Easily the most obvious alternative, bidets have been around for hundreds of years. Unlike using a three-ply, bidets are a far different experience: the water fountain sends out a stream of water that shoots towards your rear end, washing your genitals and anal area.
They're also a far more effective way to clean your bum. Speaking to Tonic, Rose George, the author of The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters, says toilet paper isn't quite doing the job.
"I find it rather baffling that millions of people are walking around with dirty anuses while thinking they are clean," says George." Toilet paper moves shit, but it doesn't remove it."
2. The shower
This one works similar to a bidet but might prove difficult if your shower head is stuck to the wall. If you're able to, grab the head and move it towards your bum and let the water stream flow down your cheeks. For more pressure, open up your cheeks and aim it directly towards your bum hole. A quick note however, if you've had the runs, you'll definitely need a scrubbing apparatus to help deal with excess poo potentially surrounding the bum hole.
For a more thorough clean you can use soap while also running your hand through your cheeks in the shape of a karate chop gesture. That will also prevent your hands from getting sticky.
Some online users suggest squatting in the shower: this helps open up the anus so more water can get in.
To be honest, you should be cleaning your bum in the shower even after using toilet paper – so this is a no-brainer.
3. A towel
Much like using toilet paper, a towel requires a wiping motion. Interestingly, towels may actually prove a far safer option: experts suggest that the roughness of toilet paper may do more damage than good.
Speaking to Shape, gastroenterologist Dr John Cluley warns that materials with a rough texture can cause self-harm to the sensitive area.
"Haemorrhoids are a big one, and these occur in people of all ages," says the Texas-based practitioner.
"Anal Fissures can develop, and toilet paper is not beneficial for that. Pruitus ani is essentially itchy butt, and that can come from poor hygiene. And women are prone to getting a UTI if that area is not properly cleaned. If you're a healthy person in general and you have poor butt health, any of those conditions can develop out of nothing."
Just consider how you're going to clean it after. We recommend putting it for a wash straight away: avoid mixing it with other clothes and don't let the faeces sit around for a while – it's horrible hygiene and will also stink up your place.
Remember when you used to go camping as a kid? Yup, you were told you'd need to draw inspiration from the bush if you were desperate for a number two and that included picking up a few leaves. And while toilet paper is made from trees, unfortunately, leaves don't have that same soft texture.
Your best way to get around it? Add a splash of water and look for the softest clover.
Maybe avoid this one unless your 100s of kilometres from civilisation.
5. Your tax return from 7 years ago
Unless you've committed serious fraud or your avoiding tax payments, you can probably use your seven-year-old tax return as a substitute (but please double check with your accountant).
Again, like we've mentioned in previous alternatives, rough surfaces can be detrimental to the bum hole so ensure the printed paper your using is definitely soft enough – adding water is your best bet.
6. Your girlfriend's make up wipes (baby wipes)
This is actually a pretty reasonable option. However, while it will certainly clean the bumhole, it's important to keep an eye out for irritations. Some specialists have flagged that some wipes can cause allergic reactions to methylisothiazolinone, a preservative used to inhibit bacterial growth while products are on store shelves. “Even the all-natural ones can cause problems,” Curtis Asbury tells Mental Floss as any kind of chemical present in the wipes isn’t usually rinsed off right away.
But before you go and pull out the baby wipes, remember not to flush them down the toilet – they're terrible for the environment so have a plan to dispose of them safely.