Why is Toilet Paper so Dusty? (We Have the Answer!)

why is toilet paper so dusty

Toilet paper is such a major part of everyday life that few people pay much attention to it. However, if you’ve recently picked up a roll, you may have wondered, why is toilet paper so dusty?

Toilet paper is dusty because it is made from extremely short fibers. It may also gather dust on top of the roll, especially if the roll is left standing on a shelf for a long time. Dust is an inevitable part of toilet paper, but some brands are less dusty than others.

Why Is Toilet Paper So Dusty?

If you have ever taken a brand new roll of toilet paper from the package and then watched with annoyance as flecks of white drift down in every direction when you tear off the first sheet, you are not alone. A lot of people are frustrated by the mess that toilet paper causes in their homes – but why does it do this?

The quick answer is that in order to make toilet paper soft, the manufacturers use very short fibers to create the sheets. These short fibers are more likely to detach from each other because they are so short, and this results in toilet paper that sheds everywhere.

Toilet paper does need to be made this way, partly to ensure it is comfortable to use, and partly to ensure that it breaks down when it is put in water. If toilet paper was made with longer fibers, there would be a high risk of it clogging up your pipes, because it would form lumps instead of breaking down in the water.

However, when you tear a sheet off, the short fibers often end up getting detached and drifting down to settle on the floor in the form of dust. In some cases, fibers won’t be attached to start with, and a new roll can shed dust even before you tear it.

Toilet paper may also be dusty due to its storage, but on the whole, this kind of dust is purely down to the way that toilet paper is made, and you can’t do much to prevent it.

How Do I Stop Toilet Paper Dusting?

Unfortunately, there is not much that you can do to prevent any particular brand of toilet paper from creating dust. You can’t make the short fibers stick to the roll better. The only thing you can control is which brand you buy. Some brands create a lot more dust than others.

This is because the manufacturers of more expensive toilet papers put more time and energy into solving the problem. They use various processes to ensure that the fibers cling better, while still breaking down once they are in the toilet.

You might want to look at quilted rolls or extra thickness rolls. Not all of these will be better, but many will. This is probably the only solution if your toilet paper is creating a lot of dust.

Which Toilet Paper Makes The Least Dust?

There are quite a few low-dust options, but NYTimes did some tests and discovered that the best is probably the Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Extra Soft ; Strong Bath Tissue.

This is specifically designed to minimize the amount of dust that is produced when you use the toilet paper. This is unusual, as many recycled papers are dustier, so this brand is ideal.

Alternatively, you could try the Charmin Ultra Strong, which is soft and luxurious, and more comfortable to use than some of the cheaper brands. However, it is not made using sustainable or recyclable materials, which is disappointing.

You may be able to find other brands that are low-dust, but these are the two best at the moment. However, it is worth checking out others, because toilet paper manufacturers do change their processes at times.

Is Toilet Paper Dust Harmful?

It might surprise you, but according to CleanerStalk, toilet paper dust does have the potential to be harmful. This is because of the size that most of the fibers reach. These fibers are so small that they can bypass your body’s natural defenses (e.g. your nasal hairs) and actually reach your lungs.

They are classified as respirable dust, meaning that they can get into your respiratory system. This is not something that you want, because dust in the lungs can make it harder to breathe. If you already suffer from asthma or allergies, it is particularly concerning, and you should be careful.

However, it is also worth noting that the risk is thought to be low. It’s unlikely that many people suffer any noticeable effects from breathing in toilet paper dust. Over the course of your lifetime, you are not likely to breathe in significant amounts.

As long as you clean your bathroom regularly and sweep or vacuum up dust as it forms, you shouldn’t need to worry about inhaling toilet paper dust.

Is Toilet Paper Made From Sawdust?

No, toilet paper is not made from sawdust. It is generally manufactured from pulp, which comes from paper. Some manufacturers use recycled paper, while others may use virgin materials. Interestingly, most manufacturers use both softwood and hardwood in order to create good toilet paper, with the majority of the fibers being hardwood.

According to IndustrialShredders, wood chip is essentially “cooked” into a pulp in vast pressure cookers, until it is soft. The water is removed, leaving a pulp that can be washed and bleached. Next, the lignin is removed, and then the paper is mixed with more water and sprayed onto screens.

The water is again removed and the paper is pressed, wound onto reels, cut into strips, and then perforated into the squares that are used whenever you pull off a sheet of toilet paper. There is no sawdust in sight!


Toilet paper is dusty because of the way that it is made. All of the fibers are broken down into very tiny shreds to make the paper soft and comfortable to use, and to ensure that it disintegrates when it gets wet. To stop it from producing dust, manufacturers have to go to extra lengths, so the cheaper brands tend to be dustier than the expensive ones.

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