You'll Never Guess What People Used To Wipe Themselves With Before Toilet Paper!

It's a no from me dawg

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Where would we be without toot paper? Likely up s**t creek without a paddle! We can't imagine a world where we don't have toilet paper, so it blows our minds to find what humans used to use to give themselves a good ol' wipe.

Modern toilet paper wasn't widespread until the mid-19th century, and before that, different tools and techniques were used.

Now, Who Gives A Crap has explored the weirdest ways people use to clean themselves after using the loo!

  • Corn cobs: Dried corn cobs were plentiful in rural agrarian societies – from colonial Americans to ancient Mayans — the corncob worked by turning on its axis to clean the region. The more you know!

  • Seashells: People living in coastal regions used seashells, oyster shells and clamshells for their wiping needs. That hurts just reading it!

  • Pottery shards: A broken shard of pottery worked the same as a seashell. Ancient Greeks utilised this technique and would sometimes inscribe the names of their enemies before using. OMG!

  • Snow: Inuit and other populations that lived in Arctic regions used snow and ice for their wiping needs. That will be a cold shock to the nether region!

  • Telephone books: Until relatively recently, TP was considered a luxury in many places. People without underground plumbing would wipe with telephone books, catalogues and old newspaper. We're getting closer!

  • A sponge: The ancient (and wealthy) Romans used what’s called a “xylospongium”, which is essentially a sponge on a stick, which  was washed in a bucket of salt water or vinegar after each use. This ain't half bad. 

  • Trees: Traditional toilet paper has a huge impact on deforestation. Globally, more than 1.9 million trees need to be cut down each day to create enough traditional TP to satisfy the world’s bums – the equivalent land as 45 Sydney Opera Houses. 

Which one surprised you the most? Let us know on our Facebook page!

You can get your hands on some regular, great, soothing toilet paper here! Hehe. 

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Amber Lowther

5 July 2022

Article by:

Amber Lowther

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