Why is it still difficult to find toilet paper?

I am not sure if this should be in GQ…if not please move.

Title kinda says it all. I am going to the market to get food and what-not and still the toilet paper aisle is empty of everything but that single-ply junk they put in airport stalls.

I can’t imagine that people are pooping more than they used to. Also, I would think the hoarding that happened months ago would have stopped by now. Once your spare bedroom is filled with toilet paper there is no need to buy cart-loads of TP on every trip. Just buy one or two packages to maintain.

Are the TP factories closed? Some other reason?

Are you in an out of the way location? Here in the Chicago area a variety of toilet paper has been available for a month and a half or so.

The toilet paper aisle isn’t back to 100% here, but it’s much, much better than it was.

One thing to consider is that people might not be pooping more, but they’re almost certainly pooping more at home since the lockdown. Many people are working from home. And, something men tend to forget, women have to use toilet paper for both #1 and #2. I know I’m going through tp much faster than I did in pre-pandemic times.

Funny you should mention it…I live in downtown Chicago. About a block from the Loop. I have a Jewel, Whole Foods, Marianos, Trader Joes and Target within a mile of where I live. That said I have only visited the Jewel (Whole Paycheck sucks when it comes to bulk items like TP and paper towels).

They have TP…but they are out of the good stuff and only have the single-ply sandpaper you would find in a Porta-Potty

FWIW I want decent TP. Not single-ply sandpaper. First world problems…I get it. I still want the good stuff.

Something odd about your location. TP is plentiful again and has been for a while in this area. There is plenty of selection on Amazon again.

The toilet paper market is essentially split into two types, commercial and residential. With fewer people traveling and staying in hotels, or visiting other attractions, the commercial use is way down and the residential market is up by an estimated 40%. No schools or universities open, restaurants and bars curtailed, etc.

And more people working from home means more people pooping on the residential stuff.

And since this is in GQ, here is a link.

That makes sense. Thanks!

The pack-your-own I shop at has a smaller area but it’s the same quality as before but there are still limits on how much you can buy. Costco has plenty, just not the wall o’ rolls like they usually have.

I’ve never noticed “huge” rolls in hotels/motels that wouldn’t fit on home dispensers.

The TP shortage around here abated weeks ago. Even hand sanitizer is back on shelves in some places. Hand wipes, forget it.

The TP aisle has mostly gone back to normal where I am (DC 'burbs, MD side). I’ve been buying a 12-pack every time I go just because I can, and now it’s piling up in the basement. I’m flush! :wink:

Disinfecting wipes, on the other hand, still a rare sighting.

Must be your area. Here in my area (Sacramento, CA) most stores I go to have their TP stock pretty much normal, including name brands.

I did achieve disinfecting wipes yesterday at a Costco Business, but that’s still rare.

I know. It’s weird. They are not very good versus the virus. They aren’t “bad” either but washing your hands with soap is definitely the preferred method. If you can’t do that then wipes are fine.


The shelves are fully stocked here. But I’m not approaching this situation with complacency, lest the shortages return. For some months now I have been buying TP just a bit oftener than we need it, in order to build up a reseve supply.

In my area, I’ve started to see sales on toilet paper. I figure it was overproduced during the shortage and now there’s too much on the market. Apparently they should be trucking it to the OP’s neighborhood.

In case it’s not obvious, disinfecting wipes, like those sold by Clorox or Lysol, aren’t generally meant for wiping one’s hands. They’re for cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces. Now, there are some, like the Wet Wipes brand, that are for cleaning one’s hands. But they specifically say that. (They are called “Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes” after all.)

It is important to note that COVID-19 is a virus and not bacteria so those wipes are only a little effective.

I hope you get the larger point. From the FAQ on the Clorox website:

Can I use Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes as a hand wipe or for personal use?

No. Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes should not be used for personal cleansing. Do not use them as baby wipes.

Try Target. Here in Kansas, their paper goods aisles are close to being back to normal, at least early in the day. They still enforce quantity limits, and seem to have a more limited selection of sizes/configurations (e.g., Quilted Northern only available in packs of 9 “mega” rolls), but I think all of the expected brands were in stock.

I’m looking at a can of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes right now and it has a banner at the top reading “Kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.”

The label also specifies that it is for use on hard surfaces only, and actually advises you should wash your hands after using them.

Same thing where I live, and when my favorite brand (Marcal) became available once again, I ordered a case of 48 rolls. It arrived a couple days later in a box that gave absolutely no clues as to the contents, vs. the last time I placed an order, where it was packed in a box with the company’s logo on it.

ISTR that there’s a Doper whose spouse worked at a paper mill, and when COVID and the TP “crisis” hit, the factory went from 2 shifts to 3.