How Do You Clean Up after Pooping?

Tue, Nov 19, 19

Prior to the turn of the new millennium, nearly everyone in the U.S. cleaned up after pooping in pretty much the same way — by wiping with toilet paper, front to back (especially for women). Admittedly, this post-poop protocol isn’t very thorough. After all, if you get chocolate on your fingers, you lick it off or wash your hands, because wiping with a napkin would leave sticky residue. Similarly, wiping your buns with toilet paper leaves a stinky residue, and licking isn’t the most appealing alternative.

Perhaps the most appealing alternative is what people do in most other countries — use a bidet or a similar sink-like device to rinse with water or wash and rinse with soap and water.

In recent years, people here in the U.S. started using wet wipes, which they probably learned to do after changing a few diapers. Hey, if it’s good enough for baby buns, it’s good enough for ours! Unfortunately, wet wipes tend to clog toilets and contribute to septic system failure, so someone invented the flushable wipe — one that’s supposed to dissolve after it’s flushed to make it safe for sewers and septic systems (Consumer Reports performed a test that proved otherwise). Another potential problem with wet wipes is that most contain soap and other chemicals that can irritate the sensitive skin of the nether region.

Tip: To overcome issues with wet wipes, consider creating your own with soft paper towels and water or witch hazel and then tossing them in the trash instead of the toilet after use. Witch hazel is an astringent (a substance that causes the skin to contract), so it’s commonly used in hemorrhoid pads to shrink hemorrhoid tissues.