Public Health

No TP? No problem: How to make DIY toilet paper

Image: No TP? No problem: How to make DIY toilet paper

As the U.S. struggles to contain the coronavirus, shoppers throughout the country seem hell-bent on one thing: Buying toilet paper.

Supermarkets and grocery stores are fast running out of TP, so it may be a good idea to start making your own. (h/t to

How to make DIY toilet paper

If you know how to make toilet paper, you won’t need to go out to buy some. All you need are the items included in the guide below. (Related: Coronavirus blues: If people are panicking over toilet paper, what will they do when the FOOD runs out?)

Things you need:

  • Large pot
  • 10 sheets of newspaper or a 1/2 pound stack of copy paper
  • Five-gallon bucket
  • Water
  • Leaves and grass
  • Baby oil
  • Metal spoon
  • Two bath towels
  • Rolling pin
  • Wooden board
  • Scissors


  1. Fill the five-gallon bucket with water, then soak the newspaper in the liquid. The ink will fade significantly, but it won’t disappear completely.
  2. Once the paper is done soaking, place the paper in the pot with several handfuls of clean grass and leaves. The fibers from the grass and leaves will break down and hold the toilet paper together.
  3. Let the mixture simmer for at least one hour.
  4. Boil the mixture for at least 30 minutes. During this step, the paper, grass and leaf mixture will turn into a pulp.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat and drain as much of the water.
  6. Let the remaining pulp and water to cool, then remove the pulp and fully drain.
  7. Place the pulp back into the pot and add four tablespoons of baby oil, then stir. The pulp won’t dry out because of the oil.
  8. Choose a room where you can leave your materials undisturbed for 30 minutes. Spread one towel out on the floor, then place the pulp on the towel.
  9. Roll out the pulp with the rolling pin. Make the pulp as thin as toilet paper.
  10. Place the second towel on top of the rolled-out pulp, then place the wooden board on top. Place cans, dumbbells or other heavy items on top to compress the pulp. After 30 minutes, remove the board and the weights.
  11. Flip the towels over. Remove the bottom towel, which should now be on top.
  12. Leave the towel with the drying, flattened pulp out in the sun.
  13. When the mixture is completely dried, peel it off and use the scissors to cut it down to size. Store the DIY TP in an airtight container.

Toilet paper alternatives

If you’ve run out of toilet paper, here are some alternatives. From leaves to reusable cloths, there’s an option for everyone.

  • Lamb’s ear – Lamb’s ear is a low lying plant with long basal leaves covered in a soft fuzz that gives it a texture like felt. Lamb’s ear leaves are soft and biodegradable.
  • Reusable cloth – Wet, reusable cloths can be used like regular toilet paper, but the former simply need to be thoroughly washed after each use.
  • Bidet spray/ shower – Simply install a bidet spray in your toilet. A bidet looks like a tiny showerhead, but they’re used for cleaning yourself once you’re done with your business. The only downside is, you need a constant supply of clean water for a bidet spray.

Use your prepper knowledge to ensure that you have access to the necessary supplies when SHTF. But if you can’t buy toilet paper, you have the option to make some.

Sources include:

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