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Toilet paper is one of those household items you always want to have more than enough of. Having a few in the closet saves the struggle of running out at the most inconvenient time? But just how long will a roll last you before needing a new one? We've done the research and found an approximate answer.
Assuming a 2-ply, 250 sheet roll, it should last for roughly four days. However, that greatly depends on numerous factors which we'll cover today, specifically:
- Toilet paper brand
- Number of persons in the household
- Number of trips to the bathroom
- Other uses of toilet paper
Continue reading to gain a deeper perspective of our regular use of toilet paper. We'll also share some great tips on how to make a roll of toilet paper last even longer.
Factors Contributing to Toilet Paper Usage
That estimated length of time a toilet paper roll can last is calculated based on the typical roll bought in store, considering that we use up to 57 squares or sheets per day. However, that can easily change due to individual habits or even people. Let's take a look at the many factors.
The Toilet Paper Brand
Not all toilet paper rolls are the same. Many brands sell four-packs of rolls that are 250 sheets per roll. Some brands sell one individual roll amounting to up to 1,000 sheets. On paper --pun intended-- it would seem that a four-pack of 250 sheet rolls versus one 1,000 sheet roll would last the same length of time. But that's not necessarily true. Whether a roll is one-ply or two-ply can easily extend or shorten a roll's usage.
Surprisingly, one-ply toilet paper tends to last longer than two-ply toilet paper. That's because two-ply isn't necessarily thicker. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, its thickness consists of two layers of #10 thickness paper, compared to #13 thickness of one-ply. Regardless of the ply, we tend to use the same amount of sheets. This makes one-ply a better option for longevity.
Men only use toilet paper when finishing a poo. Women will always use at least twice as much toilet paper as men, as they use it for poos and pees. Sometimes they need it during menstrual cycles as well. On average, women use seven sheets per bathroom run, while men use two.
Number of Trips to the Bathroom
How often one uses the bathroom almost directly correlates with how much toilet paper you use. The more you go, typically, the more sheets you use.
The average person poops three times a day, three times a week. That number can change based on certain medical conditions. Those experiencing diarrhea will use the bathroom much more frequently than the other person. This is when the stool is watery, and bathroom trips occur more than three or four times a day. Causes of diarrhea include food poisoning, stomach flu, and some medicines.
On the flip side, constipation does the exact opposite; you go to the bathroom significantly less than you should, or you struggle to have a bowel movement. That will result in less toilet paper used.
In either dilemma, focus on eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water to help combat congestion and diarrhea. That way, you can get back to having regular bowel movements.
Uses Other Than Trips to the Bathroom
Toilet paper isn't only used for bathroom trips. It can be used for many other things as well. For example, people who ran out of tissue or Kleenex will substitute it with toilet paper. When you need to blow your nose and tissue isn't available, toilet paper is the next best thing. It's soft enough to where it won't irritate the skin like paper towels or kitchen napkins would.
It's good for facial tissue or paper handkerchiefs as well. Some may wonder what's the difference between the two. The primary difference is their texture: facial tissue is smoother, thus less likely to irritate the skin, while toilet paper is stronger to better clean up your mess.
Toilet paper is also a useful substitute for paper towels when used for cleaning. Paper towels are often used to clean up spills. Toilet paper can do the same when you run out of paper towels. The setback is the strength; paper towels are more durable so that you can scrub hard-to-clean spots, while toilet paper isn't meant to be that strong. Once it becomes wet, its strength fades away.
In a pinch, toilet paper can also be used for medical or health reasons when you're out of the original product. For example, you may be out of bandages. Instead, you can fold a few layers of toilet paper to place on a cut or wound, then tape it. You just need to change it every so often. Women could use toilet paper as an emergency feminine product; fold several layers of toilet paper to use as a temporary pad until you can purchase a real one.
People in the Household
Of course, the more people who live in or visit the household, the more toilet paper will be used. One person could make one roll last for weeks in some scenarios. However, that could all change if there is more than one person in the home. The average four-person household takes around two weeks to go through 17 double rolls or nine mega rolls.
Those numbers could dramatically increase, depending on the number of people in the household that work or school from home. On the flip side, the more frequently work or school is attended in person, the fewer rolls used at home per week.
How Many Rolls of Toilet Paper Does a Person Use in a Week?
As we've just finished discussing, there's no way to provide an exact number. It hugely depends on your lifestyle. For the sake of this question, let's assume the three stools a week and a 2-ply 250 sheet roll as we talked about in the beginning. A person will likely go through two rolls a week.
How Long Will 30 Rolls of Toilet Paper Last?
Now it's time to do some math. Based on the answer to the last question, one person may go through eight rolls of toilet paper per month. This means that 30 rolls should last one person 15 weeks, which is a little over three and a half months.
To calculate the estimate for more than one person, divide that 15 weeks by two for each person in the household. For example, a household of two would make 30 rolls last seven and a half weeks, and a household of four will make it last a little under a month.
How Many Rolls of Toilet Paper Does a Family of Four Use in a Week?
Hooray, more math! So since one person will use two rolls a week, as we just discussed, a family of four will go through eight rolls a week. That's two rolls per person. That total could go down based on everybody's bathroom habits, how young or old everyone is, whether everyone has healthy bowel movements and everyone's gender.
How Can You Make Toilet Paper Last Longer?
Here are some tips to exceed the average number of toilet paper rolls.
Only Use it for its Intended Use
Strictly use toilet paper only when you need to make a number one and/or a number two. Don't use it as an alternative for tissues, facial wipes, or cleaning up spills. Sure, you lose that convenience when you run out of the actual products, but there's less of a chance of running out of toilet paper at the worst possible time.
Don't Use too Many Squares
When you finish your business, use as many squares that you feel like you need and nothing more. In most cases, you shouldn't have to use 20 squares for a small duty --pun intended.
Stick to One-ply Rolls
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned how the thickness of two-ply versus one-ply toilet paper is different: two-ply uses #10 thick sheets, and one-ply uses #13 thick sheets. People tend to use fewer sheets when it's just one-ply. Many one-ply toilet paper brands sell rolls with around 1,000 sheets. If you make the switch to one-ply, you'll make your toilet paper last longer than the two-ply toilet paper will last you.
Wait Until You Need to Go
If you're debating whether you actually need to use the bathroom right now or not, try to wait a little bit. Sometimes, if you feel the need to have a bowel movement, it may not even be that. It could just be gas. Listen to your body to ensure you need to use the bathroom.
This one may be a bit extreme, but if you're strongly trying to limit the toilet paper used, monitor how often you have people over. They'll need to use the bathroom on occasion, too. Now, a good house guest won't completely blow through your toilet paper supply, but it can add up over time.
If you've had that moment where you came dangerously close to running out of toilet paper when you needed it, now you know how to avoid another close call. But don't try to hold it when you need to go just to save a few sheets. Go when you need to go and use based on your cleanliness comfort level.
Here are a few links to some other bathroom related concerns you may have: