Do you know why toilet paper is white?
Toilet paper is an item we use every day. We know perfectly well what it looks like and what it is for, but have you ever wondered why it is white? It is one of those curiosities that, fortunately, does have an answer.
If you think about it, in your day to day, there are certain habits that always remain. For example, letting the alarm clock go off for a few more minutes, going to the bathroom, taking a shower, or clearing your head with a strong coffee. In this context, there are also various items around us that would be very difficult (if not impossible) to get rid of. One of them is undoubtedly toilet paper. Although we do not notice it, the vital function it fulfills is unquestionable.
We use it daily, but perhaps you have never stopped to examine it. Moreover, have you ever wondered why it is white? It is true that there are models that are not so clean, but rather beige or ecru. However, the toilet paper that predominates in the market is white. You know why? To answer that question, we would have to refer to the materials in which it is made.
Cellulose: the key to its color
Toilet paper is made from cellulose fibers. These are extracted from trees, although they can also come from recycled paper. The manufacturing process is not mysterious. These cellulose fibers are mixed with water until the result is a more or less manageable paste. Then, it is time to soften this paste in order to obtain toilet paper with a pleasant touch. The next thing is to add chlorine to the mixture. The mission of this element is to soften the future toilet paper. But, in addition, chlorine is also used to whiten it much more than it already is.
The reality is that, by itself, the mass obtained is white, although chlorine is used to achieve a total white. As you know, this color is associated with cleanliness and hygiene, which is why it is the most recurrent in this field. The best toilet paper does not have to be pure white, although it is a feature that many users appreciate, precisely because of the value associated with this color. There is no doubt that the attribute that customers value most above all else is the smooth texture. This is a feature that can make users change brands if they do not find the right one according to their preferences and needs.
If you stop to think about it, surely throughout your life you have come across somewhat rough models. Now you can understand why, because perhaps this smoothing process was not so exhaustive.
colored toilet paper
It seems that the purity associated with toilet paper is something that has been valued for some time now, but not just a few decades ago. Not in vain, in the 70s, in many countries it was common to find colored toilet paper in stores and supermarkets. It was totally in style. People loved to select the appropriate model based on the color of their bathroom or the one that best matched the tone of the shower curtains, for example.
However, functionality prevailed over aesthetics. It is clear that a red or green toilet paper is much more attractive than a white one, but is it really more practical? To obtain all these colors, it was necessary to resort to the use of dyes, chemicals that very possibly did not suit all skins.
Another powerful reason why it was decided to shelve colored toilet paper was the cost involved. And it is that as you can imagine, the expense was higher by having to paint each roll. Today, even if it became fashionable again on the market, it is obvious that the price of this kind of paper would tend to rise, since its manufacturing process is much more expensive. In this sense, one might wonder who would be willing to assume that price difference. Toilet paper is a pretty cheap product these days, so would you pay a few bucks more just to get a colored one?
In the same way, the environmental impact of having to dye each of the rolls was taken into account, when, solely, the only reason was aesthetic. Every year, around 10 million trees are cut down to meet global demands for toilet paper. The number of manufactured rolls is abysmal, as would be the number of liters of dye that should be used.
Added to this is the decomposition time of the toilet paper itself once we have used it, which increases exponentially if dyes are present.
Other toilet paper considerations
When it comes to toilet paper and other hygiene items, it is convenient to prioritize functionality. At this point, other considerations should be kept in mind, such as aroma, texture, size or layers.
As for the aroma, there are those who prefer it to give off a delicate smell, like macadamia nuts or aloe vera. If we talk about texture, you should always aim for the softest toilet paper possible, while trying to find a balance between the size of each roll and the number of layers it has. The standard are the two-layer rolls, although there are also three and four, options that, obviously, spread much more.
It is clear that white toilet paper is predominant these days, but it is possible to choose plain or patterned. This will depend on your tastes and what the members of the household want, although, in general, each brand incorporates a small stamp on each roll whose mission is to unite the layers. These considerations will help you choose the best toilet paper of the moment (by clicking on this link you can find some purchase options).