It's normal to check the toilet paper after you wipe, right?

It's normal to check the toilet paper after you wipe, right?

Written by Caleb Johnson

When it comes to backside wiping, we should be aiming to “Wipe until you see white.”  

If wiping was a race, seeing white on the toilet paper is the finish line. But before we reach that finish line, we must first inspect the competition, the route of the race and the terrain on which we’re running. The same inspection is needed when wrapping up our time on the toilet, before we reach the end goal of seeing clean. It’s almost an innate instinct; we just need to peer at the smear. 

If somebody asked you to inspect a poop-covered piece of paper anywhere outside of the toilet, you’d likely go running for the hills. And fair enough! Some things are better dealt with behind closed toilet doors. But for me, myself, my poop and I quality time, it's natural that our standards would be a little different.   

In fact, a study conducted at the University of St Andrews found that we show less disgust for bodily fluids and unpleasant scents when they come from ‘one of our own’. Students in the study were found to be less disgusted by a soiled t-shirt when they were told it was a fellow student’s, opposed to a student from a rival University. What about wiping with the jersey of a rival team? Would that make it even itself out? Let us know. 

Let’s turn back to reading those toilet paper tea leaves. If a dog can get the latest from a fellow’s bottom, what can we learn from our very own headline news? 

Here’s 5 reasons why you should check the TP after you wipe:  

1. Because hygiene matters! 

Most people would say that checking the toilet paper after wiping is the best way to know that the deed is done and you’re good to go – and they wouldn’t be wrong! 

Aside from saving your significant other from picking your spicy underwear out of the wash bin with a pair of tongs, poor back-alley hygiene can really dampen the mood when it causes itchiness, soreness, discomfort or even infection.  

When poop is left on our backsides, it can dry on the skin which causes irritation as you move throughout the day making daily life a right itch-fest. We also need to consider the fact that, as much as we deal with them on a daily basis, faeces are dirty. You don’t want that kind of baggage. 

So, convinced? In the effort to achieve that pristine perfection, don’t make the mistake of wiping too hard! You may cause more damage than good, by leaving micro wounds around your anus. If there are any tears on the skin around your starfish, you could risk contracting hepatitis A, hepatitis E, cholera, adenovirus, and E. coli. Nasty stuff! 

So clean it, check it, but don’t rough it up. 

2. Follow the crowd: 67% of Brits do It 

67% of Brits say that they take a peek at the tissue after they’ve wiped away what Mother Nature’s left behind. Join the forces of the sheet checkers, look down with pride at the result of your bowel’s magical machinery and figure out what your normal looks like. 

The main point here isn’t to convince you to check the receipt once your purchase is complete, but to allow you to feel more and more comfortable about inspecting things properly at toilet time. You can think of it as a key part of your toilet regimen. 

3. You're only adding 1 step to your routine 

In a world where 7-step skincare routines, 12-ingredient protein pancakes and candlelit spin classes are the norm, adding one extra step to our toilet routine sounds like a walk in the muddy park! 

Not only is it easy to add this step into your toilet regimen, but it could also save your a*s when it comes to understanding your diet, listening to what your body is trying to tell you and any possible health conditions. So, next time you wipe, give that paper a good ol’ read and see what your body is telling you.  

4. The colour of your poop can tell you a thing or #2 about yourself 

Our bowels are complex fermenting machines, so if things change colour for a day, it’s probably nothing to worry about. What we’re looking for here is changes that are new and consistent. 

Check out what different poop colours mean in the image below. 


If you notice a yellow, red or pale colour on your toilet paper after you’ve wiped with no explanation from your recent diet, and this continues for more than 3 weeks, simply pop down and have a chat with your GP. They’ll be able to support you in the right way and let you know what’s going on down there.   

For a full list of possible causes of stool colour changes, check out this list here! 

5. What does Reddit think on the matter? 

Reddit is a forum platform where people can ask questions and share their thoughts, but over the years, absurdity has followed the’ll see what we mean.  

We turned to the most shameless part of the internet to see what people are really saying about checking the toilet paper after wiping. And of course, Reddit never disappoints when it comes to unfiltered takes. 

One (very proud) Redditor took to the platform to announce: “do I make sure my starfish is clean .... you’re damn straight I do.” Now THIS is the right attitude to have! We should all aim to have this kind of confidence about checking our loo roll and making sure our backsides are sparkling clean.  

One person simply stated: “I have to, I’m an artist.” We’re not sure what being an artist has to do with it, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so we’ll leave them to it, perhaps their art will end up at the loo-uvre! 

Someone just said I gave up wiping years ago. very wasteful habit.” As much as we’d like to respect their sustainable endeavours, there’s no reality in which anyone would want to walk around with chocolate-coated buns all day, so this is going to have to be a big no from us. 

That’s enough of listening to random people on the internet for one day, let’s look into the common health issues we can detect when checking the loo roll.  

Common health issues 

It’s completely normal (and recommended) to look at the toilet paper after we wipe, but what are the common health issues we can detect when looking at the TP? 

Blood on toilet paper or reddish stool can be a sign of bleeding in the lower part of the bowels. This can be due to a few reasons.  

Haemorrhoids are small, protruding veins on the anus, usually caused by straining on the toilet. When we wipe (especially wiping excessively) these can cause soreness and bleeding.  

Anal fissures or tears can occur when we’re constipated or we pass a hard or large log, tearing the anus. When this happens, we can experience itchiness, soreness and even bleeding.  

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an autoimmune disease of the bowel or colon, causing inflammation. Ulcerative colitis can cause ulcers in the colon which can bleed, leading to blood in the stool. See the Crohn’s & Colitis UK webpage for more information and support on IBD. 

Bowel Cancer is caused by specific polyps in the bowel called adenomas. These polyps can bleed, leading to a change in stool colour or blood in/around the stool. That’s not to say that if you notice blood in your stool this is the cause, but it’s good to have this information on hand just in case.  

As with everything, the sooner we’re able to catch any potential conditions, the better it will be for our quality of life and recovery. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, don’t panic. Simply drop in and see your GP and they’ll be able to support you.  

When to seek help 

Knowing when to talk to friends, family, or your local GP when things fly off the toilet seat can not only save you from experiencing bottom health issues, but it can also save you from worrying about the unknown alone. This is so important as, when left unspoken, these things can have a negative impact on our mental wellness. 

If you've had blood in your poo for 3 weeks, your poo has been softer, thinner or longer than normal for 3 weeks, or you're in a lot of pain around your bottom, that’s the time to reach out to those around you for support. The best time to seek help when you need it is the day you notice something’s not right. The second-best time is now. 

Checking out 

Checking the TP is key in making sure we’re not only keeping ourselves clean, but also keeping a check on what’s going on down there. When we all know what our ‘normal’ looks like, we can catch changes faster and act when it’s necessary.  

The key to this is being open with ourselves, as when we see the things we do behind closed doors as normal and acceptable, we’re much more likely to open the conversation with those around us. Not only that, but when we open the conversation with others, they can feel comfortable coming to us when things aren’t quite right.  

If you’re looking for a way to clean up down there gently and effectively, why not try the Wype Starter Kit? Our soothing, moisturising and genuinely flushable cleansing gel will keep you smiling cheek to cheek, even when your backside is sore and irritated.  

Try the Starter Kit here! 


  • Yadzia Daynes

    I have been using Wype for quite a long time and it is such a good product. Always feel super clean and fresh. I recommend and tell everyone I can about it.

  • Rob

    Wype is doing so much to educate people about something which we never get taught in school and alot of people find difficult and embarrassing to discuss with friends and family! I’ve used Wype for a good while now and I’ll never go back to “flushable wipes”. And in regards to the topic in hand (literally haha) I’ve always looked at the tissue after each wipe. I thought everyone did 😜

  • Elizabeth McLaughlin

    I have always looked for as long as I can remember. It just makes sense. I have a bidet too and I still wash even though the tissue is white.

  • Will

    Yep, super-important. After finding blood for more than a few weeks, I saw my doc and was eventually diagnosed with chronic IBD (ulcerative colitis) which is now medicated and managed.

    Also, as an IBD sufferer, I carry travel size Wypes everywhere I go if in a flare. Absolutely essential.

  • Carla Rigden

    Always look when I’ve wiped! Always use Wype too, wouldn’t be without it. Thank you.

  • Janne

    I assumed everyone checked their tp until my daughter-in-law died from bowel cancer diagnosed too late because she wouldn’t engage with the NHS tests so, presumably, not with tp either. This article deserves the widest possible publicity.
    If still in doubt, WYPE! Excellent product.

  • Lynn Norcott

    Great article

  • Janet Baker

    I love Wype – it makes me feel clean and fresh and I recommend it to everyone

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