BUNZL Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies Blog

When Was Toilet Tissue Invented? 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Toilet Tissue

Toilet tissue is a product that we certainly take for granted. Indeed we often don’t notice how much we need it until there isn’t any there to use!

When Was Toilet Roll InventedBut toilet tissue as we know it is actually a rather new invention, and there are a few other fascinating facts about this daily essential too. Here are five surprising things that you (probably) didn’t know about toilet tissue.


Toilet tissue wasn’t widely available until 1857

when was toilet tissue invented

Although China was using toilet tissue all the way back in the 6th century, and the first flushing toilets were invented in the 16th century, commercially produced toilet tissue was made available in 1857. Prior to that, people used newspapers, magazines and other paper products, but before that, there was the ‘sponge on a stick’ – and at the end of Colonial America, some people were even using corncobs. We’re not sure how that worked, but we can’t imagine it was very pleasant.

Over 80 million rolls of toilet tissue are produced daily

when was toilet tissue invented

The latest statistics show that around 83 million rolls of toilet tissue are produced every day. One tree produces about 45kg of toilet tissue, which is why it’s so important to choose FSC certified toilet tissue which is responsibly sourced from well-managed forests or is made from recycled paper. Kleenex ULTRA Toilet Tissue and Kimberly-Clark Professional SCOTT Toilet Tissue are just two examples of sustainably sourced toilet tissue with the FSC certification.

Softness is top of the UK’s toilet tissue wish list


According to Mintel research, 57% of Brits say that the softness of toilet tissue is most important to them, followed by strength (45%) and thickness (36%). So when choosing commercial toilet tissue, consider a super-soft yet good quality product such as Tork Extra Soft Toilet Roll so that everyone can enjoy comfort in their daily hygiene routine.

The BBC was wiped out of toilet tissue in 2014


Hands up – how many of us have stolen toilet tissue from their workplace? Back in 2014 so much toilet paper was pilfered from the washrooms of the BBC’s headquarters that they had to post up signs asking people to stop stealing. Ironically, those signs were soon stolen too!

Toilet tissue is celebrated annually on National Toilet Paper Day


There really is a celebratory day for everything these days. National Toilet Paper Day takes place each year in the USA on August 26th to honour this most important washroom product. Unfortunately nobody gets the day off work on National Toilet Paper Day, but it’s a nice reminder of just how essential to our everyday wellbeing it is.

Our toilet tissue range includes a wide choice of conventional and folded toilet tissues, suitable dispensers and small roll systems to suit a wide variety of washroom needs. And while your mind is on the washroom, why not take our ultimate toilet quiz to test your knowledge of toilet trivia.