August 26th

National Toilet Paper Day -

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Once a year, on the 26th of August, we come together to celebrate a humble yet vital invention that graces our homes—yes, we’re talking about toilet paper! While it might bring a smile or a giggle when mentioned, National Toilet Paper Day is far more than just a source of light-hearted fun. It’s a day to honor the role that this essential product plays in maintaining our hygiene and health.

During this particular day, we take a journey through the fascinating evolution of toilet paper, from its early inception to the plush variety we are accustomed to today. It’s a prime time for sales and special promotions, as brands take this opportunity to demonstrate the centrality of toilet paper in our lives.

History of National Toilet Paper Day

The concept of paper devoted to personal hygiene traces back centuries. Specifically, historical records point to the Chinese using paper for sanitary purposes as early as the 6th century, with more formal references to toilet paper appearing in China in the 14th century, a luxury then reserved for the imperial family.

It wasn’t until the 1800s that toilet paper began to emerge as a commodity in Western society. In the United States, credit for the first commercially available toilet paper goes to Joseph Gayetty, who in 1857 introduced his flat, medicated sheets known as Gayetty’s Medicated Paper. Following in his footsteps, the Scott brothers, E. Irvin and Clarence, revolutionized the industry towards the end of the 19th century by marketing the product on rolls, which has since become the standardized form.

As indoor plumbing became more common and the demand for a compatible sanitary product rose, toilet paper transitioned from a luxury item for the well-off to an indispensable item for the masses, available in an array of textures and qualities to suit different preferences.

The inception of Toilet Paper Day doesn’t stem from a single pivotal moment or creator. Instead, it has gradually emerged, likely as a concoction of marketing strategies by industry leaders looking to garner attention to their product, or perhaps by dedicated individuals through the rise of niche holidays gaining notoriety via the internet.

On this day, it’s common for companies to roll out trivia on the product, emphasizing traits like eco-friendliness or the necessity of proper sanitation for the underprivileged across the globe. Deals and discounts on various brands are also a staple of the day, making it a prime opportunity for promotions. In the social media realm, expect to scroll past a stream of witty and inventive content celebrating this unsung paper hero.

National Toilet Paper Day Timeline

First Toilet Paper Recorded in China

The earliest recorded use of toilet paper was found in China.

First Packaged Toilet Paper in the US

Joseph Gayetty started selling the first commercially packaged toilet paper in the United States.

Introduction of Rolled and Perforated Toilet Paper

The Scott Paper Company started producing rolled and perforated toilet paper, which is similar to today's standard toilet paper rolls.

First Two-Ply Toilet Paper

St. Andrew's Paper Mill in the UK introduced two-ply toilet paper, which has since become a standard in many households.

Sustainable Toilet Paper Practices

The 2000s saw a growing demand for sustainable and environmentally friendly toilet paper products, including the use of recycled paper and bamboo.

COVID-19 and Toilet Paper Hoarding

The outbreak of COVID-19 led to worldwide panic buying and hoarding of toilet paper, temporarily disrupting supplies.

National Toilet Paper Day

National Toilet Paper Day is celebrated to appreciate the essential role that toilet paper plays in modern society.

Ideas to Celebrate National Toilet Paper Day

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Creative Crafts with a Twist

Host a creative workshop where attendees can discover the art of toilet paper roll crafts. From creating wall art, plant holders, or even intricate sculptures, encourage participants to think outside the box. End the day with a showcase of everyone's creations and perhaps a vote on the most innovative use of TP.

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Charity TP Collection Drive

Celebrate National Toilet Paper Day by giving back. Organize a toilet paper drive collecting rolls that can be donated to local shelters, food pantries, or organizations that assist low-income families. Set a community goal and track progress with a 'TP Tower' that grows as donations come in.

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Roll Out the Red Carpet Movie Night

Organize an outdoor movie night where the attendees can sit on toilet paper roll-shaped cushions. Screen a comedy film that fits the theme, such as 'RV' or 'Dumb and Dumber,' and provide popcorn in custom toilet paper roll containers.

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Museum of Toilet Paper History

Set up a pop-up exhibit detailing the evolution of toilet paper - from its ancient origins to the present day. Include fun facts and interactive displays, like a 'Feel the Difference' station comparing various TP textures, and a photographic timeline illustrating key milestones in toilet paper history.

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Eco-Friendly Futures: Sustainable Swap Workshop

Use National Toilet Paper Day to promote environmental awareness by running a workshop on sustainable bathroom products. Educate participants about eco-friendly toilet paper options, such as bamboo or recycled paper, and DIY alternatives like family cloth. Collaborate with local eco-friendly vendors to offer samples and discounts.

8 Interesting Facts About Toilet Paper


Origins of Modern Toilet Paper

The concept of toilet paper was first recorded in China in the 6th century, with the first factory-made paper specifically for personal sanitation use being created during the 14th century. It wasn't until 1857 that Joseph Gayetty introduced the first commercially packaged toilet paper in the United States.


The Splinter-free Milestone

Early toilet paper in the US often contained wood splinters due to the rough paper-making process of the times. It was not until the early 20th century that splinter-free toilet paper was advertised, greatly improving the comfort of the product.


Softness Over Time

Initially, toilet paper was sold in flat sheets and was much coarser than what we use today. In the 1920s, toilet paper was marketed as 'soft' for the first time by the Northern Tissue company, which boasted of their product's gentle texture, a big selling point back then.


The Great Toilet Paper Scare

In 1973, Johnny Carson unintentionally caused a nationwide toilet paper shortage in the US. During his show, he joked about an alleged shortage of toilet paper, leading to a consumer panic where people started hoarding supplies, creating a genuine shortage.


Rolling Direction Debate

Believe it or not, the direction in which toilet paper unwinds has been a topic of debate called 'over versus under'. There's even a patent by New York businessman Seth Wheeler from the 1891 that suggests 'over' is the correct way to hang a toilet paper roll.


Toilet Paper Colors

Up until the late 2000s, many brands of toilet paper came in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, and green, to match or complement the colors of one's bathroom decor. However, due to environmental concerns and changing consumer tastes, most toilet paper today is the traditional white.


Toilet Paper Alternatives

Across the world, toilet paper isn't as universally used as one might think. Many cultures prefer to use water for cleansing, through a bidet or a hand-held spray, and some even use materials like corn husks, leaves, stones, or even seashells in place of paper.


Annual Per Capita Consumption

Americans lead the world in toilet paper consumption. On average, an American is estimated to use approximately 141 rolls of toilet paper a year, roughly equivalent to 12.7 kilograms or 28 pounds of tissue per person annually.

National Toilet Paper Day FAQs

Next National Toilet Paper Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 August 26th Saturday
2024 August 26th Monday
2025 August 26th Tuesday
2026 August 26th Wednesday
2027 August 26th Thursday
What is the pattern? Every August 26th

National Toilet Paper Day Word Search

  • Softness
  • Rolls
  • Bathroom
  • Hygiene
  • Sanitary
  • Wiping