Sweigart Report: The Toilet Paper of Kings | Vol. 4 / No. 21.3

When all your bathroom fixtures are gold, what else can you upgrade? | Photo: designmilk, CC BY-SA 2.0

For something a little different, this isn’t woo. Not per se. But it is in the woo wheelhouse, when eco-friendly and “healthy” become … well … expensive and ridiculous.

Joseph’s Toiletries is vitamin-coated toilet paper that can be magically transformed into a wet wipe using a spritz bottle of pH-balancing cleanser. Gwenyth Paltrow’s Goop calls this stuff the “gold standard of toilet paper—for the friend that truly has it all.” At least they also acknowledge it as “ridiculous” but still. It was included in the 2016 Academy Awards gift bags.

Screen Capture of Joseph’s Toiletries, red pen emphasis mine.

The new generation of tissues combines the best of two worlds: as clean as wet wipes and as natural as toilet paper

  • DRY OR MOIST: Woven, patented surface gives you the choice
  • SUPER ABSORBENT: Fluffed inner core for maximum security
  • FULLY FLUSHABLE: And dissolvable. Will not block sewage systems – unlike wet wipes
  • ECO-FRIENDLY: 100% natural, from responsible forestry. Good for your skin and the environment
  • ONLY GOOD INGREDIENTS: Vitamin-coated outer layer for optimal skin protection. No additives, binders, glue or chemicals

3 tissue refills last for a month. (Tissue refill product page)

(FYI, I can’t find ANYWHERE what “vitamin-coated” means for the tissues. What vitamins exactly? Or is it all just in the …)

The Bottom Wash removes impurities: completely, faster and in the most skin-friendly way. Because wet cleansing is more effective than dry rubbing

  • BETTER THAN WATER: Pure water enriched with provitamin B5 and Ecoflora® to keep the skin’s microbiological balance
  • ONLY GOOD INGREDIENTS: No alcohol, no sulfate, no paraben, no perfume and no formaldehyde carriers
  • NOT PRE-MOISTENED: Separating the cleanser from the tissue avoids using harsh chemicals needed to preserve wet wipes
  • RECOMMENDED BY DERMATOLOGISTS: And gynaecologically tested. The Gentle Cleansing is pH-balanced and hypoallergenic

The Bottom Wash lasts for a month. (Gentle Cleansing product page)

How expensive is this stuff anyway, in comparison to regular toilet paper?

Thankfully, MIT gives me the info I need. But apparently they got it from Charmin:

The average roll of toilet paper, in an average household, in the most-used bathroom of the house lasts approximately five days. Consumers use approximately 8.6 sheets of paper per toilet use. This is a total of 57 sheets per day and 20,805 sheets per year (42 rolls of two-ply or 21 rolls of one-ply)…

So, that means the average person uses the bathroom 6.6 times per day, 2,409 times per year.

Let’s go with Charmin Ultra Soft Bonus Pack, 36 Jumbo Plus Rolls, because Charmin is ~fancy~ toilet paper to us commonfolk. Charmin is priced at Costco for USD$28.99. That is USD$0.81 a roll. Each roll has 25.34 uses (using the 8.6 sheets rule). So about USD$0.03 per bathroom visit in toilet paper. Charmin costs about USD$72.27 a year.

This, of course, is not including the wet wipe capability. But thankfully, Kirkland Signature Moist Flushable Wipes, 632 Count is actually USD$0.03 per sheet, which for the purposes of this, we’ll say is one use.

According to Joseph’s, a three pack of tissues lasts one month. That’s 90 tissues, 90 uses a month, roughly assuming 3 times per day bathroom visits. One tissue per use. Joseph’s “Monthly Refill” (3pack and a bottle of Gentle Cleansing, the magic spritz that makes it a wet wipe) at the subscription price is CHF 17.10 , roughly USD$17.24. That is USD$0.19 per use. (And to be fair, JUST the dry tissue is USD$0.10 per use). You can also get some butt cream for USD$18.

If we go with Joseph’s definition of a monthly supply, you’re spending USD$206.88 per year. Plus shipping from Europe. If you’re using Charmin’s average daily use, that price goes to USD$457.71.

Yes, products that tote themselves as eco-friendly and healthy will always have a higher price tag. It’s definitely a luxury item, but some people who are into woo are also into shaming others for NOT being eco-friendly, chemical-free, etc.

How about we just all install bidets?


Katelyn Sweigart is a recovering woonatic and This Week In Tomorrow’s regular correspondent for your weekly dose of woo.


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