Toilet Paper Hanging Direction: Your Local Plumber Weighs In

 Two Rolls! There's the answer!

Two Rolls! There’s the answer!

When it comes to sewer cleaning, the only thing we deal with more than roots is toilet paper. In fact, as we deal more and more with newer homes that have PVC sewer pipes, we’re seeing fewer root problems and more toilet paper problems, because people keep buying stronger and stronger toilet paper that just doesn’t disintegrate. So yeah, your local plumbers at Garvin’s Sewer Service think about toilet paper a lot.

In a recent post, we went over the orientation of the toilet seat: what determines if it should be up or down? Boy, did we hear about it! Apparently we’re not the only ones who have strong opinions on toilet seats. So let’s tackle one of the other most contentious aspects of bathroom etiquette. Does the toilet paper go over or under?

First of all, a question. Do people really care about this subject all that much? Of course they do! After all, the toilet is one of the few things that all Americans have to deal with on a daily basis, so it’s no surprise that there would be some contention when it comes to etiquette. In fact, there’s an entire Wikipedia page on the subject called Toilet Paper Orientation.

First, let’s take a look at a few reasons why people (and some plumbers) advocate for the over direction:

  • The over position allows for more easily finding the end of the toilet paper. When using under, the end of the roll is more likely to be hidden behind the roll.
  • In the hospitality industry, the overhand orientation is preferred because it highlights the folded point they make in the toilet paper to show that the room has been cleaned.
  • Toilet papers with quilting or text is always printed so that it looks better when in the overhand position. Apparently the manufacturers believe in the overhand orientation
  • From a germ standpoint, over is the winner. For one thing, the overhang is less likely to brush the wall than the underhang. Also, there’s less risk of your knuckles bumping against the bathroom wall when you grab for a few sheets.

But not everyone agrees (including a few plumbers). Here are some arguments for the under orientation.

  • In direct opposition to the first point above, some people don’t care about how easy it is to find the end of the roll as long as it looks tidy. It’s easier to hide the end of the roll with the under position.
  • Under works better in RVs, because it’s less likely to unravel as the big vehicle is moving.
  • Here’s the big one: cats. Cats can sit on the toilet and bat an over roll until the entire thing is unraveled. It’s much more difficult (and much less fun) to waste a roll when it’s in the under position.

So who’s right? We’ll, here’s one last argument. We mentioned earlier that the toilet paper manufacturers tend to favor the over orientation. Well, so did the inventor! The original patent for toilet paper, which is more than 100 years old, seems to have answered the question before it was even asked. You can see pictures and read more about it right here.

What toilet paper orientation will Garvin’s professional plumbers see when they come to your home? Either way, we promise not to change it, even if that particular plumber has strong feelings on the matter! We’re there to take care of your pre-planned sewer cleaning and emergency plumbing needs, not correct you on toilet paper etiquette. Give us a call and we’ll leave your toilet paper alone!

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