Ask The Audience: How Do You Like Your Toilet Paper?

Ivy says:

I always am slightly perplexed by people who have strong feelings about which way toilet paper should be installed. Should the end of the toilet paper go over the roll or under the roll? Me, I don’t care. I’m happy just to see toilet paper on a toilet paper holder, since I apparently am the only person in my house capable of managing to get toilet paper on the holder. Everyone else just sits the TP on the back of the toilet. Now, that irritates me.

So, Home Eccers, how do you like your toilet paper to lay? Over the roll or under the roll? Try not to kill each other in comments, now. I know how important that is to some people.


  1. Mike on October 24, 2008 at 10:27 am

    just think hanging over, specially if it is ripped raggedly looks awful, it makes a toilet look untidy. I change any I find the other way to hang under, unless it’s my home of course because I’m the only person able to put up a new toilet roll.

  2. Judy on September 19, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    The only time I care which way the roll is done is when there is a toddler around…. when there are toddlers around, placing the roll on so it feeds from UNDER the roll saves an awful lot of waste as when the toddler inevitably spins the roll towards themselves, the toilet paper doesn’t unroll!

  3. ZenOfJazz on September 19, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Toilet Paper Preferences… In the bathroom, not in the trees.
    (proof I’ve apparently grown up)

  4. Canadian on September 19, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Like Rebecca, I feel so strongly that toilet paper should go over the top that I sometimes change it in relatives’ houses.

  5. ThatBobbieGirl on September 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    After watching half a roll of “over the top” toilet paper unroll itself onto the floor after one tug from a toddler, I have been an “under” gal, at least at home. I swear, it was like watching a perpetual motion machine.

    Some TP holders, especially the double-roll institutional ones where the second roll drops down after the first is *mostly* gone work much better in “under” mode. Placing it with the paper coming from underneath lifts the roll up a bit when tugged, allowing it to unroll easily. If installed with the paper coming over the top, you have to lift up the roll with one hand and turn it with the other, to keep it from catching on the remains of the lower roll. It’s a physics thing.

    And now, after typing all this, I am realizing that this is an issue I have thought about way too much in my life.

  6. Mom of three on September 18, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Lighten up. I don’t ground them over TP. I embarrass them enough that they remember to replace it from then on. In fact, they are so ingrained that you replace it, that they just naturally do it.
    You obviously don’t have teenagers.

  7. huh? on September 18, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Grounding kids over TP? I’d hate to see what happens when they don’t make their beds….do they lose a finger?

  8. Fortune Cookies on September 18, 2008 at 11:01 am

    I used to work at a hotel, the house keepers would put it over the top and fold it into fancy little corners, cute, but it had to do with some studies that said that over the top actually makes people use less. I’ve also read that men prefer over the top while women prefer under, but I’d don’t know how much I’d trust that. For me, I could care less, as long as there’s some within reach, preferably two ply, and not that cheap linty stuff either.

  9. judy haley (coffeejitters) on September 17, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    I’m just thrilled when its hung on the wall

    if I change the roll it goes over the top, but I am perfectly capable of using the toilet paper even if it’s installed upside down. I’m just glad it’s not on the floor or the back of the toilet.

  10. Mom of three on September 17, 2008 at 7:10 pm


    When I potty trained my three, I taught them three things.

    How to wipe themselves.
    How to hang the toilet paper.
    How to wash their hands.

  11. Suzanne on September 17, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    Only over looks and unrolls right to me.

    I’d never change it from under in anyone else’s house (how rude, I say) but I sure will for the very few times someone in my house puts it on under. My husband says he doesn’t pay attention when putting it on there (and actually rarely does…he prefers to see it sitting on the counter) and my kids are only 6 and 3.

  12. Mom of three on September 17, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Consider it yours. LOL If you can’t change the TP, then you really have no business behind the wheel of a car.

  13. Tara on September 17, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    It’s funny you mention this because I never even thought about this until last week. I didn’t really care which way it went until I got one of those free standing toilet paper holder things. It looks elegant if you put the roll going over (or, as elegant as TP can look). If you put it on going under, it looks like you put the holder together backwards.

  14. Housewifery on September 17, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    oh I’m an over the roll gal. It’s funny though, because my man is an “under the roll” guy so you can always tell who’s changed the roll! *giggle*

  15. angela on September 17, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    It must go over towards me. But, I have learned that if I put it so it goes over away from me it is harder (momentarily) for toddlers to unroll the entire deal. Its worked for us for about 6 months now.

    I also must have a soft absorbant toilet paper. Charmin Ultra is the paper of choice now even if it is more pricy. My arguement is that I don’t need a diaper rash from rough paper as well as the fact that you need to use two to three times as much in each wipe with crappy t-paper because otherwise it will get your fingers wet and who wants that. Finally, Charmin, while it can get linty, never EVER rolls onto it self and tears as I’m wiping. That is what I’m passionate for.

  16. Patia on September 17, 2008 at 4:25 pm


  17. candice on September 17, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Under. It let’s me grab more and as green as I am in most aspects I am greedy with my toilet paper!

  18. Barb Szyszkiewicz on September 17, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    OVER the roll! And no one else in my house will bother to change a roll. So I get to have it my way.
    I also will change a roll when visiting, if it needs to be done.
    “Mom of 3,” I like your style! Hope you don’t mind if I borrow your line about not going to the movies until they are old enough to know how to replace the TP.

  19. LoriW on September 17, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    It MUST go over the top. No exceptions. If I’m a visitor in your home, and need use the powder room, I’ll (gladly) change it for you. Just keeping you in line for your own good.

  20. Keter on September 17, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    @ PollyS: Something in your post made my mind come up with a new meaning for the phrase “how’s it hangin’?” O_o

  21. Keter on September 17, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I was raised in an ‘under’ household, but I hated fishing for the end right next to the wall. The evidence of dirty hands touching the wall while searching for the end just grossed me out too much, so once on my own, I immediately switched to over-the-top.

    I don’t ‘fix’ other people’s TP (I consider that kinda creepy, like peeking in the medicine cabinet) unless I use the last and replace the roll. I also am the only person in my household who will actually put the paper on the spindle vs. setting it on top, which isn’t a big surprise since most of my life I’ve been the only female in a house full of guys.

  22. PollyS on September 17, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I’m with you Ivy. Any TP on the holder is good tp, which ever way it hangs.

  23. pedicabman on September 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    The carbon atoms along the tear line part better in the overhead position. However, if you have a slick enough wrist flick the bottom under works fairly well.

  24. Mom of three on September 17, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Over the top, folded neatly into a triangle and laid flat so that it looks nice for the next person. Either I am the only person who uses TP at my house, or even my kids have started folding it.

    You’d better replace it though if you use the last of it, or be prepared for me to announce to your friends that you can’t go to the movies, since you are learning how to put TP on the roll.

  25. Carol on September 17, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I am an under person, but because of where my toilet paper holder is, and how it functions. Over the top doesn’t work. Honestly. I don’t have a preference whichever is more convenient to use.

  26. Mrs. Bubba on September 17, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    Over the top… but I agree that just having toilet paper in the room is fantastic. I’m in a house with 3 males, the majority of the time they won’t use toilet paper the next time they come in the room so even if they finish it I end up having to change the roll most often.

  27. Lenetta on September 17, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Totally over. When it’s under, it sometimes takes me seemingly FOREVER to find the end.

  28. Genevieve on September 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Over over over!!!!

  29. Rebecca on September 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I am absolutely an ‘over the top’ sort of person and have been known to covertly switch it at others’ homes. (Yikes! Maybe I should have saved that one for confessional Sunday.) I have two cats and an 8 month old. So far, none of them have made me switch.

  30. imabug on September 17, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Over. definitely over.

  31. Kat on September 17, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Over the top. Unless you have a cat. Cats have learned from toddlers that unrolling toilet paper provides great enjoyment. (I also suspect it’s revenge for not cleaning the litter box promptly.)

  32. T on September 17, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Definitely over the top, I use wayyyy less that way. I will admit that makes it easier for quick unrolling (no tots in my house, but two kitties–who haven’t unrolled a roll since the second was itty bitty), but I could not stand having it the other way. And woe to the person who switches it in my house. That’s on par with reorganizing a pantry at someone else’s house in my opinion.

  33. Rebecca C on September 17, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    My first roommate EVER had real problems changing the empty roll. It seemed like I would always find the roll empty when she used the toilet last. I finally started using the roll from under the sink, AND returning it. We didn’t have a roll of TP out for almost a month. Then I caved. It was too absurd for me.

    And I like the paper to go over. Until the baby starts pulling it. Then I suffer and have it under (less enticing for little fingers)

  34. Nancy on September 17, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    I’m an over the roll kind of girl. The other way just doesn’t work. And I prefer the old fashioned TP, not the new fangled ‘cloth wipes’ that the tree huggers are pushing. That just grosses me out to think that people actually wipe and then put it in the dirty laundry. EEEW!

  35. Lynn on September 17, 2008 at 11:54 am

    My phobia is under. It looks neater to me and and seems to tear more easily. But we no longer use a holder. My Daughters bought me a frog [dressed like a butler] who is holding a serving tray which now holds the T.P. Very whimsical.

  36. Angela on September 17, 2008 at 11:53 am

    My first job was in housekeeping, it was over the top for them and it was not classy hotel either:) Both houses I have lived in have not had TP holders so it sits by the sink. My husband is great at taking things apart and not putting them back all the way together (like my whole bathroom x2!) If I had it on a roll or if I’m at someones house and have to change the roll it is over the top.

  37. Princess Leia on September 17, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Due to family idiosynchracies, I have always been an “over-the-topper,” but now that I have a toddler who is amazed by toilet paper rolls…and more specifically _unrolling_ toilet paper rolls, I see a distinct advantage to under the roll. You see, when the TP is over the top and my son starts batting at it, it unrolls and unrolls and unrolls (much to his delight). When the end is underneath and he bats at it, he gets the joy from the batting of the roll, but I don’t get the angst of re-rolling an entire roll of TP.

    Of course, we’ve been in the middle of a bathroom renovation for several months now (our only bathroom) and have been without a dispenser for some time, so this is really a moot point for me at the moment.

  38. Darcy on September 17, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Over the top… but I don’t change it if my 8 year old puts it on going under.

    Like many of your readers, I’m just happy when there is toilet paper in the room.

    I don’t change it in other peoples homes either, however, if they have it going over the top I’ll often make that little hotel triangle thing when I’m done. Kinda makes it feel like a mini vacation in the bathroom that way. πŸ™‚

  39. Teresa on September 17, 2008 at 10:57 am

    For me, if there is toilet paper in the bathroom—even if it’s still in the cabinet and I have to lean way over and get it–I’m happy.

  40. HM on September 17, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I honestly don’t care either way…

    BUT, I refuse to buy cheap toilet paper. I won’t say the brand I buy, but let’s just say it’s squeezeable and leave it at that…

    I grew up for years as a kid on cheap toilet paper and to this day my mother in law buys single ply cheap as she can find it stuff. Her logic- it’s getting flushed down the toilet, which makes sense on some level, but my logic is this; it has to do a job first! If the paper is so cheap that it falls apart when you wipe then why pay for paper at all? (ewww!)

  41. Shoofly Mama on September 17, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Over the top. I also will change rolls wherever I go. My roomie after college was a housekeeping manager at a 5-star hotel and told me the same thing, angie. But I was an Over-the-Topper before that. Thankfully everyone in my family will change the roll, and due to a family propensity to OCD, they’re all OVER THE TOP!

  42. angie on September 17, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I have read that over the top actually makes the roll last longer. People rip more off when it is under. They did extensive studies and everything. I used to not care, but now I do. Lucky for me I’m the only one who puts toilet paper back on the holder to begin with!

  43. TennZen on September 17, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Over the top. When I was in college, I took a part-time job in housekeeping in an upscale 5-star hotel resort. We were trained to put the toilet paper “over the top,” and even fold the ends to make a nice point.

  44. jag on September 17, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Over the top, definitely.

    I didn’t realize this was genetic until my father came out of my grandparents’ bathroom one day and said that he fixed their roll – it’d been bugging him for 20 years. Of course, their holder is installed sideways, so I don’t know if fixing it turned it left or right. A mystery never to be solved, I guess.

  45. silver on September 17, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I’ve had toilet paper holders where something about the design made it so that you have to have it over. If you did it under, you couldn’t find the start of the paper. So much so that it converted my husband from and under to an over person.

  46. Sarah on September 17, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Growing up, it was always under the roll, but now I’ve decided not to care about it. As long as it comes off & is not empty when I need it, I’m cool πŸ™‚

  47. Amanda Regan on September 17, 2008 at 9:02 am

    UNDER THE ROLL – The end goes under the roll and it HAS to be ripped neatly along the perforated edge. I just think hanging over, specially if it is ripped raggedly looks awful, it makes a toilet look untidy. I change any I find the other way to hang under, unless it’s my home of course because I’m the only person able to put up a new toilet roll.

    I waited once to see how long it would take for someone else to do it and gave up waiting after 5 weeks. Yes, 5 whole weeks!!

  48. chocolatechic on September 17, 2008 at 9:01 am

    We are over the toppers.

  49. Dana on September 17, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Over the roll…and I will admit to actually changing it to this “correct” way at other people’s houses.

  50. Shanele on September 17, 2008 at 8:35 am

    LOL – I love these conversations!! Definitely, over the roll. Under is just too strange for me. I am too the only one who changes the roll in our home.

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