13 Historic Alternatives To Toilet Paper

Toilet paper isn't universal. Much of the world uses water to cleanse their behinds. But many of us cannot imagine life before our precious TP, or at least a high-pressure bidet. However, for the vast majority of human history, we made due when we made doo-doo. (Sorry, had to get some toilet humor in.) Read on to never doubt the power of human innovation again.


Mussel Shells People who lived near water used not-so-delicate shells to clean delicate areas. If Demolition Man is to be believed, the future will im

Source: New Humanist


Leaves Muellin (pictured) is commonly referred to as cowboy's toilet paper in Western United States. Makes you wonder how deep into character John W

Source: Ohio State University


The Farmers' Almanac AMERICA, 1818 A.D. PARMER'S EUNLOND OF ALMANAC. 1818. A hole was pre-drilled in the left-hand corner of the book for easy hanging

Source: The Farmers' Almanac


Tow-Rag CRACKED.CON On ships, a sailor would use the frayed end of a long rope that dragged in the water, then drop it back in to clean for the next p

Source: Stuff What You Tell Me


Bog Moss MEDIEVAL EUROPE CRACKEDCON Moss was used for menstrual pads and wiping, as well as bandaging wounds. Just avoid the bugs.

Source: On The Tudor Trail


Silk MING DYNASTY The emperor used the luxurious material but stopped after he realized the palace maids were using the soiled remains to make curtain

Source: Ming Dynasty History


Corn Cobs RURAL AMERICA After you ate the kernels off (or fed them to the animals), you'd save the dried cobs for use in your outhouse. Corn: even mor

Source: Farmer's Almanac


Sears Catalog ZU' TEN AFFUN IUh. AMERICA, 1900 AD artos erines deeD hem Weasertel Ne. 38K6529 IRINUEE FOINTTE 200 10.24 ire. 69o ADE WITH 386518 1-io

Source: Mental Floss


Knight of the Toilet Roll French and English kings had a special knight whose duty was to wipe His Royal doody with a wool rag. That chevalier porte c

Source: They Eat Horses, Don't They? The Truth About the French


Hygiene Sticks SILK ROAD, 100 AD CRACKED.CON The sticks were made from bamboo and wrapped in cloth at one end, where scientists discovered all types o

Source: Smithsonian Magazine


Chugi JAPAN, 700 AD Ancient Japan used wooden sticks for internal and external anal cleaning. You have a stick up your butt could have meant you had

Source: BMJ


Ceramic Fragments ANCIENT GREECE Ancient Greeks used to sometimes write the names of their enemies on the shards. BRB writing some choice Congress mem

Source: Scientific American


Communal Sponge ANCIENT ROME Ancient Romans shared a sponge on a stick for wiping in public latrines. Keep your friends close, and their poop closer.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine