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Why Does Toilet Paper Smell Bad?

For most people, the toilet is a safe space where they get to unwind. Of course, this would then necessitate the need for the room to smell good or like nothing at all. However, sometimes you will realize that there is a not-so-good smell in there. The culprit? Toilet paper!

So, why does toilet paper smell bad? Well, typically, toilet paper does not have a distinct smell of its own. However, there are instances where toilet paper may develop an unpleasant odor.

Why Would Toilet Paper Have a Weird Smell?

Here are a few possible reasons why toilet paper might smell bad:

Contamination: If the toilet paper comes into contact with moisture or substances like urine or feces, it can become contaminated. Bacteria present in these substances can multiply and cause an unpleasant odor.

Poor storage conditions: If toilet paper is stored in a damp or humid environment, it can absorb moisture and develop a musty or moldy smell.

Packaging or storage with other scented products: Toilet paper that is stored alongside scented products like air fresheners or cleaning supplies can absorb their fragrances, leading to an undesirable smell.

Why does Toilet Paper Smell like Mildew?

Toilet paper may develop a smell resembling mildew due to several reasons:

A damp environment: Toilet paper is absorbent, so if you keep it in a damp area, you are creating the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew which in turn causes a musty smell.

Contamination: Sometimes, your toilet paper will be exposed to substances like urine and water which facilitate the growth of mildew. Of course, this will cause a moldy smell.

Low-quality materials: It could be that your toilet paper has a musty smell because it is made from recycled or low-quality material.

Could it be Mold?

Yes, mold can cause a bad smell in toilet paper. Mold is a kind of fungus that flourishes in damp environments. If toilet paper is exposed to moisture or stored in a damp area, it creates an ideal breeding ground for mold growth. Mold can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as it grows, which can contribute to a foul odor.

When toilet paper is contaminated with mold, it may develop a musty or earthy smell. This odor can be quite noticeable and unpleasant, making toilet paper less desirable to use. 

Is Moldy Toilet Paper Fit for Consumption?

Mold is not safe for humans. Therefore, as you can imagine, it would not be safe to use toilet paper with the same. Why? First, because it may cause respiratory issues by irritating your airways. Secondly, it can trigger allergic reactions leading to itching, coughing, or sneezing.

How can you tell if your Toilet Paper has Toxic Mold?

Determining if toilet paper has toxic mold solely by visual inspection or smelling it may not be possible all the time. Mold spores are microscopic and not visible to the naked eye. While the presence of visible mold or a musty smell indicates mold growth, it does not necessarily mean it is toxic mold.

If you suspect that your toilet paper may have toxic mold, it is advisable to take the following steps:

Observe visible signs: Inspect your toilet paper for visible signs of mold growth. Look for patches of discoloration, fuzzy or slimy textures, or any unusual growth on the paper. 

Check the environment: Where do you keep your toilet paper? If it is exposed to moisture, stored in a humid environment, or in close proximity to areas prone to mold growth, the likelihood of mold contamination increases.

Smell: Pay attention to any strong, musty, or unpleasant odor coming from the toilet paper. While the presence of a moldy smell does not necessarily indicate the presence of toxic mold, it suggests that mold growth has occurred.

Can Toilet Paper Rot?

Toilet paper is not prone to rotting under normal conditions. Rotting typically occurs when organic materials, such as wood or plant matter, break down due to the action of fungi or bacteria. However, toilet paper is designed to be easily biodegradable, meaning it can break down relatively quickly in natural environments.

However, when exposed to a humid or damp environment, toilet paper may break apart which can be viewed as rotting – more or less.

How to Remove Mold from Toilet Paper

*Wear protective gear: Put on disposable gloves, a mask, and eye protection to minimize your exposure to mold spores.

*Separate affected rolls: Remove any rolls of toilet paper that show visible signs of mold growth. Place them in a plastic bag to prevent further contamination.

*Clean the storage area: If moldy toilet paper is stored in a particular location, clean and disinfect that area thoroughly. 

*Use a soft brush: Gently exfoliate your toilet’s paper surface to get rid of mold. Remember that toilet paper is delicate so being soft-handed will go a long way in ensuring it doesn’t tear apart.

How to Prevent Future Mold Growth

If you do not want to encounter mold in your toilet paper in the future, ensure that you store it in a dry and well-ventilated area, away from sources of moisture. You also want to address any humidity or water issues promptly.

Can I make my Toilet Paper Smell Better?

If you find that your toilet paper has an unpleasant odor or if you simply want to enhance its scent, there are a few things you can do to make it smell better:

  1. Choose scented toilet paper: Some brands offer scented toilet paper with a variety of pleasant fragrances. Look for options labeled as scented or infused with a particular scent that you find appealing.
  2. Use scented toilet paper roll holders: Consider using toilet paper roll holders that have built-in fragrance dispensers. These holders can emit a pleasant scent when you pull the paper, enhancing the overall experience.
  3. Store it with scented products: Place scented sachets, potpourri, or scented candles in the storage area where you keep your toilet paper. This can help impart a pleasant fragrance to the paper over time.
  4. Use essential oils: Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice to your toilet paper rolls and get rid of any unpleasant smell.