Wednesday, January 2, 2008

WARNING: This Post Contains TMI

The nature of this challenge requires me to talk about things that a lady does not discuss. Luckily, I am not a lady. But some of you may be ladies or gentlemen, or you may simply not want to read about le toilette while you eat your lunch. So for any post that seems to cross certain boundaries, I'm going to give you fair warning. So stop reading this post now, or read at your own risk!

With that out of the way, many of you have been asking what I'm going to do now that I'm giving up toilet paper. I did some research on going tp-free before I started the challenge, and I came to the conclusion that cloth wipes were not for me. For starters, it would require doing my laundry more than the once every three weeks that I currently get around to doing it.

So I talked to my mom. Apparently, in the mother country, people don't use toilet paper. Instead, they use, well ... a mug of water and their left hand. No muss, no fuss, just wash your hands and you're good to go. (Incidentally, this is why Indians give, receive and eat with their right hands. It's seen as bad manners to give someone something with your left hand considering where your left hand has been.)

Well, that was informative, but using a mug seemed like a recipe for getting water all over my bathroom.

And then I remembered that Vanessa at Green as a Thistle had gone toilet paper free. And she had eschewed cloth wipes in favor of a squirty water bottle and doing a little booty dance.

Perfect!

I had to do a little juggling of household cleaners in order to free up a squirty water bottle. (I used the bottle that my Method Shower Spray came in so that in case there was some residue left after I had washed it out, at least it would be non-toxic.) Then I added water, and a few squirts of liquid soap and I was good to go.

And the result? It's cold, that water that comes out of the squirty bottle! And I look really silly doing a little dance in my bathroom. But? I also feel nice and clean, and I suspect that after I get used to it, I won't want to go back to my scratchy recycled toilet paper.

13 comments:

EcoGeoFemme said...

Is the squirty bottle just for #1 or is for #2 as well?

arduous said...

Just for #1. I haven't gotten up the nerve to use it for #2 yet, though I might eventually.

EcoGeoFemme said...

so, um, does leaving the bathroom after using the squirty bottle feel much different than having not used anything? Like, you still feel wet, right?

arduous said...

Well, yes, but I also feel clean because the squirty bottle contains clean water and a smidge of soap. I mean we use toilet paper 1) for dryness and 2) to feel clean, yes?

So basically, by not using toilet paper, I'm giving up on the dryness (not such a big deal, because wait a few minutes and you're perfectly dry) but I still feel clean.

Mad Hatter said...

The water and left hand method is also what is used by many in the country I grew up in. Needless to say, they also eat with their right hands! The squirty bottle is a creative idea!

Mouse said...

Just a thought.

Beany said...

I use a bottle (aquafina - if it matters) and have been for a while. No problems. I just couldn't deal with cloth wipes and my erratic schedule in doing laundry. I feel cleaner personally, and certain parts do like the cold water.

Why am I always revealing TMI here?

arduous said...

Heh, mouse, that's very cute. :)

ScienceMama said...

More on the TMI front... This is exactly what women do right after having a baby. Squirty water bottles. They send you home from the hospital with a squirty water bottle because most women are so "damaged" from the birthing process that they can't use TP for weeks. And also, you're bleeding heavily for like 4 weeks, so using a little squirty water bottle goes a long way towards keeping you "spring time fresh."

I've still got mine under the sink. Maybe I should pull it back out...

Also, I'm not sure how I'd feel about the smidge of soap in there since you're not "rinsing" afterwards. Seems like it might be bad for the sensitive skin down there. Something to think about.

Chile said...

Water works fine, but I'm a lousy dancer. Since I already use cloth wipes for #1, using them to dry after rinsing #2 off is no big deal. And it doesn't add that much to the overall laundry although hanging the wipes to dry on the clothesline is rather tedious.

arduous said...

ScienceMama, I thought about that re: the soap, but my skin feels fine. (I put just a smidge into the whole squirty bottle.) If it starts to give me problems, I'll stop using it, but I figured people soak in soapy water when they take baths and not everyone rinses off after baths.

I don't know. I might do away with the soap next time I fill up my bottle though. There's so little in there that it's probably just a pscyhological benefit rather than an actual cleanliness benefit.

Ophelia Rising said...

I actually have one of those little squirty bottles under my sink left over from the birth of my baby, too. Maybe I should try this. I think I would opt for the squirty bottle over cloth wipes. (Almost like a hand-held bidet...?)

Thanks for the eco-tips. I'm always looking for something to do to help lessen all the waste (pun not intended!) :0

Maggie said...

Okay, I saw your suggestion on student doc green's blog and thought I'd give it a whirl but I think I'm missing something in the technique. I find I still feel incredibly wet and not especially clean. Perhaps I need to improve my bootie shake but I'm struggling here. Do you wait a minute or two before you put your underwear back on? I love this idea but so far I'm not convinced it will work for me... Thanks for listening to my TMI.