Why We Have Stopped Using Toilet Paper

How to give up toilet roll and why you should

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Today I’m interviewing  Helen Rankin, the founder of *Cheeky Wipes. The company designs, markets and sells the world’s first natural, cloth baby wipes “all-in-one” system for both cloth and disposable nappy users.


‘with more than 15,000 happy customers, Cheeky Wipes has saved more than 216 million wipes being flushed down the toilet or going to landfill, in the last four years alone – and that’s a conservative estimate!’ – Helen


Related Post: Cheeky Wipes Review – Reusable Wet Wipes

Before we begin please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your family?


I’m Helen, Founder of Cheeky Wipes and Mum to Archie, 14, Felix, 11, Jennie, 10 & Aerin, 8. I launched Cheeky Wipes 10 years ago in October 2007, when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Jennie.  The reason I created Cheeky Wipes in the first place is that I suffer from eczema and when my eldest son was born, my eczema was really bad on my hands, and any disposable wipes I tried really hurt my hands. 


The wipes started as just baby wipes initially but we found that people were interested in using them as toilet paper alternatives.  After some hesitation, I tried it myself and lo, our toilet paper alternative kit was born.

We’ve spread our wings over the years and over the last 3 years have introduced  Cloth Sanitary Pads which are hugely popular, reusable make-up removing pads and  period pants.  We’ve also just introduced a ‘Welcome to your period’ first period starter kit as we believe this exciting change should be a cause for celebration, not embarrassment

How Did You Get Started with Going Toilet Paper Free?


The idea had been introduced to me at a Baby Show by a customer who didn’t want them for herself but had been thinking of going ‘toilet paper free’. I was intrigued by the idea and thought it over for a while, before, quite randomly one Friday night, just starting to use my wipes as bum wipes for all the family. I haven’t looked back!


Where Do You Store Them After Use but Before Washing?


I started out storing mine in a Cheeky Wipes Mucky Box, but with 4 kids it was getting full too quickly, so we now store them in a nappy bin which works fine for us.


Do the Wipes Smell When Being Stored?


No, not at all. The tea tree oil helps mask any smell.


How Do You Clean the Wipes?


I wash them in the longest cotton wash that my machine does. It’s a Samsung ecobubble though which weighs the weight of laundry, so it’s never much more than a 90 minute wash, even if I throw in some towels.   I also use a bio washing liquid because in all honesty I did try the more eco options and they just didn’t work getting my clothes clean.  Then my Mum bought some Daz and I realised what washing powder was actually supposed to do!  But just use whatever washing method you prefer.

How to give up toilet roll and why you should

Do You Have To Use an Extra Hot Wash?


I wash at 40c for environmental purposes, but use a capful of Dettol anti bacterial laundry liquid, so that they come out hygienically clean.


Don’t the Wipes Get Stained?

Not really. Occasionally there’s the odd which someone has wiped and then folded with and it stays closed in the wash, but I just chuck it in the wash again if that’s the case.  


How Much Extra Washing Does it Make? 


The wipes don’t have to be washed separately (although some people are poo squeamish and prefer to wash separately). But I tend to chuck mine in with towels or bedding. If you assume that you get through one pack of wipes (25) which weigh 250g and wash them every other day, as part of a 7kg washload, that actually only adds up to 6 extra loads of washing over a year!

zero waste clothes washing

Does Each Family Member Have Their Own Wipes?


No! I could see that some people might prefer that, but we just chuck them all in together.  Keep it simple!


Do You Have Separate Wipes for number 1’s and number 2’s?


No. Again, I like to keep life simple. 4 kids and a business means I haven’t got time to separate out wipes.


What Do You Do When You Have Guests Over?


We have toilet roll, although close friends who are also toilet paper free have been known to use our wipes!


Do You Use The Wipes When You’re Out?


No. I did when the kids were little and we were using them as baby wipes.  Although I keep a stash dry in the car for emergencies!

How & Why you should give up using toilet roll #zerowaste #zerowastehome #zerowasteliving
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What are the Wipes Made Of?


They’re available in a *few different fabrics, but my preference is cotton flannel. The reason for this is that they are our thinnest and largest wipe, and are also very soft. I’ve tried all of our wipes for bum wiping and these are my favourite.

Can You Give Us 3 Reasons Why We Should Consider Making the Switch to going Toilet Paper Free?

I’ll give you 4!

1. Obviously it’s more eco-friendly, no mass ongoing production and consumption of toilet paper. No contributing to fatbergs from so called ‘flushable’wipes.

2. They are SO much nicer to use. They leave you feeling fresh and clean and (apologies, TMI) no little bits of toilet paper left behind in your lady bits or hairy man bums.

3. You’ll save money. The kit will pay for itself and can continue to be reused again and again.

4. You’ll never run out of something to wipe your bum with and have to run to the corner shop late at night!


Where Can I Buy Reusable Toilet Paper?


You can buy reusable toilet paper kits on the *Cheeky Wipes website.


“By making families aware of that fact that they have a choice when it comes to wiping their bottoms, we can enable them to have happier, healthier bottoms and make the planet healthier and happier as well.” – Helen


and lastly what is your top tip for anyone wanting to ditch the toilet paper?


Just do it. I hesitated and it was one of the best eco swaps I’ve made.

As well as reusable toilet paper Cheeky Wipes also have a range of…


  • reusable baby wipes
  • reusable makeups wipes
  • reusable period wear.


Take a look at the full range on the *Cheek Wipes website today!

So what about you? Would you consider giving up toilet paper in favour of a more sustainable alternative? 

Why we've stopped using toilet paper and you should too #zerowaste #ecolifestyle #zerowastehome

About Gina Caro

Gina is a content creator and award-winning blogger. Her aim is to help you live a more sustainable & simple life.  Her blog covers zero waste, minimalism, wellbeing & thrift. She currently lives in Cornwall with her partner, two kids and Charles the dog. 

Georgina Caro Gypsy Soul
Cheeky Wipes

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5 thoughts on “Why We Have Stopped Using Toilet Paper”

  1. Perhaps having less children would be better for the planet! Four children and environmentally friendly wipes, seriously? This is the kind of thing that I find hypocritical, sorry!

    1. Hi Ally,

      Thanks for stopping by. You’re right, having less children is one of the biggest ways you can reduce your carbon footprint. However, a lot of people are only just starting out on their sustainable lifestyle journey and already have children and obviously they cannot change the past, nor do I imagine they would want to. I certainly don’t regret having my two. I think it’s more productive to focus on the future and what changes we can make going forward. Are you saying that anyone that already has children shouldn’t bother trying to make sustainable changes in their life?

      There is a quote that I love by Anne-Marie Bonneau “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.”

  2. I would love to swap over to reusable TP wipes but convincing the husband would be a challenge. I’ve already been using cloth menstrual pads for years and love it. My other biggest swap I’d like to do is paper towel, I have a ripped queen sized bamboo flat sheet just sitting there waiting for me to cut it up and sew the edges……… I’m just learning to sew/use my sewing machine so it may take me a little longer to get these done and being used, but that’s my plan.

    1. Hi Anita,

      Thanks for stopping by. My other half also wouldn’t use reusable wipes under any circumstances. I think I might be able to convince him to install a bidet attachment though which I’m hoping to do when we’ve finished our home renovations.

      I use reusable period pants and love them! I’d never go back to disposables now. Love the idea of using material that you already have to make reusable paper towel. Good luck. I’d love to see the finished product. Sounds like you’re making some great sustainable changes in your home.

I'd love to know what you think...

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