What Did People Use for Wiping Before Toilet Paper? | Summary and Q&A

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March 20, 2020
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What Did People Use for Wiping Before Toilet Paper?

TL;DR

Toilet paper was first used in 6th century China, but it took centuries to gain popularity worldwide. Before toilet paper, people used various materials such as hemp, lace, wool, water, rags, leaves, stones, and even sponges.

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Questions & Answers

Q: When and where was toilet paper first used?

Toilet paper was first used in the 6th century in China, particularly in the Chinese Imperial courts and among the wealthy citizens.

Q: What materials did people use for wiping before the invention of toilet paper?

People used a variety of materials for wiping, including hemp, lace, wool, water, rags, leaves, stones, sponges, and even pages from catalogs like Sears and Roebucks.

Q: How did toilet paper eventually gain popularity in America and England?

Toilet paper gained popularity in America and England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to advancements in indoor plumbing and the development of softer paper products.

Q: How did blind people know when they were done wiping before the widespread use of toilet paper?

Blind individuals determined cleanliness through tactile response. By paying attention to the glide and texture of toilet paper, they could assess when they were sufficiently clean.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Toilet paper was first used in 6th century China and later spread throughout the country.

  • The rest of the world did not adopt toilet paper until the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Before the introduction of toilet paper, people used materials like hemp, lace, wool, water, rags, leaves, stones, and sponges.

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