Best way to wipe- front to back, or back to front?
Best way to wipe- front to back, or back to front?

How to Wipe Your Butt the Right Way

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When you gotta go, you gotta go. But what happens after you’ve gone? How do make sure you always leave feeling clean and refreshed? From wiping techniques to handwashing habits, we’ve got you covered for your toileting routine.

First off: Do you always need to wipe?

Yes. Wiping is about more than just helping you clean up after you use the toilet – it’s also to protect your health. Wiping improperly can increase the risk of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and vaginitis in women, and UTIs, itching and general discomfort in men. So, you’ve got to make sure you’re using proper wiping technique to avoid infection.

Let’s dive a little deeper.

Holding Toilet Paper: Advanced Wiping Techniques

How do you hold your toilet paper? Interestingly, there are a variety of different ways people hold their toilet paper. The good news is, there isn’t a right or wrong way. You get to choose whatever way you like best:

  • Folding

    Generally preferred by men, folders will fold the toilet paper into neat squares before they wipe. 54%1 of people claim to be a folder, although the majority is heavily skewed toward the male demographic.

  • Crumpling

    Crumplers will press the toilet paper into a loosely shaped ball before they wipe. 26%1 of the population use this method although the statistics show that mostly women opt to use this method.

  • Hand Wrapping

    The remaining 9%1 are classified as wrappers. They wrap the toilet paper around their hand to form a rudimentary glove that they then use to wipe with.

  • Combination

    Some people might use a combination of techniques, starting with one and then switching to another on subsequent wipes.

  • Wetting toilet paper before wiping

    Some people opt to wet their toilet paper for a more thorough clean, though you may find with this technique that the paper will start to break down and doesn’t work well. Instead, think about pairing Cottonelle® Brand Toilet Paper with Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes, infused with the gentle cleansing power of water. Both are designed with Cottonelle® CleaningRipples Texture to remove more at once for a refreshing clean.

Front to Back, or Back to Front?

While it might seem inconsequential which of these movements you use, there is a bit more to consider, and the right technique can have an impact on your health and overall hygiene.

  • Wiping Front to Back

    If you don’t have any physical limitations preventing you from reaching around your body to wipe from the front to back, it’s generally considered the safer route to go. The reason is that you’ll be moving feces away from your more delicate parts, lowering the risk of infection. This prevents the transmission of bacteria and goes a long way in preventing UTIs or an itchy, uncomfortable bum.

  • Wiping Back to Front

    Men generally have a bit of an easier time wiping as their parts are further apart, meaning there is less risk of bacteria transmission. They can employ a back to front movement or a front to back movement – whatever feels right and gets the job done.

How to Properly Clean Your Butt

Believe it or not, there are a few things to know about wiping to ensure a better toileting experience and avoid the consequences of not wiping properly.

  • How many times should you wipe after pooping? Here’s a guide…

    There’s no hard and fast rule to how many times you should wipe, as every bowel movement is different. The best rule of thumb is to continue to use additional sheets of toilet paper until you feel clean. A quick glance at the paper can also help tell you if your bottom is clean or not (it’s okay. We all look.) And, if you’re looking for a shower fresh clean (especially after a bowel movement), try adding Cottonelle® Flushable wipes to your toileting routine.

  • Be sure to pat, never scrub.

    When wiping – always be gentle! Your privates are sensitive parts. Don’t use too much force when wiping, and never use a scrubbing motion, as this can cause microtears in which bacteria can enter.

What to Do if You Keep Wiping But There's Still Poop

If you keep wiping and are finding it difficult to come away clean, you might have an underlying health concern. Don’t worry if this happens once and awhile. Every bowel movement is different, but if you’re noticing it becoming more of a rule than an exception, there might be an underlying condition at hand. It’s best to consult your doctor.

To Sit or Stand During Wiping

Ultimately, this is a personal preference – with benefits to each method. For sitters, the main pro is cheeks stay spread, preventing any cheek-on-cheek smearing. That means easy cleaning access. For standers, they like that their hands don’t come near the toilet bowl (especially important for public toilets), and they won’t accidentally touch bare cheek or thigh with soiled toilet paper when they’re coming around for a visual inspection.

Should guys wipe after they pee?

While most men are content with shaking after they pee, it’s a good idea to make a small wipe or dab to ensure that there is no remaining urine. This will help keep your urethra and your undies clean!

How to prevent Toilet paper Residue

Toilet paper residue can be annoying and may lead to itchiness. First, we recommend using a strong and absorbent brand of toilet paper like Cottonelle® Ultra CleanCare® or Cottonelle® Ultra ComfortCare® Toilet Paper. They’re both 3x thicker and 3x stronger and up to 2x more absorbent than the leading national value brand. Second, we suggest not using a firm or aggressive wiping technique. Third, pair your dry toilet paper with Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes to ensure no toilet paper residue is left behind and you get that shower fresh clean.

Is Wiping with Toilet Paper Enough?

To give yourself an even deeper clean, you can incorporate some of these other methods in addition to your dry toilet paper:

  • Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes

    Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes, made with 95% water, provide a shower fresh feeling without putting your plumbing or septic system at risk. Eco-friendly, they are made with plant-based fibers that are 100% biodegradable and are designed to be flushed. Plus, they contain no harsh chemicals so you can confidently wipe your way to a refreshing clean!

  • A bidet

    A bidet is a great investment if you’re looking for an even more thorough cleaning. Following up wiping with a spray from the bidet will have you feeling fresh in no time.

  • A syringe ball

    A syringe ball is a bit more involved than even a bidet, but it can offer the most hygienic and thorough cleaning for your private parts.

How to Pass the Time on the Toilet

Interesting fact: it’s harmful to your health to rush pooping. It can lead to all sorts of uncomfortable problems like hemorrhoids, anal fissures and more.2 So, here are a few ways to help you pass the time while you’re on the toilet:

  • Read a book or a magazine – it’s great to have these on hand.
  • Surf the internet or stream a movie/TV show.
  • Practice Cottonelle® Toilet Paper origami!
  • Read our other articles on Toilet Paper usage.

Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands!

Handwashing is a vital part of bathroom hygiene.
Always wash your hands after wiping. It reduces the risk of infection via harmful bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)1 recommends the following steps when it comes to washing your hands:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water and apply soap.
  • Lather by rubbing your hands together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails as well as your palms.
  • Scrub for at least 20 seconds. An easy way to time this is to hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice from start to finish.
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or allow them to air-dry.

Using a paper towel to turn off faucets or open doors is an extra preventative measure you can take to avoid transmission of germs and bacteria.

Remember, when on the throne, take the time you need. Your bottom will thank you!

Clean Background
Cottonelle® Canada Septic-Safe Toilet Paper


First, Remove more at once
with Cottonelle Cleaning
Ripples Texture ®

Cottonelle® Canada Flushable Wet Wipes


Then, use Cottonelle Flushable Wipes for a refreshing clean throughout the day

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