Following my recent post on Facebook guiding people on how to properly wash their bum using water as one of the many toilet paper alternatives, I’ve come to the conclusion that this topic needs further explanation.
Also, my friends seem to actually enjoy my illustrative description.
Anyways, since the outbreak of the famous C-word (in case you haven’t heard of it yet), which got picked up by all major news platforms from around the world, people reacted fast like it is the apocalypse. Which, in my honest opinion, is a natural human reaction when shit hits the fan.
I’m personally limiting my exposure in the outside world and cooking my own meals because I trust no one but myself when it comes to hygiene.
Now that people are in full-on panic mode and government officials are canceling schools, public social events, and addressing its citizens to stay at home for their safety, and/or to avoid further spreading of the virus comes the next most natural human reaction: hoarding.
Which, again, is to be expected in a crisis like this. People need to survive for an extended period of public isolation, right?
Right. However, one thing that genuinely boggled my pretty logical brain is this…
I honestly still chuckle when I say or write it as it is so silly I thought these headlines were a joke.
But it is not.
Grocery stores in most western countries are wiped clean of many other standard products and produce, including toilet papers, and people are honestly hoarding the latter as if they’ll be pooping ten times a day!
I get it, it is icky to touch that unspeakable part of our body but seriously?
This is why I wrote a pretty lengthy guide on my Facebook addressing people who are hoarding toilet papers that there is, in fact, few alternatives to clean your bum apart from just merely wiping it semi-clean.
In this step-by-step guide, I’ll be sharing a part of my culture, which my mother taught me, which was passed on to her by the generations before her.
Washing your bottoms with water after you do your duties.
Now, I lived and brought up in a city in a modest middle-class Filipino household, so I can assure you that my family is not primitive.
So, yes, we have running water in our bathroom, and no, no chicken is running around our house.
However, I never thought in the life of me I’ll be writing such a guide for people who should know better.
Anyways, when the world has reset itself and we all can finally freely travel every corner of the world again, you’ll soon realize that some countries and cultures have toilet paper alternatives so this guide can also be useful if you’re stuck in the middle of the Amazon with nothing else but water available.
With no further ado, here are the top toilet paper alternatives to clean your bum:
Table of Contents
Top 5 Toilet Paper Alternatives When You Travel
Do it the Filipino way: The Tabo
A tabo, also called the water dipper or a scoop, is a prime Filipino household necessity. We use it to take a shower albeit having a showerhead (which is primarily just a decoration because it honestly never worked), we use it to clean everything in the bathroom, we use it to water the plants, we use it to clean the dogs, and of course, we use it to clean our bums.
As you can tell already, it is a multi-purpose tool that we all can use; however, we feel like it. That said, I grew up learning how to use it to wash. Heck, I even use it to splash water at my nephew when I’m feeling like he needs a wash while in bed.
The idea is to fill a big ass bucket with water in the bathroom and keep at least one tabo floating in there available at all times.
Mind you, our toilets have a designated toilet paper holder that is permanently installed on the wall yet never seen a toilet paper hanged in there in my life after living in my parent’s house for sixteen years.
That said, Filipinos are not filthy people just because we touch our poop holes after doing our dirty business to wash it with soap and water.
In fact, Filipinos are some of the most hygienic people I know as we are taught how to really wash and clean ourselves properly.
I remember that in schools we are constantly reminded to wash our hands with SafeGuard, and this continues when we get home, we are told by our parents to wash our hands, our armpits, and our feet with SafeGuard.
And now, as an adult who does SEO content marketing, I’ve come to the conclusion that SafeGuard has a solid marketing strategy.
Anyways, tabo can literally save your ass and an excellent alternative to toilet paper. Try this when you can (or when you ran out of toilet paper or if you would like to save the earth beyond the C-word isolation).
Bum gun or Bidet
When I moved to Finland at age sixteen, I have to face the fact that the “balde at tabo” (bucket and dipper) combo is gone, and I have to accustom myself to what the west has to offer.
This is the time I’ve encountered a toilet paper holder with an actual toilet paper hanging on it, and boy was it wild. I don’t have to directly touch my bum anymore!
But I can imagine hearing my mother shouting from the other side of the door… “make sure to wash your bottoms with SafeGuard! It kills 99.9% of bacteria!”
Thankfully all houses and public toilets in Finland are equipped with a bum gun or handheld bidet, and it works pretty much the same as a tabo but with pressure.
The great thing about it is that when you let it splash between the cracks, it removes possible leftover chunks from your last night’s dinner. So, yes, it is excellent.
If this is available in your house, you honestly don’t need toilet papers.
Using a small makeshift bucket
Another thing I’ve learned from the Philippines is that if your brother decided to hide the tabo, you need to be creative.
I’ve used a lot of different things as a tabo ranging from old small bucket containers that used to contain chocolate cookies, my brothers favorite coffee mug (calm your tits down, I washed it afterward!), an old pickle jar, or honestly anything that can hold liquid then you’re sorted.
The process and the goal are always the same regardless of what you use to hold the water.
Use the showerhead
If your showerhead is actually working, then this is also an ideal way to wash your bum. Use it similarly as a bidet if it can reach the toilet, but alternatively, you can squat walk (you know, so you don’t sandwich the Nutella) to the shower area and wash it like you do when you’re taking a shower. Guys, I’m honestly assuming you’re washing your bum when you shower. Damn, I sincerely hope you do.
I know, this is perhaps too much work, but besides the C-word, we also have to think about the trees we cut to wipe your ass clean, right?
Honestly, fill anything with water and bring it with you when you do number two!
As an example, my Mom used to love cleaning and to fill up empty 1.5L Coca-cola bottles with water for an emergency as the suburban town we lived in was known for water cuts and shortages.
So, there were times my brothers have used the last drop of water in the big bucket, and I’m left with nothing and had to shout for my Mom to the rescue, and she handed me one of her pre-filled emergency Coca-cola water-filled bottles. It works, I was relieved and clean.
I know that there are western toilets that do not have a faucet or a bidet. Honestly, you can fill up anything with water and bring it with you to use. It is not that hard, and it works well as one of the best toilet paper alternatives!
A wise Norwegian man once said, “If you have shit on your face, you clean it with water and not just wipe it with paper!”.
I thought that was the most genius analogy ever regarding this topic. That said, please, don’t feel disgusted touching your poop hole. It is part of your body, and it is a natural thing to clean it besides just wiping it!
Also, one last thing, if you do wash your bum like this, please don’t be filthy and adequately wash your hands with soap and water afterward! Especially in today’s crisis, I am not your mother, but I’ll remind you anyway – wash your hands with SafeGuard always (or any soap, works just the same)!