Consumer Reports Tests Toilet Paper, Sheds Light on Long-Term Costs

toilet paperThe consumer rights watchdog group Consumer Reports recently dove headlong into an analysis of America’s favorite household product to talk about: toilet paper. OK, so maybe TP doesn’t pop up conversationally as much as the latest smart phone app or box office blockbuster, but it is one of those items that constantly appears as a repeat offender on our shopping lists whether we talk about it or not. And as we extrapolated from the CR data, those rolls can rack up a hefty tab over time.

The Consumer Reports article states that they tested toilet paper quality using four primary criteria: strength, softness, disintegration, and tearing ease. Being Consumer Reports, they also looked at price and levels of public consumption, which revealed some very interesting information.  On average, Americans use 46 sheets of toilet paper per day according to Kimberly-Clark, the consumer corporation that makes several brands of bath tissue as well as other paper products. That average of 46 sheets per day adds up to close to 17 thousand sheets a year (over 33 rolls per person, to think of it another way). Based on these numbers, we looked at how much we pay to keep our bathrooms stocked with all those rolls.

The Consumer Reports article cites two top test winners based on their findings. White Cloud Ultra 3-Ply was named a CR Best Buy, which they calculate as costing 25 cents per 100 sheets. The other TP (Top Pick) was Charmin Ultra Strong, which rang up at 41 cents per 100 sheets. Using these top tissues, we averaged their price (33 cents per 100 sheets), and we found that a family of four pays over $220 every year on toilet paper! Knowing that number makes it hard to look back on how much money we’ve each flushed down the drain over the years, literally.

Fortunately there is a way to forestall future financial losses at the relentless hands of toilet paper. Installing a bidet toilet seat is not only a better way to clean yourself more thoroughly and hygienically, but it also drastically cuts down on toilet paper consumption. While many bidet users still keep a roll of toilet paper around for drying purposes, nearly all electronic bidet seats come equipped with a warm air dryer. So it’s possible to completely do away with toilet paper, though you might want to keep a roll on hand so your toilet paper dispenser doesn’t look too lonesome.

The typical bidet seat lasts seven years or more, so over such a long period it’s possible that a bidet seat could in essence pay for itself and then some when calculating the amount that can be saved in toilet paper expense. And besides the monetary savings, installing a bidet and cutting down on toilet paper use also saves trees. So it makes sense financially. It makes sense environmentally. It makes sense hygienically. And with large parts of the world outside the US already utilizing bidets, it seems like only a matter of time before more Americans make the switch to a bidet and stop flushing money down the drain.

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