Before toilet paper, what did people do?

There are several conveniences that the contemporary world provides us. Toilet paper is one of these items since it provides for a fast and hassle-free trip to the bathroom because it eliminates the need to search for other cleaning methods. However, things weren’t always like this. Although they are far less pleasant than toilet paper, numerous utensils have been utilised to perform the job of toilet paper throughout history.

It has been documented in historical archives that even stones were used to clean the intimate area after using the restroom. The following are the primary methods formerly used when there was no toilet paper available.


Newspapers and magazines

The introduction of newspapers and publications in the 18th century marked the beginning of a new age of “bathroom rituals.” Publications may be regarded as the closest antecedents to today’s toilet paper in terms of durability and absorbency.



They were found in the remains of ancient latrines in Rome and Greece, where they were thought to have died. These are little oval or round stones, or even bits of shattered pottery, arranged in a pattern. These stones were used to clear human waste from the ground. This kind of device may still be discovered in old restrooms all around the Mediterranean, even now. They were made from ancient and shattered ceramics and were sliced to get gentler angles. The hygiene pieces varied from 3 cm to 11 cm in diameter.


Sand or clay

Environmental factors, such as climate, have an impact on sanitation practices. People utilised handfuls of sand or clay to clean their private parts in desert regions where suitable materials are scarce.

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Pieces of fabric

In the olden days, individuals in America and Europe used old rags to wipe their hands after going to the restroom for hygienic reasons. However, even though the fabric scraps were washable and reusable, they ended up in the sewers.


Cleaning Sticks

On the old Silk Road in northwest China, seven “cleaning sticks” were discovered in 1992 at a rest point on the route. A cloth was wrapped around the end of the bamboo or wooden rods, which people scrub their bodies with. There was something that looked like human faeces on the tissue connected to the two-thousand-year-old rods that had been adhered to the tissue. The wastes were subjected to microscopic examination, which revealed that they included many parasites that are common in the human colon.

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Corn cob

Indigenous peoples and early European immigrants in the United States, beginning about 1700, relied on dried (and corn-free) corn on the cob to suit their hygiene requirements. In other words, they were used. Because the substance was plentiful and soft and possessed absorbent capabilities, this may be explained by the fact that the product was abundant in the area at the time of the discovery.


Wood pieces

Ancient Chinese folks used little toilet slats carved from bamboo or other wood shaped like spatulas to flush their toilets around 2,000 years ago. Depending on their shape, these artefacts were formerly known as salak, cachou, or chugi.



Populations who lived on islands and in coastal areas utilised mussel shells to clean their intimate areas after releasing themselves after relieving themselves. In the lack of these, the locals rely on coconut husks as a substitute.


Aki Zhang
Aki Zhang
Dare to dream, then run towards it.


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