Most people will believe there is hardly a debate to be had between toilet paper and wet wipes. They believe toilet paper is for the bathroom, while wet wipes are for after you eat chicken wings.
However, a growing number of wet wipe products are on the market now and they’re not just for babies or those with medical conditions. Keep reading, and below you’ll come to know all the advantages and disadvantages of both wet wipes and toilet paper.
Using Wet Wipes and Toilet Paper: The Basics
Let’s start by looking at the two things at their very basic level.
Most of us are familiar with this product. It comes in a few different varieties such, as single-ply and double-ply, and is the most common way to wipe after using the bathroom.
Using it is a task we all learn as children, you go front to back, away from the groin, and throw away the used paper in the toilet.
Wet wipes are used for toddlers or those with sensitive behinds for the most part. There are plenty of normal adults who have stuck with them though, insisting it is a much cleaner and effective method of wiping.
Wet wipes are used in the same method as toilet paper but are typically disposed of in a trash can rather than flushed straight down the toilet.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Wet Wipes
With the basics out of the way, let’s take a closer look at using wet wipes.
Advantage #1: Wipes Offer a More Thorough Clean
Using toilet paper will usually leave some things behind while wet wipes will not. They include chemicals on the wipe that are meant to break down feces and make sure all of it gets off when wiped.
Wet wipes will also kill bacteria that could potentially lead to urinary tract infections (UTIs). Toilet paper, on the other hand, has no method of doing this other than for the user to wipe as thoroughly as possible.
Advantage #2: Does Not Leave Odors
Another advantage of using wet wipes is that they will soak up odors and lessen the need for bathroom sprays and air fresheners.
In fact, some wet wipes are actually scented and can leave behind a pleasant aroma just by using them to wipe. This is why most people are perfectly comfortable throwing these in the trash rather than flushing them.
Disadvantage #1: They Should Not Be Flushed
Wet wipes should not be flushed down the toilet, as they do not break down as easily as toilet paper. This makes wet wipes a bit more inconvenient to throw away.
They should be disposed of in a trash can and taken out with the rest of your trash to the landfill. Unfortunately, you may see yourself running out of trash bags quicker if you use wet wipes consistently.
Disadvantage #2: They Can Cause Allergic Reactions
The chemicals that are used on wet wipes can sometimes cause adverse reactions that can be uncomfortable or even painful.
While they are used for a more thorough clean, much like rubbing too much soap on your skin in the shower, they can cause some irritation.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Toilet Paper
Next, let’s zoom in on toilet paper.
Advantage #1: Cost and Availability
Toilet paper can be found at just about any supermarket, convenience store, or drug store, and it is sometimes worth under 50 cents per roll.
Not to mention, in most public facilities, toilet paper will be your only option. Some places will actually ban the use of wet wipes as they could potentially clog up their toilets if too many people are using them.
Advantage #2: Easy to Dispose
Unlike wet wipes, toilet paper can be flushed down the toilet. It will break down in the sewer pipes and will never clog your drain unless you flush too much at once.
Disadvantage #1: Cleanliness
Unless you are very diligent about wiping, toilet paper will typically leave a little mess behind. This can result in skin irritation, bad smells, or potentially hemorrhoids at the worst.
This can be solved by showering, but then again, that is also a spot not many people enjoy having to clean out themselves. This disadvantage can be avoided, but it takes some extra effort while wiping.
Disadvantage #2: Lack of Quality Control
Surely, you’ve encountered cheaply made toilet paper that just crumbles in your hands as you use it. It is easy to come into contact with bad toilet paper that will not clean well and cause all kinds of problems until you get in the shower.
What’s more is that good toilet paper can get expensive, and finding the right balance of what’s right for your self-care and your wallet can be difficult.
Can Adults Use Baby Wipes Instead of Toilet Paper?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine for adults to use baby wipes. Many new parents that buy these in bulk will use them frequently and with no adverse effects.
Baby wipes are essentially no different from regular wet wipes, they are made for the sensitive butts babies have and will not irritate an adult’s unless they have some kind of allergy to its chemicals.
Wet Wipes vs. Toilet Paper: The Three Big Questions
With all of the above out of the way, I’m sure that at the end of the day you are wondering about what the answer to the three questions below is.
Which Is More Cost-Friendly?
As stated above, toilet paper is more cost-friendly. This does depend on where you stand on buying cheap toilet paper though.
There are some people who cannot buy cheap, single-ply toilet paper because it makes for an uncomfortable wiping experience. It could be more cost-efficient to go with wet wipes if you can only use expensive toilet paper.
Which Is More Hygienic?
Wet wipes are the more hygienic of the two. They are made with cleaning chemicals that are designed to break down bacteria and make for a clean wipe without much effort.
Toilet paper is simply made for getting the worst of it out and expects taking a shower to do the rest of the work for a proper clean.
Which Is More Environmentally-Friendly?
Using toilet paper is the more eco-friendly option because it does not have any chemicals on it, and can be broken down in sewer pipes.
Toilet paper is completely biodegradable, while wet wipes will need to be taken to a landfill to be disposed of properly.
That said, there are other options that are even eco-friendlier.
So, in the end, if you are more sensitive when you wipe you will probably want to spring for wet wipes. However, be sure you are not allergic to the chemicals they use, and still wash in the shower so your skin does not become irritated.
If you’re more of a traditionalist, simply use the old fashioned toilet paper method. It will take some extra effort in the shower to clean, but you should see no trouble otherwise.
Both of these methods of wiping have their advantages and disadvantages and it is up to you to look at your wiping experiences and decide between the two.