During the toilet paper shortage of 2020, you were likely trying to reduce how much toilet paper you were using.
You never realize just how long, or how short, a toilet paper roll can seem until you need to make every roll count.
Whether you’re planning your rationing in the future or just curious about how large toilet paper rolls are, you may wonder how long a roll actually is.
Here’s what you need to know about toilet paper rolls and their length.
How Long Is A Toilet Paper Roll?
The average length of a toilet paper roll is 302 feet.
It covers about 115.2 square feet.
That said, the specific brand of toilet paper that you have may differ.
Each brand has its own number of sheets which determines how long it is.
Brands that have more sheets also have longer rolls.
Here are a few factors that can determine how long a toilet paper roll is.
The length and width of each toilet paper sheet determine how long the toilet paper roll is.
When the specific sheet has a bigger length, then the roll, as a whole, is also going to be longer.
If the sheet also has a larger width then it’s going to cover more surface area.
2. Number Of Sheets
One of the biggest factors that determine how long the toilet roll is the number of sheets.
You’ll often see printed on each bag of toilet paper the number of sheets.
Some brands, like Charmin, make their sheets denser to reduce the number of sheets in a roll.
Other brands instead rely on having a large number of sheets to make their brand more attractive to consumers.
The more sheets that a toilet roll has, the longer it’s going to be.
3. Brand Preference
A final factor that can determine a toilet roll’s size is the brand’s preference.
Some brands prefer to have toilet rolls with long lengths.
These brands tend to be more expensive since they have more materials in their products.
Other brands keep their toilet rolls relatively small.
They may focus on other features of toilet paper to make it more attractive to their consumers.
Whatever their reasons, each brand tends to have its preferred roll length.
How Can You Make Toilet Paper Last Longer?
If you realize that your toilet paper roll isn’t very long, you may feel pressure to reduce how much you use.
Here are a few things you can do to make your toilet paper roll last longer.
1. Flatten Technique
If you have kids who like to pull the toilet paper roll fast, you know they tend to use more toilet paper than they need.
Part of the problem is how easy it is to spin the toilet paper.
A way around that is to flatten it.
By squishing the roll down, you create corners in the cardboard roll.
Instead of being a perfect circle, the corners catch on the holder which slows down the roll.
Not only do kids have to work harder to spin the roll, but it also serves as a reminder.
Since it slows down the process, it forces everyone to consider how much toilet paper they’re using.
The flatten technique works great to conserve toilet paper because it makes you slow down and see how much you’re actually using.
2. De-Ply Toilet Paper
If you buy 2-ply toilet paper, it means it’s basically two sheets on top of each other.
Charmin, for instance, tends to use 2-ply toilet paper.
Sometimes you can even find 3-ply paper.
Although you can de-ply by hand, it’s easy to accidentally rip the paper instead.
A better option is to use a machine that can de-ply toilet paper for you.
It separates the two pieces of paper.
This allows you to go from one sheet of paper to two, extending the length.
For example, if your toilet paper roll was normally 302 feet long then de-plying it will make it 604 feet long.
Keep in mind though that this also makes the paper a lot thinner.
If you find yourself in a pinch, you can always use a de-ply machine to separate 2-ply or 3-ply toilet paper into a single sheet.
3. Invest In Quality Toilet Paper
Another option is to ensure that when you go toilet paper shopping you buy high-quality stuff.
A lot of people prefer to go as cheap as possible when it comes to toilet paper, but it doesn’t end up lasting longer as a result.
That’s because the paper is usually extremely thin and of poor quality.
It doesn’t absorb well.
As a result, you end up using more to get clean.
If you invest in high-quality toilet paper, on the other hand, then it does absorb well.
The company invests in a better paper which is usually either thicker or coated with something to help it absorb your mess.
Since it absorbs better, you need less to get clean, and since you’re using less toilet paper, the roll lasts longer.
Choosing to buy high-quality toilet paper instead of cheap toilet paper can help your roll last longer.
4. Fold The Toilet Paper
If you’re someone that needs a bit more padding to wipe, you probably use a lot of toilet paper.
You need a larger bundle to get enough padding.
There’s a better way to get that padding instead of using a lot of toilet paper.
One method is to fold the toilet paper.
By folding the paper, it immediately becomes thicker.
This provides you with a bit more padding while still using the same sheet.
While the surface area is a bit smaller, the extra padding can give you confidence that you’re wiping well.
Folding the toilet paper instead of rolling more out can help you conserve your toilet paper.
5. Use Water
If you have a particularly unpleasant mess, dry toilet paper isn’t going to get the job done alone.
A better solution is to first wet the toilet paper and then wipe.
The water can remove any debris that’s still clinging on and wash away the rest of the mess.
This makes cleaning yourself a bit more efficient instead of just wiping everything around with a dry toilet paper sheet.
Wetting the toilet paper first can make cleaning yourself more efficient and reduce waste.
6. Wipe And Fold
Besides just folding the toilet paper to give yourself more padding, you can also get a lot of mileage out of just two sheets of toilet paper.
The best way to use this method is to first wipe with your toilet paper.
Then fold it.
Then wipe again.
Continue the process until the toilet paper is too small to use anymore.
You can take care of most of the mess with just two sheets of toilet paper.
By wiping and folding the same toilet paper sheet, you can easily reduce how much you use.
7. Use A Spray Bottle
If you find yourself using too much toilet paper, even when you wet it, to take care of big messes, then there’s another option.
You can use a spray bottle to wash away some of the mess instead of wetting the toilet paper.
This enables you to just wipe away and dry the area up with toilet paper.
The spray bottle will take care of most of the problems for you.
Using a spray bottle to wash away messes can help you conserve your toilet paper.
8. Install A Bidet
A final thing you can do is have a bidet installed in your home.
You can even replace your toilet with a Japanese toilet that uses water to clean you.
If you don’t have the budget for a bathroom overhaul, then there are also bidet conversion kits that you can find online.
These conversion kits take your existing toilet and turn it into a bidet.
Bidets help you reduce toilet paper by using water to clean you instead.
You can then use toilet paper to dry off.
Since the water has already cleaned you off and sanitized you, you don’t have to worry about wiping with toilet paper until the mess isn’t there anymore.
By using a bidet, you can easily reduce how much toilet paper you use.
What To Do When You Run Out Of Toilet Paper
Whether you’re facing a shortage or you can’t make it to the store until the next day, there may come a time when you run out of toilet paper.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things you can do.
Here’s what to do when you run out of toilet paper.
1. Use Other Paper Products
The good news is that toilet paper isn’t the only thing that can clean you.
If you have paper towels or even tissues, you can use those to get by until you can make it to the store.
Neither paper towels nor tissues should go in the toilet, however.
They’re not made for plumbing.
Paper towels, especially, are thick and very absorbent.
It can create a clog in your plumbing which can lead to expensive repairs.
If you need to use paper towels or tissues, you’ll want to have a trash bag handy.
Put the soiled paper products into the trash bag, and then immediately take them outside into the bin.
This will keep the area sanitary and ensure there aren’t any lingering odors.
Other paper products like paper towels and tissues can be useful substitutes until you get your hands on more toilet paper.
2. Old Clothes
If you’re out of toilet paper and don’t have paper towels or tissues either, you might start feeling the pressure.
One thing you can do is use old clothes or cloths to wipe yourself clean.
Ratty t-shirts, gardening clothes, essentially anything that you don’t use often or that you don’t mind getting dirty will do.
The cloth will do a great job of wiping you clean.
Once you’re done, you’ll want to put them in the washer alone.
They shouldn’t mix with other clothes.
You can also choose to keep them out of the washing machine altogether and clean them by hand.
You can use a bucket and fill it with your usual detergent.
It’s a good idea to wear gloves if you plan on washing them by hand.
Wash the clothes, and dump the water.
It’s also worth sterilizing the bucket or washer afterward, too.
In most cases, the mess should wash out.
Try another cycle if it’s still dirty.
If it refuses to get clean then you can always toss the ratty clothes into the trash.
3. Use The Shower
If you’re not too messy, you can also use the shower to get clean.
The water from the shower can wipe away the mess.
When you’re done showering, it’s vital that you sanitize it afterward.
Spray some disinfectant onto the floor and walls, and then scrub it with a sponge or cloth.
You may want to either clean the sponge or cloth, too or throw them out afterward.
Using the shower isn’t always the most sanitary of options, but it can take care of you in an emergency.
4. Wet Wipes
A final thing you can do if you run out of toilet paper is to use wet wipes.
If you have kids in the house or you like to make cleaning easy for yourself, you probably have some wet wipes at home.
A lot of people used wet wipes when the toilet paper shortage occurred.
They’re an effective way to clean yourself since it combines the effectiveness of water with a cloth for wiping.
However, if you choose to use wet wipes, you don’t want to flush them down the toilet.
Wet wipes don’t break down as well as toilet paper.
They’re made to hold moisture which means the water from the sewer is going to break them down a lot slower than toilet paper.
They’re also held together with resin and various other chemicals.
Since they take longer to break down, it’s not uncommon for them to clog plumbing or produce pollution.
For example, in the River Thames, the river became clogged with wet wipes that people were flushing down the toilet.
If you want to use wet wipes to clean yourself, you should also dispose of them in the trash.
Like with paper towels and tissues, you can then remove the trash and put it outside.
Using wet wipes is an effective way to clean yourself when you run out of toilet paper, but you should throw them away instead of damaging your plumbing.
How Long Does A Toilet Roll Last?
There are a lot of factors that go into how long a toilet roll can last.
However, in general, a toilet roll will last, on average, 4.3 days for a roll of 150 sheets, according to Cottonelle.
They base their calculations on an individual who uses the toilet five times a day and uses seven sheets to wipe per trip to the bathroom.
This means that the average person uses 35 sheets a day.
If there are 150 sheets in the toilet roll, it will take that person 4.3 days to get through it.
Obviously, if the roll has more than 150 sheets, then it will last them a bit longer.
If they use the toilet more often than 5 times a day then it won’t last as long.
However, in general, toilet paper will last a person 4.3 days.
Depending on the number of sheets that a toilet paper roll has and the length of those sheets, the roll could be as long as 302 feet.
If you know that’s not going to last you and there’s a shortage of toilet paper, there are a few things you can do to help conserve how much toilet paper you’re using.
You can compare how quickly you go through toilet rolls with the general average of 4.3 days per toilet roll per person to determine if you’re using too much toilet paper.