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What Is a Toilet Paper Tablet?

If you’re a runner, hiker, biker, or backpacker, you’ve probably encountered the inconvenient urge to use the bathroom at some point. Maybe you always pack a roll of toilet paper in your bag, but even as cushiony and lightweight as a roll of toilet paper is, it still takes up room. There’s a better solution: toilet paper tablets. 

Perhaps you’ve never heard of such a thing. Let’s learn why this product may be necessary to add to your adventure bag the next time you head out to explore the outdoors. Let’s dive in.

What Is a Toilet Paper Tablet?

If you’re heading out on a backpacking adventure for a few days, you need to take toiletries like soap and toilet paper. However, a roll of toilet paper can take up a lot of room in a small backpack. The solution — compressed toilet paper formed into a tablet. When the tablet comes in contact with water, it turns into a wet cloth that you can use to wipe down after a long hike, as toilet paper, start a fire, etc.

One practical use for a toilet paper tablet is to take a military shower when camping. With just a few drops of water, it will expand to become a washcloth you can use to clean yourself after a day of exploring. You don’t need a lot of water, which is perfect when camping in the backcountry. Just make sure to wash your face before wiping down your armpits.

Pro Tip: Learn how to shower like you’re in the military with these tips on How to Take a Navy Shower in Your Camper.

Recreation of Creation of Adam painting with toilet paper.
Have toilet paper on hand no matter where you go by keeping a toilet paper tablet in your bag.

How Do Toilet Paper Tablets Work? 

A toilet paper tablet takes up much less space in your hiking bag than a roll. When rehydrated, these wipes are stronger and thicker than traditional toilet paper, making them multi-functional. 

The process is simple. Take out the tablet, sprinkle water on it or dip it in water. Quickly, the tablet expands, so you can use it for whatever you need. You can also let the toilet paper dry out if you need to have a paper to start a fire.

You could also use alcohol to rehydrate the cloth instead of water to create an antibacterial wipe. Use this to sanitize a cooking area or wipe your hands after setting up a tent. It’s also good to keep a couple of toilet paper tablets in your first aid kit. Then you have quick access to a cloth for impromptu cleaning or when you just have to “go.”

Are Toilet Paper Tablets Flushable? 

Although toilet paper tablets are convenient for outdoor adventures, don’t use them with your home plumbing systems. You risk damaging or clogging your pipes if you flush toilet paper tablets down the toilet. Will you have problems if you accidentally flush it? Not always, but you don’t want to risk the damage of clogging your plumbing system or the cost of repairing it. Most packages will say not flushable to ensure that users don’t take that risk.

Camping chair with hole and toilet paper hanging in tree
Ditch the toilet paper roll while camping and substitute toilet paper tablets instead.

Are Toilet Paper Tablets Biodegradable? 

Biodegradable toilet paper should dissolve and disappear naturally. The Portawipes brand says “100% Viscose Rayon” on the package, which means they degrade naturally. The packaging may say not flushable, but toilet paper tablets are biodegradable. 

Just double-check the packaging to make sure the brand you’ll buy specifically says biodegradable. This is great news for hikers and campers looking to make a minimal impact on the environment.

Pro Tip: Going camping in your RV? Find out Is Toilet Paper Safe to Put in Your RV Black Tank?

What Are People Saying About Toilet Paper Tablets?

One of the best-selling toilet paper tablets on Amazon is the WYSI Multi-Purpose Expandable Wipes. They’re hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and unscented, which is essential for camping or hiking near wildlife. 

One user writes, “These have replaced the wet wipes in my backpacking kit. They are very lightweight at less than 1/2 oz each. Easy to use. Just soak one with around a tablespoon of water, wait for it to expand a bit, then unroll it. The cloth fabric is quite durable. If you don’t use it for bathroom purposes, you can utilize it over and over again.”

If you want thicker toilet paper, the Portawipes Coin Tissues compressed towelettes work great. These unscented and hypoallergenic also expand 27% larger than standard compressed tissues. On Amazon, these wipes have 4.8 out of 5 stars. 

One parent explains, “These things are absolutely amazing. I purchased these for a week-long trip just in case something arose that required a wet wipe. With three kids, it didn’t take long before they needed to be used…I would definitely recommend them to anyone with children as they are much more compact than a pack of wet wipes.”

Will You Use a Toilet Paper Tablet?

If you have messy kids or backpack every weekend, consider investing in a bag of toilet paper tablets. The Portawaipes brand has two waterproof cases, so you don’t accidentally expand the tablet before use. They easily fit in a diaper bag, pocketbook, or backpack and are ready to use when needed. Plus, they don’t harm the environment. What’s not to love?

Will you be purchasing toilet paper tablets any time soon? Tell us in the comments!

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