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National Toilet Paper Day

ToiletP aper Patent 

Date When Celebrated : This holiday is always observed on August 26

As the Charmin ad says "Enjoy the Go!" We certainly encourage your to do so in grand fashion, as you celebrate National Toilet Paper Day.

Let's not take toilet paper for granted. It may not always be there when you need it. For many of us, it is needed multiple times a day. Toilet paper is indeed an essential item. It is not available in many parts of the world. If you've ever entered a stall without first checking to see if the dispenser is empty, you will agree that it is truly essential.  So, as you roll off a wad of toilet paper while you sit on the throne, take a minute to reflect and appreciate that it is there.

Toilet Paper Has a Long and Soiled History:

Over thousands of years of history, there were many ways to clean up after the "go". In early days, people just used their hand for clean up. Over time, the left hand came to be designated for this task. It would then be washed in a nearby creek or simply wiped off. In many cultures, people would not use the left hand for eating or many other tasks. Over time, a wide variety of items came to be used for the clean up job, including rocks, leaves, corn cobs and more. Squatting over a creek was common, with waste being washed downstream by the current. Perhaps one of the most bizarre methods of wiping one's derriere clean, came in use around 79 A.D.  A wet sponge on a stick was used. After use, it was rinsed off and left for the next person!

Fortunately for me and you, progress and invention brought about the much more sanitary and disposable toilet paper. Toilet paper was invented in China in 580. It came in sheets. It was coarse and expensive. Most of the population couldn't afford it. It wasn't until the 1400s that it began to be manufactured in China. Most of the world had to wait until the 1800s, for toilet paper to come into popular use. In 1857, toilet paper sheets were commercially sold for the first time in the U.S. On December 22, 1871, Seth Wheeler from Albany, NY received patent #465,588 for the toilet paper roll. With toilet paper now on a roll, using "the head" and "powdering your nose" became far more convenient and sanitary. We only had to wait another century or so for indoor plumbing, but that's a subject for another day.

The Great Over/Under Debate:

For many decades a debate raged over whether the roll of toilet paper should unfold over the top of the roll , or under it. To this day, many people still (mostly) humorously argue their case for over or under. It's a proven fact that toilet paper unrolled over the roll is more sanitary. Those in favor of under the roll, argue those who do so are more intelligent. There are many other arguments for each direction.

Seth Wheeler's 1871 patent for the toilet paper roll clearly show diagrams of toilet paper coming off the top of the roll. But, wait! There are other pictures of Wheeler's invention where the toilet paper unrolls under.

So, which way is the winner for this debate? We will let you.... make the call.


Did You Know? When a roll of toilet paper is used up, most people throw the cardboard core away into the trash. But, the cardboard roll is recyclable. Placing it in the paper recycling bin, or composting it saves space in the landfill.

Toilet Paper Trivia:

  • Toilet paper originated in China in 580.
  • A roll of toilet paper contains 200 -1,000 sheets of paper, depending upon manufacturer and number of plys.
  • Prior to 1935, toilet paper sometimes had splinters in it.
  • The first commercially available toilet paper was made from hemp.
  • In the 1950s, colored toilet paper hit the market in shades of pink, green, blue and more. It fell out of fashion in the 1980's.
  • At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in the U.S., there was a run merchandise at stores. Among the first items to sell out was (you guessed it) toilet paper.
  • 7% of Americans admit to stealing toilet paper from hotels.
  • Shy Mr. Whipple appeared in over 500 Charmin commercials. 
  • The average person in the U.S. uses 57 sheets per day. That amounts to over 100 rolls per year.
  • About 75% of the world's population still does not use toilet paper.
  • In Great Britain it's called "loo paper".
  • It takes about 30,000 trees per day to meet worldwide production demand.
  • CharmWeddings holds an annual Toilet Paper Dress Contest.

Today's Chuckle: What happens when you run out of toilet paper? ...Depends.

Toilet Paper Day

History and Origin of National Toilet Paper Day:

While there is a rich history about toilet paper, we have not yet identified the creator of this special day or why he or she created it. Despite our deep search, it's as if information on the creator was thoroughly wiped clean off the internet. And other sources.

The date was selected as toilet paper was first sold in the U.S. on August 26, 1871.

 This holiday dates back to at least 2013.

We did not find any documentation confirming this to be a true "National" day. We found no congressional records or presidential proclamation.

Definition of "National" Days

Ecards Send a free Ecard daily for just about any August calendar holiday, occasion, observance or event. Or, just for the fun of it!

More About Today:

This Day in History

Famous August Birthdays

Flower of the Day: Daffodils

Recipe of the Day: Garden Stuffed Baked Potato

Holiday Insights, where every day in August is a holiday, a bizarre or wacky day, an observance, or a special event. Join us in the daily calendar fun each and every day of the year.

Did You Know? There are literally thousands of daily holidays, special events and observances, more than one for every day of the year. Many of these holidays are new. More holidays are being created on a regular basis. August holidays are no exception. At Holiday Insights, we take great efforts to thoroughly research and document the details of each one, as completely and accurately as possible.



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