If there is one thing that I’ve learned since the beginnings of self-quarantine and social distancing, it is that toilet paper is valued above diamonds and emeralds. This is apparently the first thing retail establishments that carry it run out of. There is none to be found. So, of course I am grateful that I had some on hand, although I am close to the onset of panic, because my supply is running low.

In light of the importance of this oft-reported topic, I have thoroughly researched the issue and am poised to enlighten you of the current situation. And all of this is backed up by reputable scientific testing or I would not be sharing this with you.

(As a side note, the previous facts are a teachable moment – all teachers will be familiar with this concept. Teachable moment: You should not take everything you read on the Internet as solid facts. You do need to read reputable sources, of which I am one, and make your own decisions based upon thorough research, avoiding the crowd mentality that bubbles to the surface in times like these.)

Back to the toilet paper dilemma. Various brands of toilet paper were tested for the speed with which they disintegrated in water – a very important factor in your decision as which brand to buy. Of course, I realize that in the current situation, you may be forced to buy any brand that is still on the shelf.

To begin, let me describe the actual scientific testing that occurred. Nine brands of popular toilet tissue were purchased – not donated by the companies that produce them, which would taint the results and render them useless. Two squares of each toilet tissue brand were dropped into a standard toilet and were left unattended or flushed for 15 minutes. Then a single stir of the product simulated a flush. The results of the experiment were “fished” out of the toilet and examined to see what was left of the initial product.

The unbiased results of the experiment were as follows, with the brands of toilet tissue being designated as belonging to one of three categories: Bad, Okay and Best.


  • Quilted Northern Ultra Plush: is a 3-ply tissue, and while that sounds appealing, it doesn’t break down easily, thereby creating its own destiny of an eventual clogged toilet. Therefore, you are cautioned to consider this: which is more important, the fleeting thrill of 3-ply tissue or dealing with a clogged toilet?
  • Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care: a 2-ply tissue which actually performed much like the previous loser.


  • Charmin Ultra Soft & Charmin Ultra Strong: (side note: I always wondered which of these would be the best choice. It became a dilemma itself – choosing between the two of them!) In the test, Ultra Soft broke down a little better than Ultra Strong. (Ah – scientific data to guide my future choices!) But of course, they only performed a little better than those in the Bad category.
  • EverSpring Recycled: (first thought here: How do you recycle toilet paper??? Ugh!!!) Again, performance was much like the Charmin twins. Since I am unfamiliar with this brand, I conclude that the decision of whether to purchase this brand will be an easy one, because I will be unable to find it where I shop.
  • Kirkland Signature Bath Tissue & Smartly: For those of you who reside in the “boonies” like I do, you may be unaware that Kirkland is Costco’s brand. However, being the sophisticated shopper that I am, I was aware of that. After that seemingly arrogant statement of fact, I regret to inform you that I had to look up who makes the Smartly brand. It is Target. I may be arrogant, but I’m honest. Anyway – the result: they performed about like the others in this category – just okay.


  • Angel Soft: Ah…imagine little angels floating all around. That is because this is a 2-ply tissue that disintegrates quickly and easily, ensuring you can leave the plunger in its place.
  • Scott 1000: was the clear winner! Of course, it’s a (ugh) 1-ply tissue. The researchers in this test even matched six squares of Scott tissue against two squares of Quilted Northern, and still won the match! Conclusion: you can use more of the 1-ply Scott and it will still outperform (in terms of disintegration only, as the this was the only criterion of this scientific test) Quilted Northern.

So, there you have it. You can now go confidently into your next shopping trip, armed with the knowledge to make an informed choice concerning which toilet tissue to buy. Don’t take that charge lightly.

In conclusion, I cannot let this moment pass without making the definitive declaration about that age-old dilemma of whether to hang toilet tissue with the end coming off the top or the bottom. Answer: top! Feel free to share that life-changing fact with others who may be uninformed, a.k.a. husbands.

Source: Family Handyman Tips and Hints: The Best Toilet Paper For Your Plumbing, 3-26-20