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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

Toilet Paper vs water: Let’s settle the debate

In Asian countries, the use of water- jet sprays, bidet sprays, or even bucket water – is very common in households and public restrooms.

However, when they go to countries in the west, especially America, one will be surprised to find the use of such water equipment replaced with plain old toilet paper and vice versa.

In this article, the pros and cons of both, toilet paper and water will be presented in order to help one settle the debate of Toilet paper vs water.

Toilet paper

Toilet paper, Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Toilet Paper


1)    Cost Factor

Toilet papers are a cheaper alternative to costly water bills. In addition to that, it also is a good option when a person in an area where either the water supply does not reach or where there is a limited amount of water and is the best alternative for optimum disposable.

2)    Premium Toilet Paper

Soft toilet papers/ premium papers are really recommendable as it is considered the best toilet paper in the world. This is because it does not heavily clog the drainage as compared to ordinary toilet paper. Moreover, some premium tissue paper companies are into recycling as well today. Lastly, this quality of tissue paper helps relieve or avoid any urinary tract infections and other hygiene problems.


1)    Not accessible to all

While premium tissue papers have advantages, it also comes with quite a number of disadvantages.

  1. Firstly, while some may consider the cost of premium toilet papers low, the prices keep increasing as the demand increases. As a result, it becomes more and more expensive and there’s a considerable amount of people who feel the financial drain on toilet papers.

  2. Due to this people opt for the ordinary toilet papers which also come with more disadvantages.

2)    Damaging

The excessive rubbing of your genital area will cause friction and one can get piles or hemorrhoids from it. Lastly, ordinary toilet paper users are also prone to bacterial infections and can lead to itchiness, bleeding, soreness, and bruising.

3)    Improper Use

Although it may come as a surprise, a lot of people do not know how to use toilet paper effectively and efficiently. As a result, one may not end up cleaning themselves properly and could further develop an infection.

4)    Environmental Issues

There is a couple of alarming problems related to toilet papers:

  1. The majority of toilet papers are made from trees. Thus, production involves excessive felling of trees which will harm mother nature.

  2. A single roll of toilet paper requires around 37 gallons of water and the factories and transportation of the paper can add to air pollution. There may be eco-friendly paper but they are comparatively more expensive.

  3. Most importantly, paper mills are the 3rd largest contributor to global warming.

  4. Most hard tissue papers also clog plumbing sewer systems and water as most people discard the toilet paper by flushing it down.


Bidet, Credit: Pikist

Water: Bidet Spray and Jet Spray


1)    Environmentally Friendly

In America, an individual utilizes around 3 rolls of tissue a week. This means that about 36.5 billion rolls are utilized every year. Therefore, more paper equals more environmental damage to water, trees, electricity, and other gases.

This is precisely why the use of water is far better than toilet paper as in the long run, it will benefit both the environment and the consumers.

2)    Optimum Water Pressure

The pressure of the water in bidet spray or bidet toilets can be adjusted in such a way that will reduce pain or any excess pressure that will damage the skin in that area.

3)    Fast and Efficient Cleaning

While using the toilet Forget wiping over and over and over again. This can be extremely time-consuming. On the other hand, using a water spray is efficient, effective, and well as a faster mode of cleaning.


  1. Sometimes, frequent use of bidets could interrupt the normal bacterial in the vagina and lead to infection.

  2. Those who use water to clean might also require additional towels to dry themselves. This means there will be an extra load of napkins, wipes, or towels in your laundry and thus adding on to your chores.

  3. If one does not dry themselves properly, the wet or damp area could serve as a medium of moisture that promotes bacteria overgrowth and thus leading to infections.

Toilet paper vs water

Toilet paper vs water, Credit: Interior design


From the above points mentioned in each pros and cons, it is obvious that both, toilet paper and water, come with a fair share of advantages and disadvantages. For example, if both methods of cleaning are not carried out properly, it could lead to an infection.

However, toilet paper could further cause friction, rashes, burns, and is an obvious form of pollutant to water and air. Thus, it is safe to say that toilet papers are a bigger threat to both the consumer and the environment compared to the use of water.

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