Toilet paper hoarding: How long does the supply last?

You’re nervously eyeing your last two rolls of toilet paper and wondering how long they will last? Or you still have four packs on stock and are thinking of getting a fifth? This calculator shows you how long you can get by with your toilet paper. Whether you would survive a two-week quarantine or if you simply have too much stash.

Corona crisis: the hype about toilet paper

The panic purchases in the US  are taking on bizarre forms. There’s an increasing fear of being left without toilet paper during a quarantine.  Particularly because toilet paper is currently sold out in almost all stores.

But is the concern justified? How much toilet paper does the average person actually use per day? How much toilet paper should one actually have on stock? And what if it is really running low and none is available? Here you will find answers to all of these questions.

The toilet paper calculator

 With the toilet paper calculator you can easily find the answers to:

  • How much toilet paper does my household use?
  • How long will my toilet paper last?
  • Should I increase my toilet paper supply?
  • Am I a panic buyer – did I overdo it when buying the rolls?

Hoarding: Is hoarding toilet paper useful?

When you see the empty shelves in supermarkets, you get a queasy feeling. Is there a supply bottleneck for goods like pasta, canned tomatoes and toilet paper? Not at all.

The FDA said late Tuesday that it’s working closely with grocery industry and federal and state partners to monitor the food supply chain for any shortages.

“We are in regular contact with food manufacturers and grocery stores. There are no nationwide shortages of food, although in some cases the inventory of certain foods at your grocery store might be temporarily low before stores can restock,” the FDA stated. “Food production and manufacturing are widely dispersed throughout the U.S., and there are currently no widespread disruptions reported in the supply chain.”

Nevertheless, when people see the empty shelves, they become worried, which triggers a dynamic: as soon as the shelves are refilled with toilet paper, even those who do not see themselves as panic buyers will buy before everything is sold out again.

A vicious cycle is created. Some supermarkets are therefore now limiting the quantity sold per household to one or two packs.

How much toilet paper do I need in stock?

Maybe you know the dilemma: On the one hand, you don’t want to be a panic buyer. On the other hand, you don’t want to be without toilet paper if everything is sold out when you need it.

If you are unsure how much toilet paper you should actually have on stock, use our calculator. It will tell you whether your supply is sufficient or whether – and how much – you should stock up on,  as a precaution.

How can I save toilet paper?

It’s actually quite simple: It’s best to use less per visit to the toilet.

In fact, many people use more toilet paper than necessary. For the small business, one or two sheets are quite sufficient. However, for convenience, more is automatically torn off.

By the way, nutrition can have an influence on the amount of paper needed for big business. If a lot of toilet paper is used when going to the toilet, this can be a sign that the bowel is not working properly. So it is definitely worth taking a look.

What to do when the toilet paper runs out?

But even if the toilet paper finally runs out, all is not lost. After all, the toilet paper in the form we know today is only about 150 years old. Nevertheless, people had to do their business before that. So how, for example, did people wipe their bums in the Middle Ages?

With rags, old clothes, sponges or even chickens running around, the following alternatives are best:

  • The washcloth: What was standard bathroom equipment in bathrooms some 30 years ago is hardly known to young people today. Nevertheless, the washcloth is a sensible alternative to toilet paper if the worst comes to the worst. It is moist and therefore even more thorough than paper and can be washed in the washing machine afterwards.
  • The bidet: In large bathrooms it is still partly found. The bidet looks like a toilet bowl and has a tap that releases water upwards. Thus, one can sit on the bidet and have the bottom flushed clean with water.
  • Showering/washing: If you don’t have a bidet, you can of course also just wash or shower.

Tissues as a toilet paper substitute?

It’s not a good idea to use tissues and kitchen roll as a replacement for toilet paper. In most cases, the kitchen roll cannot be flushed down the toilet and in the worst case it has to be laboriously fished out of the toilet. But both the tissues and handkerchiefs can also clog toilets and pipes.

So if you have to resort to these alternatives in an emergency, you should dispose of them in the garbage, not in the toilet.