Prepper must-haves: 14 SHTF alternatives to toilet paper
03/23/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

Non-preppers often take many things for granted, like toilet paper. But if disaster strikes and stores suddenly run out of toilet paper, you can use other alternatives like a bidet or large leaves and snow if you're bugging out. Listed below are 14 toilet paper alternatives you can use when SHTF. (h/t to

Baby wipes

Baby wipes are a perfect alternative to toilet paper. They're portable, great at cleaning and soft and easy to use.

But even if you have "flushable" baby wipes, you should never flush them down the toilet. Many baby wipe manufacturers often market their products as being safe to flush, but that doesn't mean the description is accurate.

Baby wipes don't break down in water like toilet paper. This makes baby wipes more likely to get stuck in the pipes and accumulate until water and waste can't pass through. This can eventually cause raw sewage to flow back into your home.

When you're done with baby wipes, dispose of them properly in the trash.


The bidet was invented by the French and it's very common in European homes and bathrooms. It eliminates the need for toilet paper. While using a bidet may seem strange at first, you'll find that it's very convenient and useful.

Use a bidet to wash with water and soap instead of using toilet paper. A bidet is great for anal and genital hygiene. Washing with water helps remove more fecal bacteria and could prevent you from spreading them from your hands to your surroundings.

Cardboard toilet paper rolls

If you run out of toilet paper while doing your business, use the cardboard empty toilet paper roll. Since the material is tough, dampen it with water first so it's easier to use.


Flannel squares

Flannel squares, which are usually eight by eight inches in size, are one of the most popular alternatives to toilet paper. Flannel squares are soft and convenient to use, and once you use them, you can wash, dry and reuse them.

To save on money, you can make cloth squares out of old pajamas, sheets, shirts and similar fabrics. (Related: No TP? No problem: How to make DIY toilet paper.)

Large plant leaves

When looking for plant leaves, you don't need specific fuzzy leaves.

You can use any large plant leaf for cleaning up, just make sure that the type of leaf you are using isn't going to cause irritation. Avoid plants like poison ivy or leaves with sharp edges.

Mullein leaves

Mullein leaves, also called "cowboy toilet paper," come from a wild plant that is soft. The leaves are fuzzy and comfortable enough to use as a toilet paper alternative.


If you don't have any toilet paper left, use other alternatives like old exams, leaflets, magazines or newspapers. While not soft or the most comfortable to use, newspapers will do the job.

Portable bidet

A "portable bidet" is a cleansing bottle full of water and some gentle disinfectant product that's safe for your skin.

To use the portable bidet, squeeze the bottle to launch some water towards your butt when you’re done using the toilet. You can also bring a portable bidet with you while traveling or camping.


If you're bugging out in winter, you can use a handful of clean snow to "wash" yourself. It's cold, but it's a hygienic alternative to toilet paper.

A spray bottle

A spray bottle filled with water is similar to a portable bidet. Make sure you get a spray bottle with enough force to properly clean your butt.


Washcloths are often used to wipe surfaces clean, but when SHTF you can also use washcloths to clean up.

Like flannel squares, washcloths can be turned into a reusable alternative for toilet paper. Another option is to use old rags that you can throw away once you're done.

Wooly lamb’s ear

Wooly lamb’s ear, like mullein leaves, is soft and fuzzy.

As a bonus, wooly lamb’s ear can also be used to bandage wounds and help prevent infection. Grow wooly lamb’s ear in your home garden so you have an alternative to toilet paper when SHTF.

Worn out socks

If you have a bunch of old socks with holes or unpaired socks that you don't want to throw away, use them as emergency "toilet paper."

Dampen old socks and use them to wipe. Either wash them or throw them out when you're done.

Stock up on toilet paper before SHTF

When stocking up on supplies, you need to know how much you need. Generally, people only need around 100 regular rolls of toilet paper per year or 50 rolls if the toilet paper is double ply.

After you buy toilet paper for your stockpile, store it correctly so it remains usable until you need it. Keep toilet paper somewhere dry and away from moisture and water.

Watch the video below to know more about toilet paper alternatives.

This video is from the What is happening channel on

More related stories:

Nature provides: Plant alternatives for toilet paper.

Survival gardening: 7 Plants with leaves that can be used as toilet paper.

More than prepper toilet paper: Here are even more uses for common mullein.

Homesteading hacks: 8 Non-toxic cleaners made with natural ingredients.

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