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How Much Toilet Paper Does Your Family Really Need?

There's a handy calculator that will give you the answer.


We’re living in a strange new world where toilet paper has basically become more precious than gold. The spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused people to clear entire inventories of the bathroom tissue from stores across the country. But how much toilet paper do you really need to stock up on?

To simplify things — and make sure we aren’t taking more than our share — the folks at SwankyDen have created an easy calculator that shows exactly how much toilet paper you should grab based on how long you think you’ll be quarantined and how many people you have in your house. For example, if you’re a family of four and planning to stay indoors throughout the month of May (31 days), the calculator claims you’ll need 33.5 rolls. They account for an average of 8 squares per wipe, so the estimate can vary based on your family’s usage.

Honestly, who knew this potty predicament would become one of the most difficult questions to answer in 2020? Getting our hands on even a single roll can feel like winning the lottery these days, which is one of the reasons people tend to go overboard when they see a store has finally restocked their TP inventory. 

We don’t want to point any fingers, but it’s likely that more than a few of you reading this article have way more rolls stowed away in your home than you actually need. Sure, you might want a little extra to buffer for kids who use way more squares than necessary (or just think it’s a fun game to destroy sheet after sheet while locked up inside).

But if you have any to spare, you might want to consider sharing with others whose supplies are dwindling. It could be a neighbor, a local shelter, family member, or friend — just reach out and ask! You’ll probably be met with some very grateful faces (from a safe social distance).

Popular toilet paper brand Cottonelle is also encouraging those with extra rolls to post about giving them away on social media with the hashtag #ShareASquare. Every time you do, they will add $1 donation to the United Way Worldwide COVID-19 Fund, which is helping the most vulnerable populations with financial and social service support throughout this pandemic. 

If there’s one thing for sure, this crazy time has definitely made us all appreciate the humble bathroom product more than ever before… or has inspired us to invest in a bidet.

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