Your Toilet Paper Might Be Scary

by Merissa on May 5, 2012

in Green Living

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After last week's article all about why we don't use Kleenex I had several requests to investigate that other tissue that we use in the bathroom, toilet paper. My initial thought was that toilet paper or "TP" as it's known around my house, wasn't going to be as bad. Was I wrong?

Here is the ingredient list for Charmin Sensitive TP:

First ingredient: Mineral Oil. We went over that one in the Kleenex post. Mineral Oil actually traps dirt and bacteria...not something I'd really care for in my toilet paper....

Cetearyl Alcohol(basically a moisturizer), Beeswax, Steareth 2

Not only is Steareth 2 made from scary chemicals I also found that it's an environmental toxin and a violation of industry reccommendations.

And then the rest of the ingredients: Aloe Vera  Extract, Tocopherol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), all appear to be "ok".

I also looked into the latest invention in TP, Moist Wipes. And I won't pick on Charmin for the whole post so we will look at the ingredients in Cottonelle Moist Wipes...

Oh for the love of all that's sweet and good. That is not a pretty list! Here we go...

Water/Aqua, Sodium Chloride, Propylene Glycol:

Sodium Benzoate (preservative also used in firework production), Polysorbate 20 (Detergent), Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Lauryl Glucoside, Malic Acid, Methylisothiazolinone (Proved to be LETHAL in tissue neurons), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance/Parfum.

My conclusion from this investigation? Stick with either plain old toilet paper or go for the recycled brands. I was not able to find ingredients on the brands of toilet paper with no added ingredients but of course that doesn't mean their aren't any. Try for plain tissue (non-chlorine whitened if possible) with no added fragrance, dyes, or scents.

Oh and steer clear of any "moist wipes". If the list of ingredients above doesn't scare you I'm not sure what will....

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather :) :) :) May 5, 2012 at 1:37 pm

That’s interesting about the moist wipes. I wonder what one could use as an alternative that’s non-toxic?

Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂


2 Gwen May 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm

a friend of mine makes her own pads and tampons…not the most exciting conversation to have…but worth looking into if you have female issues 🙂


3 Merissa May 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Believe it or not I’ll actually be talking about the in the next few weeks:)


4 Kristin May 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Cloth wipes are much better than TP, I make them myself and I know what is in them! I also make my own laundry soap so I know what they are being washed in, I also use cloth pads as well! Over all this post make me even more confident that I am making the right choice!


5 Rebecca Jolley May 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Not sure I want to read this one 🙂


6 Mel Free May 5, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thank you!..for years, I have used certain brands of TP & I will get a burning sensation & then a bladder infection, afterwards..I wondered if it was caused by the TP..I am thinking..Maybe it is! 🙁


7 Stephanie Starsiak October 9, 2012 at 7:48 am

Thank you…..I was beaginning to think I was crazy. I have the very same problem. Was looking to see what TP ingredients are. Have you found any TP that works


8 Merissa October 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

We use Marcal brand mostly.


9 C September 17, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Possibly,or laundry degenerate could be the culprit as well (or a combo like I had). I hate that so many products are now evil things I have to avoid that NEVER caused a problem years ago.Puffs Klennex are now banned as they make my lips swell and most brands of TP and Laundry detergent irritate me as well. I’ve even had some determined to be good for people with allergies set me off too. What the heck am I suppose to do? Ugh.


10 Karin Kooyenga Honaker May 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

me, too, Mel….never blamed the TP!!! Maybe I should have…


11 Kathyann May 5, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Does that include baby wipes?


12 Anne Marie D May 6, 2012 at 7:44 am

for moist wipes cheap from the dollar store wash rags and a small rubbermade container with water and whatever cleaner you wish to mix in with it. Use then wash just like you would with diapers. Used this when I had babies instead of the diaper wipes


13 Building Grassy Nest May 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Wow. Thanks for the research!


14 Leisa May 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

Did you happen to do the research on the BPA in our paper products as well? Especially recycled paper? Curious to hear what you found.


15 Merissa May 9, 2012 at 9:19 am

I’m still waiting for a reply back from my contact about that.


16 Liz S January 11, 2013 at 7:45 pm

What website do you use to look up ingredients? I want to check out my toilet paper too.


17 Merissa January 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm

You can try, they have a ton of ingredients listed for items.


18 patti smith August 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm

wow, who knew. i recently had a patch skin test and it came back with two things, but those two things have allllll kinds of names. beeswax falls into the colophony chemical list. i swear its in everything. hair care, skin care, and now TP???? ugh. thank you for the info. will be following your stories as you get your info. 🙂


19 Angelia Johnson November 5, 2013 at 10:41 pm

I am very sensitive so for the past 6 years I just get the plain cheap toilet paper. The other gives me rashes. I don’t have that problem anymore. But if I did I might think about family cloth….I too use cloth panty liners and we don’t buy paper towels or facial tissues.


20 Diane November 6, 2013 at 8:02 am

We now use “personal hygiene wipes” for the most part! We’ve even taught our young daughter about the 3 P’s (“Paper is for poop, periods, and public”). I KNOW a lot of people use them exclusively but…I just couldn’t QUITE do that. :\ Just using them for urinating (for 2 females) has cut our toilet paper usage DRASTICALLY!!!


21 Diane November 6, 2013 at 8:06 am

Oh yeah…I felt pretty wasteful using so much Kleenex (well…Puffs, actually) a few years ago.
Now, we use tissues for a cold/flu and handkerchieves for everyday and allergies!
We went from about a box a month to MAYBE 2 boxes a year!!!


22 John February 27, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Good old warm water rinse is best. You can get a $5,000.00 Toto automatic toilet seat or a QLav Personal Hygiene system that works fantastic about $38.00


23 Rachel December 14, 2015 at 3:41 pm

I have just discovered that Charmin Ultra Soft TP is responsible for my horrible rash I have had for 2 years, My 33 year old daughter experienced the same thing using Ultra Soft.


24 Priscilla Pillsbury February 15, 2016 at 7:15 pm

A lot of this allergic reaction stems from the GMO corn that is being
widely used across the marketplace. Yes, it is in TP. Ever smell
cottonelle? smells like popcorn. Ever think of the dangerous pesticides
in GMO corn, the onels that shred the ecoskeleton of insects if they bite the plant, not to mention what is being geo engineered into these crops?
I would never use recycled paper, BPA from register receipts at high
dangerous levels. I think something like good ole fashioned Scotties
is as close to safe as we are going to get these days.
Even organic cotton has harsh additives
It’s a crazy bio engineered modified world! Buyer beware!


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