Toilet paper isn’t a common topic of conversation because it’s usually saved for intimate occasions. After all, how many of us have ever really wondered about toilet paper? I mean, beyond if there’s any left or not? However, there are a lot of interesting toilet paper statistics and fun facts that might impress you.
Toilet Paper is a Pretty New Invention
The first recorded use of toilet paper may have been in China in the 6th century, but the Chinese government didn’t start mass producing it until the 14th century. You couldn’t go out and buy packaged toilet paper in the United States until 1857. Also, it wasn’t until 1935 that a manufacturer promised a splinter-free toilet paper. In 1973, Johnny Carson joked that there was a toilet paper shortage. Everyone believed the joke and ran out to the store to stock up. It then took up to three weeks for some stores to resupply their toilet paper stock.
You Can Use Toilet Paper in More Than Just the Bathroom
During Desert Storm, the U.S. Army camouflaged their tanks with coloured toilet paper. Also, Charmin sponsored a contest to design and make wedding dresses out of toilet paper. That’s no joke. The winner actually received $2,000. The Japanese horror novelist famous for writing “The Ring” printed an entire novel on a single roll of toilet paper. The novel takes place in a public bathroom and the story is about three feet long.
Many People Don’t Use Toilet Paper
About four billion people, or 70-75% of the world’s population, do not use toilet paper. Some people don’t use toilet paper because of a lack of trees in the region. Others don’t use toilet paper because they can’t afford it or there’s insufficient plumbing. In many European countries, bidets are preferable to toilet paper because of culture, customs, and effectiveness (after all, water is the universal solvent, not paper).
They do use regular toilet paper on the International Space Station, but they have to seal and compress it in special containers. When researchers asked people what necessity they would bring to a deserted island, 49% said they would bring toilet paper before they would bring food.
We Use More Toilet Paper Than You’d Think
The world population uses nearly 30,000 trees every day in toilet paper. That means we use 10 million trees each year in toilet paper. Americans use an average of 8.6 sheets of toilet paper each trip to the bathroom. Visitors will use a single roll of toilet paper in a public restroom on average 71 times. 61% of people use toilet paper for nose care, 17% use toilet paper to wipe up small spills, and 8% use toilet paper to remove makeup. The Pentagon uses an average of 666 rolls of toilet paper each day.
Even though it’s probably never a topic of conversation you thought you’d have (I mean, who would really?), there are a lot of fun facts about toilet paper in the world. For example, Did you know that the average amount of time a toilet paper roll lasts in the most used bathroom of a house is 5 days? Also, There is a “right” and “wrong” way to hang a roll of toilet paper. 72% of people hang the toilet paper roll with the end of the paper roll going over the top, which is considered the “right” way. The other 18%, well, they just need to get with the program.
Whether you want to know what kind of toilet paper Beyoncé uses, what your toilet paper placement says about your intelligence, or what the best toilet paper is, there’s an answer to your question. If you know your toilet paper fun facts, you’ll always be a hit at a party!
Featured photo credit: Dean Hochman via c1.staticflickr.com