Wednesday, March 6, 2024


Today, Byters, we have a matter that affects every home, office and public amenity: should toilet paper rolls be he hung in the over or under manner?


Some comments:

The US advice column Ask Ann Landers reported that the subject was the most controversial issue in the column's history and, at 15,000 letters in 1986, provoked the highest number of responses.

The main reasons given by people to explain why they hang their toilet paper a given way are ease of grabbing and habit.

The over position is said to:

- reduce the risk of accidentally brushing the wall or cabinet with one's knuckles, potentially transferring grime and germs;

- make it easier to visually locate and to grasp the loose end;

- give the option to fold over the last sheet to show that the room has been cleaned; and

- is generally the intended direction of viewing for the manufacturer's branding, so patterned toilet paper looks better this way.

The under position is said to:

- provide a more tidy appearance, in that the loose end can be more hidden from view;

- reduce the risk of a toddler or a house pet such as a cat unrolling the toilet paper when batting at the roll; and

- in a recreational vehicle, reduce unrolling during driving.

The over position is shown in illustrations with the first patents for a free-hanging toilet-roll holders, issued in 1891:

In various surveys, around 70% of people prefer the over position.

In a survey of 1,000 Americans, Cottonelle found that "overs" are:
- more likely than "unders" to notice a roll's direction (~75 percent);
- to be annoyed when the direction is "incorrect" (~25 percent); and 
- to have flipped the direction at a friend's home (~30 percent).

My view: - it should be over.

By the way:

By 1950, toilet paper was a major market and additional colors were introduced to give consumers more variety. Many people enjoyed matching the color of their toilet paper to their bathroom’s interior decor. Still, this trend faded over time as concerns mounted over the health effects of the dyes.

Eventually, toilet paper returned to a bleached, white standard. Toilet paper itself is naturally off-white; the pulp used to make toilet paper is brown, but the glue that holds it together creates a white appearance. Bleach is added for aesthetics, but some people argue that the bleached toilet paper is softer and more absorbent.

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