What does clean really mean? How well does toilet paper clean us?
What does clean really mean? How well does toilet paper clean us?
They say that cleanliness is next to godliness, and whilst God status sounds like a hoot, we can’t get there without putting the work in. After all, treating your body like a temple, however you may choose to do it, means working daily to keep yourself spick and span!
Even if we are putting the work in to keep ourselves nice and clean, there’s no point in it unless the things we’re using to clean up are working hard for us too.
It’s not so often that we ponder on whether toilet paper is cleaning our bums, because we just assume that it does! Most people use it daily, so it must be a suitable way to clean up down there, right? Well, it’s not all shimmer and shine when it comes to loo roll, and it’s good to know just how dirty it could be leaving us.
When we think of dirtiness, we think of bacteria, but these mystical and magical microbes get a bad rep! Bacteria play an essential role when it comes to your backside, and they might even become your BBFF (booty’s best friend forever).
What role does the bacteria on your tushy play?
There are around 1,000 different species of microbes that live on our skin. The healthy bacteria on the sensitive skin around your bum works to control the number of malicious bacteria, reducing the chances of it being able to affect you. So, it’s crucial that we look after that sensitive skin, being sure not to strip our natural flora when we clean up down there.
If we were to strip our back alleys of the bacteria it needs, we could be exposed to the wonders of E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Vibrio. These are the types of bad bacteria that can be found in human droppings, and if we don’t clean up properly afterwards, they could be overpopulating that lovely skin you have around your tush!
With that in mind, we’ve broken down the different levels of cleanliness that you can achieve in a simple and digestible way and how effective these are for the shine of our junk, and the microbiome on our trunk. Let’s get into it.
1. Surgery Room Sterile
If something is sterile, it means it has been completely sanitised of all microorganisms, and that means ALL of them, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Whether they help us or mean us harm, you won’t find anything alive on an instrument or surface that has been fully sterilised.
Sterilisation is managed by using physical methods such as steam under pressure, dry heat, EtO gas, hydrogen peroxide gas plasma, and liquid chemicals. Now, as you can imagine, you wouldn’t want to put your back alley through any of these procedures (unless you’re into that). But seriously, these are pretty gnarly to say the least.
It may go without saying, but when you're cleaning up what life’s left behind, let's just stay away from the flammable and explosive EtO gas. One light of a scented candle and it’s over, not just for your microbiome, but for you too.
2. Kitchen Surface clean
When it comes to cleaning products, we usually see adverts refer to the fact that they “kill 99.9% of bacteria”, but this sounds a little too good to be true. And that’s because it is, go figure! Somewhere on the container in small print is the list of germs that your cleaning spray kills, and this may only be 1 or 2 types of pathogens. Maybe next time we’ll be sure to read the small print. 
Don’t even think about putting this anywhere near your unholy exit! Cleaning products strip, irritate and chemically burn the sensitive skin around your little tush-tush with harsh chemicals. The mix of high contents of alcohol, detergent, colourings and more would leave your backside on fire.
If you're a wet wipe user, always be sure to check the packaging before you wipe, otherwise, you'll end up like this guy who got chemical burns from accidentally using Tesco toilet cleaning wipes as loo roll. Talk about a ring of fire!
3. Okay, okay, we’re getting clean
The standard of cleanliness we all know and love is good old-fashioned soap! Whether you use a simple bar, the bougie lathers, or just go for the 7 in 1 shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, dish soap and God knows what else, there's a universal knowledge that soap equals clean. But how squeaky does soap leave us?
Body washes and soaps don’t really kill bacteria, they simply pick them up and allow them to be washed off the skin. They do a pretty good job of breaking down the oils that bacteria stick to, allowing them to flow gracefully down the drain. According to Dr. Lefkowicz, global dermatologist for Head and Shoulders, this is enough to keep our bodies dirt and germ free.
Body wash or soap is a great way to clean up down there after taking to the porcelain throne. However, it’s rare that we’ll have access to a shower whenever or wherever we need to drop our trousers. So, the hunt for the best down there clean up continues.
4. It’s alright, but we’re a little dirty
Another way we can clean is to just use water, if we’re thinking in terms of cleaning up after we get down to business in the toilet, we’d be looking at bidets. Whilst wetter is better in our eyes, and water keeps us clean enough until the next time we shower, water alone doesn’t clean.
A man went viral online after he told his partner that he simply used water and a cloth to clean himself in the shower. Dr Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics skin clinics noted that water alone won’t clean the body “That’s because water alone can’t lift off the invisible oil where the germs are hiding, often tucked into tiny creases in the skin.”
If we’re looking for that real, long lasting clean feeling, we need to have some kind of cleaning agent that is gentle enough for our sensitive tushy skin, but thorough enough to get things cleaned up efficiently.
5. We’re just smearing dirt around
The best way to ensure we stay dirty is to, you guessed it, do nothing at all! And nothing is essentially what we’re doing when we use a dry cloth to clean things. It seems silly to think about washing your body, or your dirty dishes with a dry cloth alone. Even if you did, you’d notice pretty soon that it’s just not effective.
If you got poop on your arm, would you be satisfied with wiping it off with a dry tissue and being on your merry way? The answer is probably a big old no!
This all bares the question, what category of cleanliness does using toilet paper alone fall into?
How clean does toilet paper leave you?
The time has come for us to give toilet paper its final cleanliness score. The wait is finally over!
Unfortunately, we’re going to have to give toilet paper alone a cleanliness score of 5, we’re just smearing dirt around. You may be a little shocked, but don’t hate us just yet, we have good reasoning!
Toilet paper in the simplest terms is tree pulp, the same as any other type of paper, just in a different form. Does this really sound like it would do anything to actively clean you?
Toilet paper has been a great way to get all the big bits of debris wiped up since 1857, but it's never really cleaned anything. It seems that the only improvements that have been made to the product since its creation have been to make it more comfortable to use, making it softer, scented or adding balms. But what about how clean it leaves you? After all these years, one of our few choices to clean down there still leaves us with poo particles all over our precious peach.
Even doctors have come forward to say that toilet paper doesn’t clean and can lead to irritation and even anal fissures if used incorrectly. Not only is using toilet paper alone not cleaning us up properly, but it’s also causing us issues that are easily avoidable by using suitable methods of cleaning.
Is it so hard to believe that maybe, just maybe, there’s a better way to clean than toilet paper alone?
We now have a pretty good idea of what the right type of cleaning looks like when we’re cleaning up what life leaves behind. This is something we took into careful consideration when creating our sustainable alternative to wet wipes. Our formula is powerful enough to get your backside clean, whilst also respecting your backside’s natural flora. That means we keep all the good bacteria thriving, whilst getting rid of the debris and poop particles that the malicious bacteria can hide in!
Remember those easy ways to keep clean we mentioned at the start of the blog? Yeah, we were talking about us! If you’re looking for a way to ditch the pipe clogging wipes, but keep that fresh clean feeling, our toilet wipe gel will have you smiling from cheek to cheek, whether you’re out and about or just in the comfort of your own home.
 Wow, you really followed us all the way down here. Here’s a fun fact: In 1596, a flush toilet was invented and built for Britain's Queen Elizabeth I by her Godson, Sir John Harrington.