Toilet Paper Usage Analysis

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 1:00pm By

Toilet paper rolls

Often, while I’m doing things around the apartment, I’ll leave the TV on to be used as a procrastination tool.  On one such occasion, I think the History channel was showing how paper is made (more interesting than it sounds) and I caught an interesting fact as it went to commercial.  It said that on average, American’s use over 20,000 sheets of toilet paper per year.

In one year, I used:
49 rolls
or
49,000 sheets
of toilet paper
which is a total of
2.8 miles
or
5,644.8 sq. ft.

and cost about
$52.43

First of all, I generally use Scott 1000 because they are easily found at all of the supermarkets, bodegas, delis, and newspaper stands that I may frequent, and consistency is more important to my butt than just softness.  Considering that each roll has 1000 sheets, that works out to about 20 rolls per year.  That means that on average, a roll should last about 18 days.  For a roll to last 18 days, I could use up to a maximum of 55 sheets per day, which sounded quite reasonable to me.  Maybe I am an average user, but as I sat there crunching the numbers, 20 rolls per year just sounded a little too light to me.

It was these sort of numbers that made me question how much toilet paper I actually use, and it was this curiosity that led me to start keeping track of how much I actually do use.  I went into this WOMBAT project with the notion that I was not going to keep track of actual sheet-by-sheet data because that would be way too much work.  So, in keeping with my “be as lazy as possible” attitude, I will just keep track of when I start a new roll and when it ends.  This will give me a nice average on how long a roll lasts, and will give me the total number of sheets used per year.

Of course, there are going to be problems with this count.  The most obvious is that I use toilet paper in places other than my apartment.  In an emergency, I will “drop a deuce” at work, although I prefer not to, and I don’t spend every night in my apartment due to vacations, business trips, “away games”, etc.  In addition, I may not be the only person that uses toilet paper in my apartment.  I’m not going to try and be as accurate as possible, but I may make a note of extenuating circumstances related to a roll. In addition, I use toilet paper for things other than it’s intended purpose….in case I run out of tissues, I use toilet paper on my nose…I use it to clean my glasses…I use it to clean up the sink after shaving…as napkins when I don’t feel like walking the extra 20 feet to the kitchen…etc.

This project officially started on April 11th, 2007, with toilet paper roll #1. It should last through April 11th, 2008 or until the roll in use on that day is used up.

(Sheryl Crow’s idea that a person can get away with using only one square per trip is ridiculous!)

Update

Sept. 13, 2007 — It’s been five months, and I’ve hit the 20th roll—way ahead of the average.

Analysis Over

April 14, 2008 — The analysis is over.  It’s been one year and four days, and in that time, I’ve used 49 rolls of toilet paper bathroom tissue, or 49,000 sheets, at an approximate cost of $52.43. You can see the details below, but it’s clear that I use a lot more than the national average.

There were six rolls that lasted 10 days or longer, and I tried to analyze why those rolls lasted well over the average, but I couldn’t really pin it down.  There was a five-day trip taken during the 15-day roll in July/Aug., but that still means that that roll lasted 10 days while I was around.

One thing that I noticed is that while at other venues that employed a more luxurious bathroom tissue, I used much less than I normally would if I were in my apartment.  Not even half as much.  So, it is quite likely, if I were to switch to a different bathroom tissue, that I would be able to hit the 20,000 sheets per year average.  This is not an analysis that I’m planning to make.

I’m not sure that any true meaning can be taken from this WOMBAT, but it was interesting to quantify my personal usage.

Summary

  • There were 49 rolls between Apr 11, 2007 and Apr 14, 2008.
  • The average length of time a roll lasted was 7.4 days, which was an average of 135.4 sheets per day, at an average cost of $0.14 per day. 1
  • The longest amount of time a roll lasted was 15 days by roll number 15 between Jul 28, 2007 and Aug 12, 2007.
  • The shortest amount of time a roll lasted was 3 days by roll number 17 between Aug 20, 2007 and Aug 23, 2007.
  • Since each roll is about 302 feet long and 115.2 square feet, I used a total of about 2.80 miles or 5,644.80 square feet of toilet paper.

Individual Sample Data

Roll #
Start Date
End Date
Days
Lasted
Avg. Sheets per Day
Avg. Cost per Day ($)
1
Apr 11, 2007
Apr 16, 2007
5
200.0
0.21
2
Apr 16, 2007
Apr 26, 2007
10
100.0
0.11
3
Apr 26, 2007
May 2, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
4
May 2, 2007
May 8, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
5
May 8, 2007
May 14, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
6
May 14, 2007
May 22, 2007
8
125.0
0.13
7
May 22, 2007
May 31, 2007
9
111.1
0.12
8
May 31, 2007
Jun 7, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
9
Jun 7, 2007
Jun 21, 2007
14
71.4
0.08
10
Jun 21, 2007
Jun 28, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
11
Jun 28, 2007
Jul 6, 2007
8
125.0
0.13
12
Jul 8, 2007
Jul 14, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
13
Jul 15, 2007
Jul 22, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
14
Jul 22, 2007
Jul 28, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
15
Jul 28, 2007
Aug 12, 2007
15
66.7
0.07
16
Aug 13, 2007
Aug 20, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
17
Aug 20, 2007
Aug 23, 2007
3
333.3
0.36
18
Aug 23, 2007
Aug 29, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
19
Aug 29, 2007
Sep 5, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
20
Sep 6, 2007
Sep 12, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
21
Sep 13, 2007
Sep 21, 2007
8
125.0
0.13
22
Sep 21, 2007
Sep 28, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
23
Sep 28, 2007
Oct 8, 2007
10
100.0
0.11
24
Oct 8, 2007
Oct 13, 2007
5
200.0
0.21
25
Oct 14, 2007
Oct 20, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
26
Oct 20, 2007
Oct 26, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
27
Oct 26, 2007
Nov 3, 2007
8
125.0
0.13
28
Nov 3, 2007
Nov 9, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
29
Nov 9, 2007
Nov 16, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
30
Nov 16, 2007
Nov 23, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
31
Nov 23, 2007
Nov 29, 2007
6
166.7
0.18
32
Nov 29, 2007
Dec 3, 2007
4
250.0
0.27
33
Dec 3, 2007
Dec 10, 2007
7
142.9
0.15
34
Dec 10, 2007
Dec 19, 2007
9
111.1
0.12
35
Dec 19, 2007
Dec 24, 2007
5
200.0
0.21
36
Dec 24, 2007
Dec 29, 2007
5
200.0
0.21
37
Dec 29, 2007
Jan 6, 2008
8
125.0
0.13
38
Jan 6, 2008
Jan 13, 2008
7
142.9
0.15
39
Jan 13, 2008
Jan 20, 2008
7
142.9
0.15
40
Jan 20, 2008
Jan 28, 2008
8
125.0
0.13
41
Jan 28, 2008
Feb 6, 2008
9
111.1
0.12
42
Feb 6, 2008
Feb 13, 2008
7
142.9
0.15
43
Feb 13, 2008
Feb 22, 2008
9
111.1
0.12
44
Feb 22, 2008
Mar 4, 2008
11
90.9
0.10
45
Mar 4, 2008
Mar 11, 2008
7
142.9
0.15
46
Mar 11, 2008
Mar 17, 2008
6
166.7
0.18
47
Mar 17, 2008
Mar 25, 2008
8
125.0
0.13
48
Mar 25, 2008
Apr 1, 2008
7
142.9
0.15
49
Apr 1, 2008
Apr 14, 2008
13
76.9
0.08

  1. Based on an average cost of $1.07 per roll.

69 comments on ‘Toilet Paper Usage Analysis’

  1. Josh says:

    Ben, just me for the most part, but I do have house guests every now and then.  As for bidet vs. TP…since I have no bidet experience, I really can’t comment on it, but I would think that a bidet would be better since it is a wet cleaning versus a dry cleaning.  I’m not an expert in cleanliness, by the way.

  2. Ben Blythe says:

    How many people are in your house hold? I’m working on a bidet vs toilet paper piece any thoughts?

  3. john clark says:

    And I thought I had nothing to do!!! I am retired and I do nothing from Mon – Fri—and then I rest up on the weekends. However I MIGHT find the time to do a personal study on TP usage. I try to poop exclusively in my own bathroom, and, except for an infrequent stay at a hotel, I am quite successful. I am sure I am a higher-than-usual user, because I find it to be one of the most exciting passtimes in my dynamic life.
    —John

  4. Andr says:

    It’s a very interresting study.
    I thought to do the same, to compare your result to mine, I go to shit every day at the same time i.e. at 6:00 AM.
    Unfortunately, I wake up at 7:00 AM which is a big trouble for me…
    Anyway, I can maybe make a study regarding the number of sheets I use per year…

  5. Jeff says:

    Josh,  Wow.  WTF?  Your lowest average daily usage is 111 sheets per day.  Am I reading this wrong?

    My friends find my regularity to be absurd…  an average of four times per day.  I had a girlfriend that was on the once-a-day schedule… we don’t see each other anymore?!

    The math is boggling me, or maybe it’s the method?

    – 4 “reading” stops per day

    (discounting exotic foods/drinks)
    – 2 draws on the roll of 4-6 sheets per draw
    (see footnote below)

    – seems to equal 48 sheets per day.

    Holy bat crapman!  You are doubling my usage… not counting the sheets you use periodically for blowing your nose or wiping the stray pube from the rim.

    Footnote:  I’m a “folder” not a “wadder”.  Partly due to a Dad that would cuss you for “excess” TP use, and partly due to my military service in Iraq I, where you weren’t sure when you’d get a TP re-supply.  That being said… I pull 4-6 sheets per draw, fold them neatly at the perforation and hit it.  I then fold that sqaure in two and hit it again.  Total of four hits.  Again, diet makes a difference, as you may have to go in for one more double-hit mission.  Butt (pun intended) to be sure, I walk around with a happy and clean bum!

    Post script:  Why in gods name am I posting my bathroom habits here?  Gosh, I’m now out of the running for a Presidential Candidate…  OR AM I???

  6. Eagle says:

    Of course, you are taking it for granted that the manufacturers/suppliers are truthful in their claim that each roll has 1000 sheets. I also think the 20,000 per person per year is way off as you are looking more like 50,000 for 1 year, at the moment.
    Imagine what the companies could save just by short changing us 5 sheets per roll. Work it out for 250mil people just in the States…

  7. Rachel says:

    Um….. guys! I would like to put forth the hypothesis that woman use more TP than guys …since we use it on both occasions, if you see what I mean. I am a huge fan of Sheryl Crow, so I will attempt to defend her (seeming overoptimism) by proposing that she may have had only the first instance in mind when she said “one sheet”, and not the second!

  8. Marian says:

    Even if she had only the “first instance” in mind, I certainly use more than one measly sheet.

    Additionally there’s a 3rd instance which will require more toilet paper about 5 days per month, but only for about 30 years or so.

  9. Tom says:

    Great stuff, where else can such in-depth subjects be investigated!
    I have a theory that people pull the same length using either 1-ply or 2-ply tissue.  2 ply rolls have fewer sheets, therefore run out way quicker (faster than 2:1).  At one time I cleaned the restrooms in a Bingo hall.  When I started they were using 2-ply.  When that ran out, I changed to single ply.  2-ply rolls might last a week, single ply lasted a month, at least!  A case of single ply was a little more expensive, but because it lasted longer, I think it was less expensive in the long run.  Although, when I tried to calculate it, they were closer in cost than I expected.
    I just thought I’d mention, it says people use 20,000 sheets a year, it didn’t say what they used them for.  With that, I conclude you can blow your nose, wipe your glasses, and whatever else to safely come up with your number.  Remember, their number is an average.  Some people might use wash cloths, wipes, bidets, their hand, or the Sears Roebuck catalog!  The phone book might be a good alternative!

  10. Josh says:

    I’m sure that most manufacturers do not cheat on sheet counts because that would be way too easy to catch, and the amount of negative press it would generate would be far worse than any cost savings that would be gained by it.

    Howerver, one thing the TP manufacturers do to cut costs is change the size of the sheets.  A few years ago, a sheet was square at about 4” x 4”.  Take a look today, and it seems to be 4” x 3”.  Same number of sheets, same cost at retail, but they cut down on the amount of paper used in each roll by shortening the size of the sheet.

  11. Mick says:

    Eagle:  As someone who works in the industry, I can assure you that we do not cheat on sheet counts (not the major manufacturers, anyway).

    Jeff brings up an interesting point about folding versus wadding…does one method use more than the other?

  12. Doug says:

    Sheryl is a nutjob. Paper, which comes from trees is a renewable resource. I use up to 18 feet sometimes, other times, only about 4 sheets. WTF cares? One sheet at a time? I’ll bet flies follow her around! She’ll make Pigpen from the Peanuts cartoon look clean by comparison! Carbon footprint? Pseudoscientific bullshit!

  13. Tony from UK says:

    As a retired engineer (not sanitary!) I am concerned that a critical ratio is being ignored in this important debate; that is sheets per shit. This ratio varies according to the previous 24 hour food and booze intake. For example a vindalu curry preceeded by a bottle of red (California) wine can increase this ratio dramatically. Conversely, eating too many cookies (biscuits in English) and white bread can clog the system resulting in a zero/zero ratio. A healthy ratio would seem to be around 12.

  14. JohnT says:

    As a Quality Control/Line Inspector at a company that produces specialty abrasives I found this forum to be hilarious!
    I can just imagine the products we make using AO 54 or SC 120 grain used as toilet paper.  It boggles the mind. 
    I mean, our stuff could be used for this purpose, but only if you want to scrape off every hemorrhoid and wart. . . painfully, and with long term bleeding, scar tissue, and issues involving implanting tiny bits of SC and AO grain in one’s nether regions.
    Sheryl Crow’s advice is noteworthy, if for nothing else but it’s uselessness.  The “One Sheet Per Go” is an ideal, but not an ideal that will ever be matched by us Masses.
    It would become a good idea, however, if the TP manufacturer’s could come up with TP that would do the job in one swipe with one sheet.
    I think. . .

  15. graham says:

    Your TP useage survey has one vital flaw, when you entertain a girlfriend at your appartment she will use several hundred sheets to wipe away a few drops of piss, this will mess up your survey completely !

  16. Mark says:

    133 sheets a day average?! You must be kidding me.
    I use maybe 10 – 20 sheets a day in 2 sittings, operating a 3, 2, 2 wiping scheme (ie. using 3 sheets folded in half for the first wipe then 2 folded in half for subsequent wipes). I keep going until the paper ends up being clean which usually only takes about 3 passes, obviously dependent on recent food intake as previously mentioned.
    The main factors that the quantity of paper per wipe has to take account of are firstly that there is enough thickness of paper to prevent your fingers from going through it and secondly that the flat area is large enough to cover your asshole for the full length of the stroke. If you are managing to make a useful stroke of more than about 1 – 1 1/2 sheets then you either have exceptionally long hands or you pause half way through the stroke to move your hand back down the paper. Either way I am amazed.

  17. Katie says:

    Everyone has their own reason (whatever that may be) to use less or more TP. I don’t think its actually possible to use Just one sheet per go, as Sheryl Crows says, unless one sheet of TP is combined with some other cleaning method.
    I will admit i used a lot of toilet paper because i just didn’t feel clean. I looked into the bidets but the idea of cleaning from a source coming right out of where i am doing my business and other people in the house also using the same toilet…..i don’t think so, I am trying to stay clean not get contaminated with germs sitting in there…..That is not for me.
    But i learned something else…
    Recently i visited a friend’s house who had a little wand thingy on the wall where i was expecting to see the TP. I found out it was a hand held bidet which my friend explained how to use without it even getting too close like the built in bidets. It was 8 inch long wand, when i held it in my hand i could control the water pressure with my thumb. I was skeptical but thought to give it a try anyways since my friend was so convinced and VIOLA!!!! I felt a bit strange initially but once i had adjusted water pressure to my pleasing, it was amazing. It felt good and i felt really clean …really as if i just got out of shower. Now i can see using “one sheet per go” for drying the little water left behind. I loved it so much that i went ahead and bought myself one at http://www.intimatelady.net and later i found some other interesting uses too !!! use your imagination… and hey i use much much less toilet paper now then i ever did to wipe off some excess water left behind.
    My boy friend when first saw it, he looked at me kind of crazy but i caught him using it once …he was curious and now i have to buy another one …

  18. Jim Morris says:

    I’m sure that there is an enormous difference in sheets used per day between those who “crumple” and those who “fold”.  I’m a “folder” and buy the thick, soft stuff (Charmin, etc.).  This allows the use of fewer sheets per day – for me. 
    Those of you who crumple and/or use the thin stuff (like Scott): your mileage may vary.
    Now, the really IMPORTANT question is:
    Top-over or bottom-under and why?

  19. MikeC says:

    You – obviously – did not serve in the US Army.
    My recollection of an Army logistics regulation is that – for planning purposes – each soldier was authorized 14-2/3 sheets of toilet paper per day. I believe that these were the world war II era sheets that were larger than the sheets on a roll of toilet paper.  I never did figure out what was done with the last two thirds sheet.

  20. Cliff says:

    Hey!  This is really research.  Mebe you could get one of those Govt. grants to do an in depth study!
    Hell!  They (the Govt.) is giving our hard earned tax dollars away to study bovine flatulance.
    Now there’s a thought…
    Apply for a grant to study how much toilet paper it would take to wipe a cow’s ass!
    If successfull, ya just might wind up famous, if not broke.
    Good luck.

  21. Nameless Chicken says:

    I was once on a long (6 months) back woods vacation with some people. We all marveled at how this one guy never used TP at all. He would collect rounded stones, leaves and even some sticks to help clean his bum. He didn’t shower for weeks at a time either, but this wasn’t odd to the rest of us.
    I tell this story to show that not everyone uses TP. In fact, it is a fairly recent development to have this “standardized” TP that we have in most (yes, not all) countries these days.
    There are other solutions that would save a lot of trees.
    Anyone remember the movie Demolition Man when they all comment on how Sly Stallone’s character doesn’t know how to use the bathroom because back in the 20th century they (we) used to use wadded up pieces of paper.

  22. Julia says:

    Obviously, some of you men haven’t given thought to the differences in male and female anatomy and the resulting need for TP. (Our two needs compared to your one!)
    My husband, may he rest in peace, used to tear off 4 sheets…fold that in half, fold that in half, fold that in half and then use it to make ONE pass. If he didnt get the desired clenliness result, he went back for 4 MORE sheets, no matter the degree of uncleanliness that was left.
    Then this man would complain to me, a woman, about the amount of tissue I used!
    And..while I am spouting off, hehe….who is it that has to refill the TP because someone, ahem, didnt, after they emptied a roll!??? Doesn’t that rate us an extra sheet or two?

  23. John says:

    None of you nice people seem to be afflicted by hemorrhoids. Consider it as a blessing. An eruption can easily quadruple the amount of TP required at a sitting.

    I once visited the loo at the British Museum in London. The TP had the consistency of waxed paper which did a poor job of cleaning. But each sheet was labeled “Property of the British Government” which made it somehow bearable.

  24. ROBERT says:

    Regarding the issue of conservation, there are over 1 billion females in the industrial parts of the world that use toilet paper when they urinate approximately 4 to 8 times a day with 3 to 5 sheets each time. Their male counterparts usually never use tiolet paper to urinate. The female gender thusly puts a demand on the resources of up to 40 billion sheets a day.

  25. Brandi says:

    How many trees are needed to make one roll of toilet paper? does any one no

  26. apfelstrudel says:

    EarthAnswers – How Much Paper Can Be Made from a Tree? 
    http://www.tappi.org/paperu/all_about_paper/earth
    BTW:
    I’m male and I use (have) always Toilettepaper (take with) when I urinate -> “for the last drop(s)” <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/wink.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="wink" style="border:0;" />

  27. Mike says:

    I really suprised with figures about paper usage. In my place we don’t waste so fast, one roll of paper? usually lasts one month, 3 people in a household.

  28. Jim says:

    This is a hoot… who would have thought TP usage could be so… so… exciting (unless you really gotta go)  Something I saw/read/heard: About bidets, if you had shit on your arm, would you wipe it off or wash it off? 
    I think I will like a bidet:)

  29. savethetrees says:

    many people dont even appreciate the conveniences toilet paper has brought to our lives! But you should buy toilet paper that are made from recycled materials or post consumer waste and be careful of the labelings because there are tricky “recycled” terms etc that companies tries to pull. However, brands like Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern all uses virgin pulp that are very damaging to forests.

  30. savethetrees says:

    many people dont even appreciate the conveniences toilet paper has brought to our lives! But you should buy toilet paper that are made from recycled materials or post consumer waste and be careful of the labelings because there are tricky “recycled” terms etc that companies tries to pull. However, brands like Charmin, Cottonelle, and Quilted Northern all uses virgin pulp that are very damaging to forests.

  31. Doove says:

    Three sheets folded at perforation, one to three passes as required – I consider a one-wiper to be an omen heralding a good day.
    Roman shithouses used a bit of sponge or a rag on the end of a stick that went back into a bucket filled with lye solution or something to sanitise it.
    If you’re really keen on saving trees are you prepared to use a bit of sponge on a stick from a bucket after I’ve used it because my wife won’t even go in there for an hour after me.
    Anyhow, that brings me up to about 10 to 15 sheets a day; the table above shows 200 sheets a day unless I’m reading it wrong – what are you doing in there?! Wrapping it around your hand like a big mitten?
    The wife uses a fair tonnage, but not usually on toilet activities – it’s amazing the uses she finds for the stuff, e.g. a good half roll used as a means to humanely remove bath spiders…
    The kids also love to spin the mounted roll till all the TP is loosely coverning the floor up to a depth of about a foot. I can’t tell them off as it’s a brilliant idea and I now do it secretly too and tell the wife the kids did it. Fantastic.
    I recommend you perform this exercise with a new roll, it really does bring home to you how much TP goes to satisfy our cleanliness neuroses.

  32. Shawn says:

    This is awesome, I’m doing a research paper for school, based on paper usage. This really brings things into perspective as to how much difference each person brings into the subject. Personally I found that among 2-3 people living together, on a 1000 count Scotty Roll lasts around a week. By the way, that’s one-ply 4.5 x 3.7 Inch per sheet, at 1382.4 Square feet per roll. I’d also like to add that they changed to a much softer formula in the last couple of years, and the usage seems to have gone up. And a personal comment to the guy that says one roll a month, I don’t ever want to shake your hand.

  33. Ron says:

    I’ll bet a lot more sheets get used in Washington, DC, than other places due to the increased amount of number two in that city.

  34. Ron says:

    I’ll bet a lot more sheets get used in Washington, DC, than other places due to the increased amount of number two in that city.

  35. Tony from the UK (ag says:

    TP is always made from recycled paper: but I wonder from what it has been recycled???

  36. SpamBUSTERS says:

    Now, you should research my CAT’s toilet paper usage!
    The amount used per day is variable, depending on how playful the cat’s mood is, how much time she has to unroll toilet paper all over the house before she’s caught at her game, etc <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />)

  37. doug says:

    Sheryl Crow with her skinny butt may not need much TP, as those with more ample back sides.  As a male the only time I ever used TP after urinating was using the pee jug while in the hospital bed. Hard to shake the dew off the lilly in that situation. One bidet’s.  How about water consumption? Especially by those who may find them a form of erotica? Anyway eat less and save a tree or two. <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />

  38. Stormy says:

    I have to go with Jim (27) this is a hoot, whoda thunk it, I did find something odd, we have a four person household, two adult males, two adult females, when I buy the Scott 1000, a roll lasts approx. 5 days to a week, we tried the 24 roll Cottonelle and got one roll per day.

  39. Karen says:

    Is this for real? You seriously logged how much toilet paper you use for an entire year?!?
    I admit I’ve always wondered how a roll can be empty when “I just changed it”… but never has it ever crossed my mind to log my use.
    Thanks for the laugh. <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />

  40. Laurie Thayne says:

    Oh, my gosh!  Reminds me of my ex husband when we first were married,  he tried to ration my toilet paper to three squares a day.  Needless to say,  I should have immediately flushed him. 
    When he went to work that day,  I hid all the toilet paper in the house. Except,  three squares that I placed on the edge of the sink.  When he came home, he screamed, “where’s the toilet paper!”
    “Your ration is on the sink.”  I said.  “And there’s a blow dryer on the counter.”  He never bothered me about toilet paper again.

  41. Ken says:

    I’m fascinated by this, and this weekend (we had guests) set me off—-which the fiance and I just got in a fight over <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />
    I must be some kind of freak, because when I drop a typical duece, I use about 6 sheets of paper. That’s right, 6. I pull off three, fold them in half, and I get several wipes from that by folding between wipes.  I may need another three, and in extreme cases another three.
    Of course there are exceptions for messier situations. Still, my average is probably 9 sheets.
    Now, obviously women wipe with every pee, so having a woman in the house means considerably more usage, which brings me to this past weekend.
    We had two female guests. One for about a day and a second one for only about 4 hours. In that time, 1.2 rolls (!) of toilet paper were used in our guest bathroom. I am blown away by that.
    And it wasn’t like I was monitoring the usage. The only reason I noticed was because we had put an new roll out on the counter prior to guest arrival, with the “.2” roll on the spindle—-assuming we’d need more with the guests and not wanting them to go looking for it. When I noticed an empty cardboard tube on the spindle, I thought it was the one that was already there, and then realized that it was the second one that had gotten finished off.
    So the bottom line (LOL) is this:
    my theory is that others just waste t.p. like crazy. I cannot fathom how two guests (one, as mentioned, only here for a few hours) could go through that much paper.
    When I expressed my amazement to the fiance she got irritated, as if I were complaining about it…which I really wasn’t. I’m just amazed and want answers.
    Josh, I’m baffled by your usage data. The “sheets per day” is SO far above what I use (and again, I don’t consciously use minimal t.p., I just do what I’ve always done…there’s no environmental or financial motivation) that it amazes me.
    I must continue to investigate…..

  42. Outraged! says:

    Has anyone else noticed the shrinking size of the toilet paper roll?  A Charmin “double roll” has only 200 sheets.  So that means a regular roll only has 100 sheets?  The price goes up and the size of the roll goes down!  Toilet Paper manufacturers…I am on to you and spreading the word!

  43. adam says:

    This is great. I am working on a Toilet Paper odometer Project. I’ll keep you informed. <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/smile.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="smile" style="border:0;" />

  44. Andy says:

    Very funny but reminds me of the old story about the French Foreign Leigion who served in North Africa, before they went out on patrol, they went to the Stores and were issued with One Sheet of Toilet Paper 100mm x 100mm (4” x 4”)per day of patrol.  They were then told to fold the paper, first in half, then in half again.  This gave a wad some 50mm x 50mm (2” x 2”), they were then told that when they required to use the sheetto clean there A###, they were to tear off a cornet some 10mm from one coner, this made a hole in the centre of the Toilet Paper,you held this corner between your teeth, to use you placed your finger through the hole, wiped the area around your Bum, pulled the paper up along your finger, wiping clean all you could.  You then took the corner from your teeth and picked out what was left around your finger, so therefore you used only One sheet of toilet paper per day.  It kept you finger out of your mouth. Hope this help in your Project to save the Earth.

  45. Xavier says:

    hello i bought a 9 pack of bathroom tissue thursday the 17. it is now wedensday the 23 and we gone threw 5 ROLLS!!
    and in the house hold is just my brother and I.
    do u think he is giving the tissue away??
    i know for a fact i haven’t wipe my ASS that much!!

  46. Andy Mac Sharry says:

    Hi all, just read comment on use of Toilet Paper or as it’s called in Ireland (Bum fodder).  As I do a bit of Sailing on a Yacht, the stores must include TT or BF, which ever you call it.  I found that as Yacht Toilets are Hand Pumped Out, the use of TT-BF is reduced, too many sheets will block the Toilet, so if you block you clear policy on board, therefore the use of TT -BF is reduced to 4 -6 sheets per use.  After you have cleared a blocked Yacht Toilet you smell like S*** so you do not want to go that way again.  So you see put in Pump Out Toilets in all homes and you will cut down the use of TT – BF.  Keep up the good work, something to look at, why is it that when you put butter on toasted bread and it slips from your hand to the floor, why is it that the butter side always hit the floor first.  Turns over and sticks the butter to the floor.

  47. WHEELGUN says:

    Omg…you all need to get a life

  48. combi31 says:

    Hi, do you guys (and gals) know that there’s an international economic crisis going on ? Do you know about global overheating ? You could be out there doing something for humanity ! I love this kind of discussion, make’s life worth living <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/grin.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="grin" style="border:0;" /> How about doing a survey on average number of rasorblades used, shower gel usage, toothpaste, con###s……., cat litter, cream that ladies use to remove the hair from their legs. I’d love to do all of these surveys, just haven’t got the time. Personally, I wait until I get to the office, I’m cutting costs at home in anyway I can and as the “company” is trying to pay us less, it’s a good way of getting revenge and frankly I just let myself go <img src="http://joshmadison.com/images/smileys/grin.gif&quot; width="19" height="19" alt="grin" style="border:0;" />))

  49. doug says:

    Would anyone know if there is or should be a difference in TP usage when the needs of the sitter is compared to the needs of the squatter?

  50. Dick says:

    Forgot to mention, frugal technique:
    Fold sheet in half.  For at least the 1st sheet, wipe from above and below simultaneously towards the center (requires at least 2 fingers).  This prevents smearing, creates a pocket in the sheet to receive the feces, and generally prevents tearing the sheet because there’s no stretching.

  51. SClark says:

    I am doing a carbon footprint and ecological footprint on how much toilet paper and average person uses, now, i understand that i will have to use comparisons and state the diet and healthy-ness of the person. Ideally, a healthy person who follows canadas food guise, and female versus male. Any pointers? some major manufacture companies?

  52. Mike says:

    The next logical study would be the "efficiency of wiping", Why do you use so much toilet paper?
    Maybe its IBS?

  53. poor-n-confused says:

    speaking of bidets… I have never had the pleasure, but even comparing to taking a shower, I don't just stand there with running water. I use soap and a loofa or wash rag or sponge to scrub my body, including my bum. How does a bidet clean your bum with just a splash of running water? Doesn't it need to be wiped or rubbed clean along with the water?

  54. I think you might be my new hero. On an unrelated note I found this while trying to set up a comprehensive household budget.

  55. Diogenes says:

    But Sheryl Crow is right, you *can* wipe effectively with just one sheet of TP. We were taught that skill in the Army and you can learn it right here —

    http://www.thespeciousreport.com/2007/v704b_one_s

    Remember, if it saves just one tree . . . .

    Oh, and don't forget the fingernail!

  56. Nisha que says:

    I doing research about this it was
    Good

  57. Shaniqua says:

    LOL this is so weird!!! ;D Who records how much TOILET PAPER they use??? O.o

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