Eco math of toilet cloth vs TP

Someone in the Zero Waste, Zero Judgment group on Facebook posted that she has just started using a bidet and is looking into switching from TP to toilet cloth.

She would have to wash it in a separate load from other laundry as per her partner’s request (he’d continue to use toilet paper). Since she would never have enough for a full load, she’d basically be running an almost empty washing machine once a week. Even given that her machine is an eco-friendly model, she wonders if using TC in this case would really be more eco friendly in terms of energy and water usage compared to the production of toilet paper.

A great question! And if you want to read a variety of responses, visit ZWZJ. If you haven’t already joined, I highly recommend it. It’s a private group so I can’t post a link to the post. But just do a search on toilet cloth and it’ll come up.

Myself, I wash my TC squares by hand in a small jar w gentle soap/detergent (put the lid on tight & “shake it up, baby now”!), then line-dry them so they get nice and clean in the sun. Or during rainy season, I dry them on the mini portable indoor drying rack which I keep in my bedroom/office next to the window and use for “girly underthings” and other small items. (Full disclosure: And use it as a rack to just hang things when there’s no laundry to dry and I’m just being lazy LOL.)

(I do all my wash by hand, & line-dry. Since it’s only my own laundry, and I live by the beach in a warm climate, this takes only about five minutes a day.)

BTW We also have a drying rack in the kitchen that’s only for kitchen stuff.

And each of my (male) housemates has their own clothes line that I have set up for them in the yard. Although, they generally do their laundry at the laundromat, but they still sometimes like to line-dry a thing or two, and I like to keep my girly things separate in case they might feel weird about it. We are all Boomers, and some of us might feel uptight about this kind of thing, in a way that younger people might not.

I think the person in the group who made this query, her partner’s concerns are more related to indoctrination around cleanliness/germs.

(BUT If they were actual family members, whose laundry I had to do, I would probably say hey, too bad so sad, my TC squares are mingling in the Maytag with your man-stuff unless you want to do the laundry yourself <wink emoji>. But I also understand about division of labor by choice, and understand that sometimes people want to respect their partners’ boundaries even if it may not seem rational. After all, most of us probably have boundaries that don’t seem rational to our family members.)

If housemates were using TC too it might be different. They might not mind, regardless. It’s not a thing I’ve ever asked them, but in any case that’s my two cents from a person living with fellow humans who are not necessarily on the same program.