The poo taboo

I was approached by Jo from a new eco living website called Boobalou. She had a bit of a challenge for me. And it’s a tricky one, mainly because it involves poo. POO. Actual poo. *shudder*

She asked me to test and review a set of washable toilet wipes from Molly Felicity Designs that will be available to buy from Boobalou. Yes. You read that right. Cloth bum wipes. They are known by all sorts of names: family cloth, unpaper loo roll, reusable wipes. But whatever you choose to call them, there’s no getting away from the fact that you wipe your bum on them.

And actually I’m a total wuss when it comes to cack. I’m not sure why it bothers me so much. I think because there are a lot more germs involved in dealing with poo, compared with wee or blood. And it’s whiffy. While my youngest was still in cloth nappies full-time, I still used disposable liners and wipes. I once threw away an entire nappy, including inserts, and a vest after one particularly explosive event because I just couldn’t face dealing with the poo.

Now, regular readers will know that I’m pretty open to most eco alternatives – reusable kitchen roll, washable wet wipes, cloth nappies, and cloth sanitary pads are firm fixtures in my house (and Boobalou will be selling most of these). I even crocheted some make-up remover pads! But … you know … POO! This is definitely the final hurdle in reducing our household waste.

Soooo it arrived, with full instructions for use. And I was really surprised. IT’S PRETTY!

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I’m not sure how our dear sovereign Queen would feel about me wiping my butt on our nation’s flag but, still, it’s a cute little set. A lovely selection of ten wipes in a matching, reversible basket. It’d be fun to choose a fabric or colour to match your bathroom decor. The wipes are bigger than I expected at a little over seven inches in width and length.

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Similar in size to a sheet of kitchen roll, rather than a sheet of bog roll. I assume you’re meant to wipe and fold, which is fine I guess. I’ve never been a scruncher anyway so folding suits me fine. Some of the cloths were entirely white cotton flannel and some had patterned cotton on one side. Very soft. Very pretty. And the little basket is the perfect size to fit on the toilet cistern.

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Jo was kind enough to also send a cute My Little Patch wetbag, which is the perfect size to hang from the conventional loo roll holder:

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It’s a really handy set-up. Everything within reach, where I need it to be.

Sooo, down to the … err … nitty gritty. The … umm … opportunity presented itself for me to use them. And use them I did. Now, I have to be honest. My first go was a bit … slippery. Gosh, this is awkward. How do I explain? I think I’m so used to the roughness of toilet paper that I was a bit overenthusiastic with my technique! It whooshed a bit faster than I expected. And, ridiculous as it sounds, I felt kinda terrible messing up the pristine material.

BUT. Honestly? It wasn’t as bad as I thought. I only needed one cloth because it’s large enough to fold over and wipe again without worrying about the dreaded poo under your fingernails. *vom*

The used wipes go straight into the zip-up wetbag. So there’s no smell. I didn’t have to look at them or touch them at all once they were dirty. Come wash day, I just unzipped the bag and put it on a 40-degree cycle with normal detergent and a tablespoon of soda crystals (but no fabric softener), along with my cloth nappies and other reusable bits and bobs. I set the machine to include a pre-wash, main wash, and extra rinse.

In my head, I envisaged awful stains that would never wash out. But the reality? One wipe was very slightly stained after the first wash. I hung it out on the line all day to allow the sun to bleach it out and afterwards it was barely noticeable. I could’ve treated it with some Ecover stain stick and re-washed it but it was such a light stain, it’s since faded out on its own after a few uses.

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For me, the main highlight of these was using them with my toddler. We’re trying to move away from the potty and more towards the toilet. She was quite happy sitting on the loo and pointing out all the different coloured cats on the little wetbag. She picked out which wipe she wanted me to use on her bum and zipped the wetbag closed all by herself when we’d finished. I also used one, wetted under the tap, to clean out her potty later the same day. They’re a really good tool to encourage young ones to be more independent in their toilet habits. Much softer and more fun. They are also better for young skin, better for the environment, and cheaper than those supposedly “flushable” toddler toilet wipes.

And did I mention, they look pretty?

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The new Boobalou website launches this weekend so head over there for family cloth, reusable menstrual products and lots more. There will be all sorts of eco-friendly products available. I’ve already made myself a shopping list!

 

I was not paid for this post. I was sent a set of cloth wipes and wetbag free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

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19 thoughts on “The poo taboo

  1. Rachel B July 11, 2014 at 14:33 Reply

    I’ve seen these (and read about them on a different blog). I’m not sure I could get hubs on board but I would try them. In some countries toilet paper is not allowed down the loo and is instead put in a sealed bin next to the loo. It’s no different, and as you say, they’re pretty! I know a couple of my friends have had reactions to certain loo rolls because of the bleaching chemicals in them. These would be ideal as it’s all natural cotton. Saving money and the environment can’t be wrong?! Oh and by the way – I love talking about bodily functions! Sick, blood, poo…. It’s all part of life!!!

    • The Pie Patch July 11, 2014 at 14:58 Reply

      Thanks for being brave enough to comment! I must admit my husband wasn’t at all keen, although he did use one on the toddler. Eldest daughter refused to use for poo but did try them out for wee. I’ll happily use them for my own wee & on toddler’s bum though. I guess even a tiny reduction in the amount of loo roll we flush is a good thing.

  2. Maggie July 11, 2014 at 19:20 Reply

    You do have to compare using a long wash cycle to part of a toilet roll eco-wise.

    • The Pie Patch July 11, 2014 at 19:54 Reply

      This is true but bear in mind that I washed these toilet wipes along with cloth nappies, cloth sanitary pads, reusable wet wipes, make-up wipes & kitchen roll all in one single wash cycle. If you are only using the toilet wipes, you can put them in the same wash cycle as your bath towels. I only do one or two extra loads per week for the eco products.

      They also use only a fraction of the usual amount of detergent & no fabric softener. I have a modern washing machine that uses very little water & 40 degrees is a fairly cool wash too. Compared to the equivalent amount of landfill or waste that’s clogging our oceans & beaches, it really is the better option.

      • Maggie July 11, 2014 at 20:16

        I’ll take your word for it. It does sound very green with all the products you use.

      • The Pie Patch July 11, 2014 at 20:32

        I probably do use more washable/reusable products than most people. Mainly after realising just how much landfill 2 children produce between them! But even if every household did one tiny thing to reduce their waste (not using carrier bags, or switching from plastic food bags to tupperware), it’d make a huge difference over a lifetime.

  3. Lauren | Belle du Brighton August 16, 2014 at 21:49 Reply

    Wow! good review, although I am still not certain they’d work in my house. My husband tends to use at least a quarter of a roll per day so we’d need billions of the things and need to wash them over night every night I reckon. I do however applaud you for all the other washable things you’re using, I love the idea of washable kitchen roll and will be looking into that!

    • The Pie Patch August 16, 2014 at 21:53 Reply

      I think family cloth is definitely a line many people might not want to cross. I still use ours for wiping out the potty. It’s not as ick as cloth nappies. And I guess even using a few sheets less of toilet paper each day is a step in the right direction. Good luck with the kitchen roll! And thanks for reading. 🙂

  4. Zero Waste Week 2014 | Caught My Eye August 19, 2014 at 07:04 Reply

    […] what one thing can they do to help reduce the waste we produce. I won’t be going as far as The Pie Patch, who tried reusable toilet wipes but, you know, I’ll do more than I have […]

  5. Sue September 2, 2014 at 09:54 Reply

    Love it! I’m thinking of doing this – I don’t know if I’d want to wash em in with other non-bum stuff tho – ie in with cloth nappies is fine, but once there are no more cloth nappies to wash, would it be worth putting a wash on for?

    • The Pie Patch September 2, 2014 at 10:08 Reply

      I only use our loo cloth for wiping out the potty now so they’re not too messy, if you know what I mean! I use cloth sanitary pads, as well as reusable wet wipes for sticky hands and faces, muslin cloth bibs, and washable kitchen roll. I wash them all in one load!

      My theory is that I don’t wash our knickers separately from the rest of our clothes or towels and it really isn’t any different. I wouldn’t recommend it if you have a newborn or a weakened immune system but my kids are 8 & nearly 3 now. We’re all fit and healthy and I trust in the detergent, oxy stain remover, and a good blast of sunshine to kill any germs. We v rarely get any tummy upsets or sick bugs so it works for us.

  6. […] habits.  Some of my fellow Zero Waste ambassadors go to incredible lengths to reduce waste (reusable toilet wipes anyone?!) and I am frankly in awe of their dedication, but the theme of this year’s Zero […]

  7. […] habits.  Some of my fellow Zero Waste ambassadors go to incredible lengths to reduce waste (reusable toilet wipes anyone?!) and I am frankly in awe of their dedication, but the theme of this year’s Zero […]

  8. […] Jo at Boobalou several times before, reviewing all sorts of eco friendly products – Eco Egg, family cloth, reusable teabags. I’ve also ordered from them many times as a customer – cloth pads, […]

  9. Laura May 17, 2015 at 23:56 Reply

    Do you still use it now? X

  10. Laura May 17, 2015 at 23:57 Reply

    Ah sorry just read last comment – potty only!

    • The Pie Patch May 18, 2015 at 07:24 Reply

      That’s ok, Laura. I’m pleased I gave it a go but I guess I just found my limit in terms of reusables. I may have felt differently if I was still dealing with poopy nappies but those days are long gone now!

  11. Laura May 31, 2015 at 11:07 Reply

    I’m trying it but for wees only lol!!

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