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Do Amish Use Toilet Paper?

The Amish live a very distinctive lifestyle so it’s only natural to be a bit curious about their lifestyle. For instance, do Amish use toilet paper?

While some Amish homes will have modern plumbing, it’s more likely that an outhouse will be used and instead of toilet paper, a bucket of water is used for cleaning up after one relieves themselves. It’s simple, effective, and clean, and actually, many people around the world do exactly the same!

There’s a little more to it, however, and today we’ll take a closer look at the ‘Amish bathroom experience’ so that you’ll know a little more about how the Amish live and in particular, what kind of bathroom options these communities have at their disposal.

Do Amish Homes Have Toilets?

Well, it really depends on the community. Some Amish and Mennonite communities do indeed have indoor plumbing for the toilet or may employ a toilet that is flushed by pouring water into it. That said, most Amish do not but instead will employ a communal outhouse that simply uses a bucket of water for cleanup afterward.

So, if you are visiting an Amish community, most likely you will be using an outhouse when you want to go to the bathroom, but be sure to ask about that – toilets are uncommon in Amish communities, but they can be and sometimes are present.

Do the Amish Have Running Water in Their Homes?

Usually, no, although some communities will allow for running water these days. While electricity, automobiles, and telephones are eschewed, some communities will make an exception for running water but this will depend on how strictly they are living.

With some communities, this modern convenience will definitely NOT be present, so any water needed must be gathered from a communal well or spring instead!

How Does One Use the Restroom if They’re Amish?

If you have relatives that live in the country then you might already be familiar with what it’s like to use the bathroom in an outhouse and how the Amish do it is similar, albeit there is no toilet paper and what is done with the waste is very different.

With an Amish outhouse, any water for cleaning must be brought in with you in a bucket, and once you’ve relieved yourself the contents don’t go into a pit like they would in most country outhouses, but rather into another bucket.

That’s because human and animal waste products are useful as fertilizers! By mixing waste from the outhouse with lime, as well as some animal manure, the waste can be used as a fertilizer on the lands where they are living.

Unfortunately, this is sometimes frowned upon by non-Amish communities, who argue that there is a sufficient amount of animal manure available to avoid this, but the Amish have very strict religious tenets that they live by, and simply burying human waste would be very wasteful in their eyes.

It’s very practical when you think about it!


Today we’ve answered the question ‘Do Amish use toilet paper’, and while some of them actually DO have modern bathrooms with toilets and running water, most of them do NOT and you still won’t be likely to find toilet paper in either!

Instead, a bucket of water is used for rinsing, and human waste is made into an effective fertilizer by joining it with lime and animal manure, in order to use later to keep the land rich and fertile. While it seems a little strange if you don’t know the logic behind it, it’s really quite a natural solution.

So, if you are visiting an Amish community, don’t be surprised if you have to ‘do your business’ in an outhouse. It’s a very different lifestyle but as you can see, there’s a simple and practical logic to it!