Sunday, June 9, 2013

Using the Family Cloth- Warning Maybe TMI

Last year our we learned that tree roots are growing through our septic system pipes.  The solution is way out of our price range right now, so we compromised with the pipes.  They can handle human waste, but no paper or feminine products.  Anything aside from human waste will get stuck in the roots and back up all the plumbing.  Not fun!  So I have been using whats known as the "family cloth".  Basically squares of flannel, or baby wash cloths to wipe instead of tp.  We have baby wipes should we need to go #2.  Next to the toilet is a bucket for the cloths.  On the other side is the trash for the wipes. 
  I am sharing this not because you are interested in what goes on in our bathroom, but to show you that there are always ways of living frugally if you really want to.  Not buying tp has saved us so much money!  We do buy the baby wipes, but we use way less than we would with tp.  The flannel cloths can be made from old flannel tshirts, or flannel by the yard.  I made ours to fit inside a baby wipe container when folded in half.  When I start running low, I throw them in the wash.  I am betting if you ask anyone who grew up using an outhouse, they used some version of the cloth too.  I know some people who had a peg for each family member to hang their cloth.  Everyone was responsible for rinsing out their cloth and hanging it to dry.  There is something to be said about using soft flannel instead of tp... I feel spoiled!


  1. This is very common in other parts of the world. I lived in China for several years and the plumbing there didn't handle tp well either. It takes a shift in attitude to get used to this but I know several people who do it.

  2. I really don't spend that much on TP...$16 every 2-3 months. After using bleach and very hot water to sanitize in my washing machine to wash the cloths, I'm not sure I'd really save that much. I think I'd probably spend about the same, either way. Not knocking your decision, but if you just bought tp and no baby wipes, and just kept a lined waste basket nearby, I think the financial aspect would be the same.

    1. (and less work. Time is money, after all.)