Andrex Scrunch or Fold

It is great to see that Andrex is joining in the great scrunch or fold debate in their latest advertising campaign.


Of course, I very much approve! However, it would have been nice if they had gone into the pros and cons of each method and how to do each way properly? But then, I guess, it would not fit with their family brand.

The One Wipe Wonder?

Regardless of whether you scrunch or fold your toilet paper, you will have all experienced a one wipe wonder! You know, you’ve done a no.2, had a good wipe and when you look there is no mark on the toilet paper. This is sometimes known as an ‘Angel poo’.

However, in practice, angel poos never are just one wipe as although there is no mark we cannot trust it. We need to have another wipe just to be sure. So even the most angelic of defecations will require the minimum of two wipes.

Do you Sit and Stand?

In the ever-continuing search for evidence and understanding of the world of wiping one’s bottom with toilet paper, new information has come to light in the Stander Vs Sitting debate.

Some people sit and lean when they wipe and others stand and squat just above the seat. However, a recent informal focus group has revealed that some people do both. They begin with sitting and leaning and then switch to standing.

The reason some people prefer to sit rather than stand is that although they know you cannot get as good access whilst sitting, they feel there is a danger of poo squishing if they stand up. So, some people do their first wipes whilst sitting and then can stand up for the remainder, knowing the ‘alleged’ risk of squishing is minimal.

Which do you do?

Scrunch or Fold: Differences between Men & Women?

Gender difference in the scrunch vs folding debate does not seem to be prevalent with current evidence, but people have hypothesised scrunching is actually better for men, whereas for women either method could be fine.

The reason for this hypothesis is that many men have hairy bums.

Hairy bums mean dirtier bottoms and are best cleaned through a firm wipe. As scrunching enables stronger purchase on the toilet tissue the user can, as some put it, “get right in there” for a thorough wipe without fear that the fingers will get too close to the bum hole or dirtiness.

Scrunching Vs Folding: An Empirical Test

A recent comment on this blog suggested an empirical test to determine finally which is best, scrunching or folding? The anonymous contributor wrote:

Firstly, we all need to agree that wiping your bum has one sole purpose; to clean it. So, to test this, find an uneven surface (as much resembly as possible to a bumhole) and place something with a similar texture of poo on it (porridge for example). Now, try to clean the uneven surface using once the wipe-with-folded-paper approach and once the dip-with-scrunched-paper approach. Which one was most efficient?

Essentially you are trying to recreate the wiping conditions without actually having to wipe a real dirty bottom.

The idea of using something like porridge seems sensible but I’m not sure what could be used as a bottom substitute? It would need to be very close to an actual bottom for it to be a fair test? Anyone have any suggestions?

Wiping Efficiency?

A lot of the fold or scrunch debate revolves around which is most efficient.

Wiping efficiency concerns the following:

  • Number of sheets needed
  • Number of wipes needed
  • Speed
  • Ability to re-fold or re-scrunch

Folders often claim that they require less number of sheets than scrunchers and quote the fact that SAS are trained to be folders and to use one sheet only.

Scrunchers must concede that in a combat environment perhaps scrunching is the most efficient use of toilet paper, but argue that it is likely the standard of cleanliness is much higher in everyday life.

The number of sheets used by different folders varies enormously, from a very few who use just one sheet to the most inefficient folders who wrap the paper around their hand.

Scrunchers tend not to use a set amount of sheets each time. They tear off what seems to be an adequate amount of toilet paper to scrunch. As this is so quick to do, Scrunchers state this speed is why scrunching is more efficient than folding.

Both folders and Scrunchers claim their approach requires less wipes as their way enables the practitioner to get a more thorough wipe. Until empirical tests are carried out, we will not know which is best.

A key argument by Folders is that folding enables easy re-folding and thus maximises the use and efficiency of the toilet paper. However, Scrunchers counter-argue by saying a good scrunch will also allow re-scrunching.

The efficiency debate continues ..