Some questions you’ve always wanted to ask about toilet paper

From the interesting to the obscure, here are the toilet paper questions that you have always wanted answers to. Or perhaps not…

Toilet paper questions

What is the optimal ply to use?

The ply of a toilet paper is the number of sheets stacked on top of each other to make it thicker or more absorbent. Obviously, a single ply sheet is just one layer, and a three ply sheet is three layers stuck together to make the paper thicker. A higher ply indicates better quality

So what is the optimal ply? Essentially, the highest number you can get; it equates to thicker and more absorbent paper, which is better overall.

However, there is also the value for money factor that must be considered, and the lower ply paper tends to be cheaper. So, ultimately it is up to you when choosing the optimal ply.

Why is it so difficult to get the first sheet off the roll?

Surprisingly, the internet has been unable to provide an answer for this one. However, using our own common sense, we can take a guess that it has to do with the manufacturing process.

Obviously the roll needs to stay together until it is needed, so the first sheet needs to be adhered to the rest of the roll to keep it from falling apart. It makes it a bit messy sometimes!

Should you install the roll over or under?

There has been extensive debate on this topic for as long as anyone can remember, and there are arguments for either way – in fact, there are lots of arguments ranging from habit, to advertising, to ease of access, and even the practicality in a caravan.

The over or under debate is even featured in books such as “The First Really Important Survey of American Habits” (1989), “Are You Normal?” (1995), and a Canadian museum exhibition called “Sitting Pretty: The History of the Toilet”.

Various surveys between 1993 and 2004 showed that more than half of all people hang it in the over direction, with the percentage varying from 53 to 75 percent.

Earlier this year, a 124 year old patent finally settled the debate by showing that installing the roll over is the right way to do it.

Seth Wheeler, the inventor of perforated toilet paper, illustrated his creation with the roll coming over the top. The Google patents database backs this up, displaying a series of diagrams with the toilet paper in the over direction.

Thus, over is the official winner in the debate, but over vs under will still be argued for the rest of time.

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