'Family cloth' reusable toilet paper is a thing, and the internet is horrified

The “reduce, reuse, recycle” approach to eco-friendly living is coming for your two-ply Angel Soft.

BuzzFeed has reported on a bathroom trend that’s being touted as a cheaper, more environmentally responsible alternative to toilet paper. It’s called a “family cloth,” and it’s a cloth wipe that is used (once per bathroom visit), thrown in a hamper, run through the laundry, and then reused. Essentially, it’s the more mature toilet paper version of a cloth diaper.

One woman told BuzzFeed that her family of four has been relying on the family cloth method for almost a year — and there’s no going back.

“In my mind, buying and using disposable toilet paper was literally flushing money down the toilet!” she told the outlet. “If you’re wondering, ‘Why would you want to reuse something that you wipe your genitals with?’, I’d answer this question with my own question: ‘Do you throw away your underpants after each use?'”

The woman, who chose to remain anonymous, added that her family currently only uses the cloth wipes for pees. A No. 2 situation would require a baby wipe, which is thrown away rather than risk clogging the toilet. She said she would consider a post-poop family cloth if the household were to install a bidet, though that’s of course less cost-effective.

But according a post by blogger Beth Ricci on the Red & Honey blog, some family cloth users are fine with using the wipes in any bathroom scenario.

“Some people also like to use it for just #1 and not have to deal with #2,” Ricci wrote. “Personally, I love it for both. I find it so much more comfortable and luxurious-feeling. I feel cleaner. I also use it for ‘that time of the month’ which is extra-awesome. We ladies tend to feel icky in those days because it’s tough to get totally clean with just paper. With a warm, wet cloth, I feel like I’m actually getting 100% clean. Full disclosure: Sometimes I tag team it and use a bit of paper to wipe first, then a wet cloth for a more thorough clean.”

Though Ricci’s testimonial was met by several comments praising the inventive way of reducing waste, many people on the internet at large — including Chrissy Teigen — are having a hard time with the concept. And by “having a hard time” we mean they’re repulsed.

Some wonder if the family cloth method is truly hygienic and eco-friendly.

If you’re curious to see how it works for yourself, you can find family cloth versions available for purchase on Etsy.

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