Toilet paper has been a part of your life since the day you were weened off diapers. So naturally, toilet paper has taken on the form of something so necessary that we never really dig deeper on its role in our everyday lives. But really; what’s the deal with toilet paper? Well, ‘tis the season to talk about it, as toilet paper sales tend to soar this time of year.
Continue below to learn how toilet paper works, and a few other related facts that might just surprise you.
Brief History of Toilet Paper
Everyone has a personal, internal disposal system, leaving us to all have one thing in common, a need for a good wipe. So, in comes toilet paper, our rear-end’s savior for a comfortable, convenient, and hygienic solution to post-elimination cleanup. Before TP, ancient peoples use everything from rocks and seashells, to hay, straw, and fibrous plant material to satisfy their need to wipe. Fortunately, in the 6th century C.E., China finally invented paper, which they made from the pulp of mulberry trees. At that time, they also decided that paper was the way to go when it comes to post-go wiping.
Although used around the world by several ethnicities, cultures, and societies, Americans take the cake as the top consumers. But it wasn’t always that way. Even back in the 1800’s, people were mostly using pages torn out of Old Farmer’s Almanacs and Sears catalogs. As time went on, a guy invented a hemp-based sheet formulated with aloe, as a remedy for hemorrhoids. From there, American capitalism took inertia, and eventually grew into a multi-billion dollar industry, just in the states.
FUN FACT: When Sears Roebuck changed their catalogs to a glossy page material, many consumers complained because it just wasn’t as comfortable as the paper pages they had before! Even the Old Farmer’s Almanac added holes in the corner of their pages so they would be easier to hang from a hook in the outhouse!
How Much Toilet Paper Do You Use?
Research and statistics reveal that in the United States alone, more than 6 billion dollars are spent on toilet paper each year by consumers. What’s more startling is that the same data shows that people tend to use around 50 pounds of toilet paper, per capita, each year. No so comforting, if you were to use these same stats, it would require a toilet paper manufacturer to cut down 10 million trees each year to make enough teepee for the whole world.
Indoor Plumbing Was the Key to TP Success
Toilet paper was really thin before because it had to be easily disposable. But this created a problem for big go’s, as hands would often be left soiled unless you use a lot of paper. But once indoor plumbing was a reliable and consistent thing, toilet paper quality was improved drastically. It was made with a more flush-able design, yet thicker and more absorbent than ever before.
But don’t put too much TP down the toilet! Otherwise, you might end up with a clog! Talk to your local plumber about your toilet and bathroom plumbing concerns, and they can help you get your indoor plumbing back on track and under control.
How it Works
There are several different kinds of toilet paper, ranging in size, quality, brand, color, composition, and more. Generally, toilet paper is made from a mix of water, tree pulp, bleach, and select chemicals used to extract fibers, which renders a softer, cushier material. As for the tree pulp, a blend of softwood and hardwood trees. Hardwoods include species like maple, gum, and oak, while softwoods are species like Hemlocks, Firs, and Spruces. By the way, toilet paper is often kept white because dyes can pose certain health risks or complications.
Need an Emergency Plumber for Toilet Repair and Service in Indianapolis?
Call Weilhammer Plumbing Co. Inc. at 317-784-1870 for trusted and affordable emergency plumbing services in Indianapolis, Indiana. We offer a wide range of standard and master plumber repair services for both residential and commercial properties, including home plumbing inspections, water heater repair, water softener repair, septic tank repair, and appliance sales. We also offer free estimates, free plumbing advice, and even free haul-away for old plumbing appliances. Request a free estimate, today.