Sunday, March 15, 2020

And the madness continues...

Yesterday I went into our small town (population 1000) to check our post office box and to pick up some tomatoes for Don.

Curious, I peeked into the aisle stocking hand sanitizer. Stripped bare.

Pasta was low, but still in stock.

Needless to say, no toilet paper or facial tissue.

In the paper-goods aisle, I overheard a young woman on her cell phone talking to her husband, discussing toilet paper options. I got the impression the young woman wasn't local, and that she was on a scouting trip to find toilet paper.

So, for those who find themselves short of this basic bathroom necessity, please consider these:

These are cheap, three-for-a-dollar washcloths I picked up years ago at various dollar stores. They are our emergency TP supply and can be treated like cloth diapers -- put soiled cloths in a bucket of water until it's time to wash them, then wash in hot water. There's no more "ick" factor than diapering a baby. They come in a variety of ugly colors, so each family member can have the ugly color of their choice, if desired.

As for hand sanitizer, try this recipe:

2/3 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol, 70% or higher
1/3 cup aloe vera
Essential oil

And please, folks, stay calm. This is not the bubonic plague.


  1. IN 1968 I was in Europe and took a few weeks off in August to go to a beach in Eastern Spain on the Mediterranean. As most people know all of Europe goes on vacation in August so in this small resort were 3000 other families. I went to the store that first morning to buy a couple of things and they had bottles of water stacked floor to ceiling filling a large room. Good to know, I thought, I would return later and buy some (the local water was salty and dirty). I also picked up a roll of TP. The brand was "Elephant paper" with a picture of an elephant on it. It was as thick and stiff as thin cardboard and dark grey in color like elephant skin; some rough stuff. So I was a little turned off by it and bought one roll. After siesta my family was very thirsty not having decent water and that TP as bad is it was, was used and the roll was small so I needed another one. Went back to the store and all the water was gone and all the TP was gone. I was stunned looking at that empty room where perhaps 5000 gallon bottle of water had been stacked up now completely empty. THAT was my introduction to prepping and exactly what I was thinking about when I was out shopping and encountered empty shelves and anxious shoppers.

  2. Those potty cloths-- I bought a couple hundred years ago at Walmart when they were on sale 8 for $4. I cut them in half and sewed a quick zig-zag along the cut edge to keep them from unraveling. (My thinking was a whole one was a little large for the job since they're more efficient than paper. Especially if you dampen them a bit.)
    I have a diaper pail with lid and keep bottles of Lysol to put in it just like I did with cloth diapers when my first son couldn't wear disposables. Rubber gloves to wear while rinsing and ringing them out before throwing in the washer for a wash with hot water and bleach. A pretty basket on the top of the potty for the clean folded ones.
    How does everyone think their great grandmas did it? This is it.

  3. I saw that recipe for hand sanitizer online as well... everyone else must have too... no rubbing alcohol or aloe to be found here! We have some but can just stick with good o’ soap and water.

  4. For ten years I exclusively used washcloths instead of tp. I lost all my washcloths. I had about 40. I washed them and hung then in the sun. Now, I would cut rags and use for pee, using tp only for poop. I used cloth for three babies and am not so squeamish. I am 73, so this was not a century ago.

  5. Patrice, I think part of the problem around all of this is that communication is not being handled well at all. Officials are hinting at actions but are not defining them until (in our local case) the middle of the night. Small wonder people are getting nervous in the uncertainty.

    Better to just say "3 days hence this is the policy". At least people can know and plan then.

  6. Make a bottle bidet. Punch a hole in the side of a plastic bottle. Position and squeeze. Make adaptations as needed for you bottle. A VERY VERY WELL rinsed toilet cleaner bent neck bottle (used for getting under the rim) works well too.

  7. Another thing that works really well and is cheap is recycled blue surgical rags.

  8. You can't find alcohol or aloe vera gel anymore either. Gone. Use good old fashioned "soap".

  9. When my dh passed away I cut all of his white t-shirts into bathroom rags. Soft, easy to wash and bleach, free and they don't ravel. Saw on a vlog to buy thrift shop flannel sheets and cut for bathroom rags. One sheet would make a huge supply.

  10. Walmart has soft fleece throws, 60"x50" on sale for $2.50. These could be cut up to make a lot of cheap wipes.