Home life

Which way?

And now for a vital question.

Hanging down away from the wall? (over)

Or facing the wall? (under)

Toilet rolls

Or do you just not care?

Which way do you put your toilet rolls on the dispenser? Leave a comment.

Me? Always hanging away from the wall, as God intended. And if I find it (at my house at least) hanging the wrong way, I’ll turn it round.

Update 6pm. It seems most people do like I do. Some do the opposite. Some of those cite friction. FRICTION?! You’re kidding me. It’s not like you’re going to start a fire.

And Brian notes this page, which is utterly brilliant. Seriously, definitely required reading.

Update 17/4/2009: Added “over” and “under”, which is more common terminology for this most vexing question.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

40 replies on “Which way?”

I used to be an away-from-the-wall person, but on investigating it the problem mechanically, I came around to the next-to-the-wall position … essentially next-to-the-wall allows the roll to come away from the wall as the paper is unfurled – away-from-the-wall tends to push the roll against the wall and produces more friction …

Next to the wall. For me it’s a space thing. Away for the wall makes it look as if there is wasted space behind that hanging piece of toilet paper. Next to the wall doesn’t give that impression.

Same as Malcolm for identical reasons. If you do the away from the wall it causes unnecessary friction which can compromise the structural integrity of the paper. So for me it’s always against the wall.

On a related note, the best toilet paper on the planet is “Delsey” paper, comes in single rolls of 1000 sheets for $1.39 at IGA and lasts me forever.

I think an additional question should be scruncher or folder. Or is that getting too personal?

Meanwhile Melbourne Airport has the BEST hand dryers on the planet, seriously. I always wondered, which is more environmentally friendly… using the hand-dryer and burning coal to do so, or using paper towels which chops down trees? Which has the greater environmental impact?

Away from the wall, because it’s the right way to do it. If you’re doing it the other way due to too much friction you’ve either got:
a) too much time on your hands to measure such things
b) a toilet roll holder with too much interference between the roll and the spindle, or
c) a wall with that creates too much friction between itself and the toilet paper.

Away from the wall forever!

Wow. This is creepy. My wife and I were cleaning the bathroom last night and got into this exact conversation.

I think away from the wall. And the silly roll holder here at work that only goes one way agrees with me.

As per the first pic (the one on the left) And yes, if I’m at someone else’s house and it’s the other way I can’t help but change it.

Has to be AWAY from the wall… if toilet paper manufacturers wanted it to be towards the wall, they’d print the patters on the underside of the paper too.

Definitely away from the wall. When visiting my sister-in-law last Friday I noticed in one toilet it was the ‘wrong’ way and I was strongly tempted to change it. Then I noticed in the second toilet it was also the ‘wrong’ way.

Found this interesting vid on the subject, for those with 6 minutes to waste;

I hang it away from the wall. Its easier to grab that way especially with potentially dirty hands. My bathroom has the original paper holder from 1961 when my building was built. A lot of paper must have been unrolled in that spot in the last 48 years.

Away from the wall – because (as others have pointed out) it is the right way.

At my workplace, there are 2 rolls side by side in each cubicle, each roll facing the other way. Very diplomatic!

While we’re on the topic: the brand “Wondersoft” should be sued for false or misleading advertising – it is one of the scratchiest toilet papers I have ever experienced!

Jed, thanks for broaching the subject of ‘potentially dirty hands’, I wanted to but wimped out.

Away from the wall. My roll holder doesn’t allow the roll to rest against the wall so no extra friction there. And I am also tempted to change it when it’s wrong.

While we’re discussing scrunchers and folders and potentially dirty hands, did you that for rear wiping purposes, that there are both sitters and standers!?!?!?!

away, of course. so if the walls have condensation, the paper gets less soggy. it also looks fancier, like they hang it in hotels.

i too will turn it around.

Under, definitely under. Anything else is a sign of an unstable mind.
Maybe it’s because I’m in the Northern Hemisphere, and the water always swirls …. … oh, never mind.

when i was a kid it was aginst the wall all the way – i would also change it at other peoples houses!

but in my many years maturing, i have started batting for the other team! the AWAY FROM THE WALL team. if there is dirt on the walls or on your hands there is less chance of spreading it.

i used to be a folder too but switched to scrunching …

i have never heard of anyone that stands for the cleaning tho!!! its not exposed enough if you stand!

Away. You’re less likely to scrach your fingernails against the wall trying to get a hold of the paper.

Speaking of toilets the Australian toilet design and flush is quite different from the American syphon flush design and I noticed Australian toilets rarely if ever get clogged even when a lot of paper is used. With many of the newer American toilets it is best to always have a plunger near the toilet for the inevitable clogs. However, with more water in it, the American bowl rarely needs to be brushed clean of “skid marks” after being used unlike the Australian bowl. You Tube has many videos of American toilets in action for Australians who have never seen one flush in person. American toilets can either flush clockwise or counterclockwise depending on which way the holes under the rim point in a particular toilet.

I am with you on this, I also will change it away from the wall at other peoples houses (can’t offend God, can we).
Can’t understand the comments re condensation, dirt, germs ect. as most holders rest the roll against the wall and, well, it’s a roll, so the next sheet would have been against the wall anyway…………

This is a lot of comments about toilet paper. As for me, I don’t care, but the man does–it must be away from the wall because, he claims, it’s easier to reach. Rant: To me, this is just another example of fussy people inflicting their ways on those of us who are more relaxed about things that aren’t very important.

Daniel, I’m with you. Love the article you’ve linked to. I’ve always found the tear works better if it’s away from the wall, and in our house, it’s away from the wall…much to the chagrin of Malcolm who has also posted to this debate.

Early on in our relationship while we were just settling in together and sorting important things out like which way the toilet paper should go, Malcolm sent me this Dr Fun cartoon….
The bugs got it wrong, and look at them! Waaaay at the bottom of the food chain…

Glad to see most people here are of the proper mindframe! ;-) Away from the wall, of course, for all the reasons listed above: Easier to handle, better presentation, potentially cleaner, etc. My holders are designed to hold the center sufficiently out from the wall anyway, so anything other than some sort of a mega-jumbo-quadrupal roll need never touch the wall. They have free-floating bars depending from a side hinge (like a single anchor towel rack), so friction is not much of a consideration.

I also will change it in other people’s houses (although I tend not to go to the bathroom in homes of mere casual acquaintances).

Folder – eight little squares lend themselves nicely to the mathematics of it all.

PS – I get to decide because the manbeast NEVER puts a new roll on the holder. He’ll stuff it in the gap (which takes more time and energy than actually loading the thing) and wait for me. Plus… against the wall means less chance of it getting the attention of rambunctious kittens. Or children.

Against the wall, totally. There’s nothing sick or wrong about it.

It’s not like I measure the amount of “wasted” space behind the paper that is hanging down, but it’s something that I “feel” more.

To analyse, I would guess it stems from having a small bathroom (swinging cats, if you are of this unsavoury persuasion, would be quite impossible in my loo). Therefore I like the bathroom to feel bigger than it actually is. I may hang a large mirror on the wall at some point, just to create the illusion of space.

I never suffer the condensation-soaking issue that others have reported, nor have I ever scored the wallpaper with my fingernails.

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