill
03 September 2023  |  22:21

How do you find tweens who are going through a 'urgh that is SO gross/embarrassing' phase handle the change to reusable TP? I am worried that opening the tub and seeing other family members' poo/menstrual stains (or others seeing theirs) may prove too much! Experiences gratefully received.

04 September 2023  |  10:26

Hey Hannah, good question! You can probably go about this in one of two ways...hardcore or easier!

I would explain the benefits friendly and MUCH nicer to use as they leave you way cleaner than traditional toilet paper. Very important when you get to teen years! Think about the dog poo on arm scenario...if you got dog poo on your arm, you would wash it off, not just wipe with tissue. Same goes for Cheeky Wipes!

And then you have two options...

You can go hard core and that's all you have in the house so they have no option (and once they try it, they will love it!)....

Or, you leave it up to them and have loo roll as a back up. We have loo roll in our downstairs toilet for guests anyway but my teens don't find it an issue. They just roll their eyes at pretty much EVERYTHING I do anyway, so this makes no odds!

Helen (Founder)