Toilet Paper – All You Need To Know

In our modern life, toilet paper is one of the most essential necessities in our lives. Bathroom tissue, toilet paper, bum wipe, TP. Regardless of what you call toilet paper, it is an essential purchase for most businesses. However, people do not talk about toilet paper that often and as a result, you may not know what to order. Most people use toilet paper, but little is known about the nature of toilet paper or the long history of it. The following article will help readers understand more about things that seem simple but indispensable in each person's life. Let’s take a closer look!

I am totally sure that you have never had a clear definition of toilet paper – the thing have become so familiar in everyday life, so right now I will redefine for you.

  • What it is?

Toilet paper is a thin sanitary absorbent paper in sheets or on a roll for wiping oneself clean after urination or defecation and other bodily fluid releases. It also acts as a layer of protection for the hands during these processes. It is sold as a long strip of perforated paper wrapped around a paperboard core for storage in a dispenser near a toilet.

Toilet paper comes in various numbers of plies (layers of thickness), from one-ply all the way up to six-ply, with more back-to-back plies granting greater strength and absorbency. Most of the modern toilet paper in our developed world are designed to decompose in septic tanks, whereas some other bathroom and facial tissues are not.

  • History of the Toilet paper.
  • In China?

The earliest recorded use of paper as a toiletry comes from China in the sixth century. During the later Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), an Arab traveller to China in the year 851 AD remarked: “They (the Chinese) do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities, but they only wipe themselves with paper...”

So the first use of paper for hygiene has been recorded in China in the 6th century. Well, it was the Chinese who invented paper, so it is little surprise to discover that they were the first to use it in their personal hygiene practices.

However, toilet paper only really popular since the 14th century, when the Ming Dynasty produced this product. In 1393, the court ordered more than 720,000 rolls of paper for cleaning the throne, each measuring up to 60-90cm long or nearly 26000 square miles of paper. Furthermore, the Emperor Hong Wu was particularly delicate in his habits and ordered 15000 sheets to be made especially soft and perfumed for his personal use. Specifically manufactured toilet paper being mass-produced in the 14th century. At that time, only the royal family was using toilet paper.

In the United States?

Then, the toilet paper was made in sheets of about 2-3 feet (61 to 91 cm). The first products designed specifically to wipe one's nethers were invented in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s by a New York entrepreneur named Joseph Gayetty. He is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. He was so proud of his therapeutic bathroom paper that he had his name printed on each sheet. But his success was limited. Americans soon grew accustomed to wiping with the Sears Roebuck catalog and they saw no need to spend money on something that came in the mail for free.

Toilet paper took its next step forward in 1890, when two brothers Clarence and E. Irvin Scott popularized the concept of toilet paper on a roll. The Scotts' brand became more successful than Gayetty's medicated wipes, in part because they built a steady trade selling toilet paper to hotels and drugstores. In 1897, rolls of toilet paper were now offered by the Scott Paper Company in Philadelphia. But it was still an uphill battle to get the public to openly buy the product, largely because Americans remained embarrassed by bodily functions. In fact, the Scott brothers were so ashamed of the nature of their work that they did not take proper credit for their innovation until 1902.

Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which eventually were in common use in that country, in 1883. The manufacturing of this product had a long period of refinement, considering that as late as the 1930s, a selling point of the Northern Tissue company was that their toilet paper was "splinter free".

Read more: How To Install A Toilet In A Basement With A Rough-In Pipe?


In 1928, the Hoberg Paper Company of Green Bay, Wisconsin rolled out a much softer addition to the paper game. According to company lore, someone said the rolls of toilet paper and their elegant, ladylike packaging were “charming” and thus Charmin toilet paper was published. The feminine charm of the packaging helped Americans get over the discomfort of speaking about bodily functions. In the 1930’s an economical 4 roll pack was introduced, which may have helped the company survive through the Great Depression.

In the 1950’s, Hoberg changed their name to the Charmin Paper Company. Charmin changed the “Charmin lady” on the packaging to the “Charmin baby” to represent the ultimate in softness. This would be followed by the famous ad campaign of the 60’s and 70’s admonishing women and men around the country with “don’t squeeze the Charmin!” to highlight the paper’s tempting squeezability. Finally, the company landed on a campaign called “Call of Nature” featuring an outspoken family of animated bears who are unafraid of talking about “the go” and how to enjoy it.  In 1978, a TV Guide poll named Mr. Whipple - the affable grocer who implored customers, "Please don't squeeze the Charmin" - the third best-known man in America, behind former President Richard Nixon and the Rev. Billy Graham.

Nowadays, the United States spends up to $6 billion per year on toilet tissue, more than any other nation in the world. Americans, on average, use 57 squares a day and 50 lbs. a year. Even still, the toilet paper market in the United States has largely plateaued. The real growth in the industry is happening in developing countries. There, it is booming. Toilet paper revenues in Brazil alone have more than doubled since 2004. The radical upswing in sales is believed to be driven by a combination of changing demographics, social expectations and disposable income.

So now we can say that when average citizens in a country start buying toilet paper, wealth and consumerism have arrived. It signifies that people not only have extra cash to spend, but they've also come under the influence of Western marketing.

Toilet paper continues to evolve, but it’s important to look back at the toilet paper dark ages and reflect upon our predecessors, our leaders, inventors, great thinkers and iconic artists and ask “How did they accomplish all that stuff without ever getting to enjoy the go?”


We’ve just mentioned some things you need to know about a familiar household appliance - toilet paper. We hope you have provided some useful information about this item. If you have anything to ask or to add, feel free to comment in the section below and we will answer you one by one!

Read more: Toto toilet