Oh crap! Mums devise extreme toilet paper solution
As toilet paper shortages cause supermarket mayhem around Australia, savvy Aussie mums with a knack for DIY have revealed their ideas for coping with the situation.
With shoppers stripping shelves of product daily, one Melbourne mother sick of going into battle for precious loo roll devised a unique solution by using face washers.
Emily Hughes, a mum-of-one, said the cloths are colour-coded for each family member, and once used are soaked in a nappy bin before the lot are put through the wash with a "lid of Sard plus clothes washing detergent".
"With all the panic going on, I thought there has to be a better solution. I used the same reusable washers a lot when my daughter was a toddler," she told news.com.au.
"They are soft, light and better for the environment than baby wipes. You can wet the washers with warm water and they work similar to a wet wipe. I purchased them from Big W, but other low cost chain stores stock similar items, or washers."
While Ms Hughes' seven-year-old loves the solution because she has been learning about sustainability at school, her husband took "some convincing".
At this stage, while the family still has some toilet paper in the house, there isn't a strict rule as to whether the face washers are used for "number ones or number twos", with Ms Hughes saying it's up to the user.
The savvy mum is all too aware her solution might generate groans of disgust, however, she said: "it is time people got their sense of humour back - and fast".
She joked in the event she runs out of clean cloths "there's always the garden hose for dire straits".
Right now, the #ToiletPaperApocalyse is trending on Facebook searches, so it shouldn't come as any surprise other Aussie mums have also come up with ingenious ways to handle the crisis.
One woman recently took to a Facebook group dedicated to the hardware giant Bunnings to reveal how she had fashioned a solution using microfibre cloths.
She said "four unsuccessful trips to buy toilet paper in the last week" she hit on an idea to make her own loo roll to cater to her household of girls who "use a lot of toilet paper".
"I found my solution at Bunnings (with the help of my overlocker)," the woman proudly declared on a Facebook post alongside a series of snaps.
"I made 80 of these microfibre cloths - after use they go straight into a bucket of bleach with a lid on it (which sits beside the toilet).
"When the bucket is full then they will be washed in a separate load with Napisan. It has reduced our use of toilet paper which we can save for more pressing toilet visits."
She explained she spent $11.95 on a packet of 20 microfibre clothes from Bunnings which were then cut into quarters before the raw edges were overlocked "so got 80 - about 15c each". A small bucket, also from Bunnings, cost $6.50.
"Environmentally friendly, reusable and reduces flushing so saves on water - think our household alone would save about 25 flushes a day so can justify a small load to wash every couple of days," she said.
"Was going to use old towels but microfibre is softer for the feminine bits and dries quicker when washed. If we could all do this it would reduce the need for toilet paper, save us all money in the long run and better for the environment. Just a thought."
The mum's post has since gathered 2000 reactions on Facebook and 932 comments - and while many loved the idea, a few had hygiene concerns.
One person said, "About time someone got this tp situation in perspective and highlighted that there are lots of alternatives at our fingertips."
While another added, "Great idea. I haven't brought toilet paper because I have plenty. And said to my kids. Poo and have a shower. I'll rip up towels and then wash them out. What do people think we did before toilet paper."
A third said, "Good idea but not for me. I have enough washing as it is. If you want toilet paper go to Aldi first thing when they open 1 pk per customer".
One worried about the mum's sanitation methods wrote, "Be careful with the bleach! Urine contains ammonia and when mixed with certain chlorine bleaches can make a nice oil' bioweapon."
Another said, "Top job. Vinegar and cloudy ammonia I heard today is good for urine. Not sure about soft parts. But at least you're prepared."