Proper Loading of Toilet Paper, II

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that Kevin posted about the proper way to load a toilet paper holder, or that I've been thinking about posting the same thing. Kevin proposes the "over" method where the loose bit of tissue falls over the top of the roll.

I respectfully disagree with Kevin, and I have proof of my conjecture. The proper way to load toilet paper is "under", and here's why:

A normal toilet paper roll has quite a bit of space inside the tube when loaded in the holder, as the dowel is not usually as big as the tube. (See Figure 1) This allows the roll to move back and forth when the tissue is being dispensed. This motion is different depending on how the roll is loaded.

Figure 1:

Figure 2 illustrates what happens when force is applied to the roll in the "over" position. As the tissue is pulled down, the dowel in the holder acts as a fulcrum, and the roll is pressed downward and towards the wall. This causes friction between the tissue and the wall, which can add enough strain to cause the tissue to tear, leaving the user with less than required.

Figure 2: "Over"

Figure 3 shows the "under" position, and illustrates why this method is superior. When pulling on the tissue in this position, the dowel acts as a fulcrum to pull the roll slightly upward and away from the wall, avoiding friction from the wall completely. This method allows the roll to spin freely, and the user is better able to control how much tissue to use and when to tear it.

Figure 3: "Under"

The laws of physics clearly dictate that the proper way to load a roll of toilet paper is the "under" method. This gives the user more control over how much tissue they use, and reduces the stress and frustration caused by the continuous premature tearing of the tissue that the "over" method causes.

As you can see, the scientific proof is indisputable.

If your toilet paper holder had longer arms, and thus prevented the roll from having the ability to touch the wall, would you still prefer the "under" method?

I am thinking of developing a toilet paper holder arm extention kit. Of course it will utilize nano technology.

I admit there may be some dispenser designs that don't cause this problem. In those cases, I'm still in favor of the "under" approach, mostly because that's what I'm used to.

I've tried your way. your design is false. if you hang your toilet paper overhand it doesn't touch the wall a you unravel (as long as it is unrolled correctly.) If you pull down and away (like 95% of people surveyed,) then it actually pulls away from the wall. i can see your point if you pull straight down, or if you pull down and back you will have toilet paper wall contact.

| and ----> is good. no touching wall.

| and <---- is bad. yes touching wall.

Man that is a very precise toilet installation guide, I love your insight !

Jenny (Cancer Survivor)

I admit, that's not something that I had considered, but it's not enough to convince me yet. But your scientific analysis is impressive. Perhaps I will experiment some on my own.

I have to say niether way is correct. the correct way to do it is put it on a roller that stands up like the papper towel dispenser. you don't have to worry about it rubbing against the wall or tearing early. It's the way I do it and it's perfect.

P.S. I live in California and the Earthquakes don't bother it either!! ;)

The only thing I have to worry about is drunkin' pee'ers.


You all spend too much time in the bathroom.

I didnt know there was a science behind toilet paper roll. Its interesting, what is more interesting is that someone actually took the time and documented all this.

I think everyone is missing the most obvious reason that "over the top" is the right way for it to go.

It's faster, plain and simple.

The end is right there waiting to be grabbed and the correct amount dispensed, making quick business of your business.

With the under method you have to reach down and fish around to find the end, things I don't have time for.

this is hogwash
the true concern with the toilet paper orientation should come from the practical point of pure cleanliness. If the roll is oriented top over then there is less probabilty the roll wil touch the wall. This will lead to a lessened chance of bacterial contamination and result in an actual resoning. Although having enough room for the roll is an issue, they make extenders for that...

I outsource my asswiping to illegal immigrants. They work cheaply and are not offended by the remnants of 'mexican night' their non-sensical ramblings in a foreign tongue relax me. Relaxation is very important whilst on the throne. And it is a throne. Made of solid gold.

You are correct that if you load a roll of toilet paper "under" versus "over" it will be easier to roll, and that is the reason it should be loaded over. If you load it under, and there is an earthquake, than the chances are greater that the roll will unroll, wasting all of the toilet paper and making a mess. This can be prevented if you load it over.

Also, because the toilet paper rolls easier from the under position, you will use more toilet paper, using money that could be spent elsewhere.

Brian's 'scientific' argument is interesting, but there is a far more practical reason for loading the paper with the 'under' configuration. It's clear that the 'over to top' configuration is far too wasteful. I have a video of our resident cat using both paws to spin a fresh roll into a pile on the floor to prove it.

There is a reason cats are on the menu in Japan, China, Egypt, & Peru and many others. Over the top, s correct some grad student did the official study, and 2% reduced usage over the top. And if the cat gets to it, use a flat rate box and ship it to Japan where it will be enjoyed!

Somebody needs a new toilet paper holder. Someone else should keep the cat out of the bathroom. Show me a fresh hotel room with the toilet paper under and I'll show you a dive.

your comment about hotel bathrooms is very telling. 10 times out of 10, people who roll 'over' are people from working class/middle class families who try to make things 'fancy' in their houses, mistakenly believing that things like overly clean and organized houses, with everything brand new, shiny, and 'just so' makes them appear that they are actually a member of the upper class. Rolling toilet paper (plain old white paper, no affected scented, printed, and quilted paper) rolled under simply works better, as is noted at the start of this thread. People who are secure in their station in life don't worry about proving themselves in such ludicrous ways. Check out my theory for yourselves (notice that the 'over' people also 'decorate' their toilet - miniature soaps, "guest" towels with appliques, and blue toilet water).

The true concern with the toilet paper orientation should come from the practical point of pure cleanliness. If the roll is oriented top over then there is less probabilty the roll wil touch the wall. This will lead to a lessened chance of bacterial contamination and result in an actual resoning.

I myself use the under approach. It's something I have been doing for a very long time. I have seen at my friends or relatives house are put on either under or over. They all had different reasons for doing it this way. Most common reason, I have always done it this way

I am an 'under' the method toilet paper guy. Always have always will be , by Gawd !! LOL

Funny article and nice Site. I have bookmarked in my favs

I guess it all depends on your preference. I have used both ways, the under and over. I am not really picky, I guess it all depends on what my mood is. Interesting top, I enjoyed reading it and all the responses. I will make sure to pass this long to friends to get their

I never thought something as simple as this needs tobe proven scientifically.

[...] Others have had this discussion prior.... (yeah, each word is a different link, what can I say, I was bored while on the toilet ;-P) [...]

[...] von den Dingen, die man unterbewusst richtig oder falsch macht. Von daher einmal kurz diese Howto angucken und in Zukunft das Klopapier stets den physikalischen Gesetzen entsprechend [...]

i read your article..the things you have written sound very sincere and nice topics i am looking forward to its continuation.

Psychological fact or not, I’m constantly removing the roll and re-placing it after hubby puts it in … cos he does “under” and I insist on “over”. It looks better and is just easier to handle. Hey, sometimes I even fold the last block into a little arrow, like they do in hotels.

Hahaha loading toilet paper hilarious

well thats innovation right there my friend
good job

I have to say your logic is excellent. But, I prefer my toilet paper roll be squished against the wall. Because, this way, I can just quickly rip off the amount of toilet paper that I need with one hand, without having to deal with the stress of too much paper reeling off the roll. So, I think that the over method works best for me, being too lazy to two hand it when ripping off the paper. I also agree with other commenters that rolling over is more sanitary, I am a germaphone, so this is a very important concern for me.

Very smart post, I have yet another argument supporting the under technique. When you pull with the under technique, there is no friction as you already mentioned. With over technique, there is friction if the roll touches the wall. Many times, the friction is a calibration as to how hard you pull on the roll - a little harder than if using the under method. When you pull harder, if your last tug causes the roll to leave the surface of the wall, you get the spontaneous unravelling of extra tp. You're then stuck with either using extra (tsk tsk) or trying to roll it back onto the roll which at first looks easy, but is actually quite frustrating and never turns out like you want it.

I myself use the under approach. It's something I have been doing for a very long time. I have seen at my friends or relatives house are put on either under or over. They all had different reasons for doing it this way. Most common reason, I have always done it this way

I know some people who are very serious about which way the toilet paper should be presented in the toilet paper holder. Me, I prefer over... It provides you with easy accesss. Under, it hugs the wall, and is harder to grab.

Over is the simplest and best way to load the toilet paper, because it is easier to grab.

It's standard in our house (and most I've visited) to use the load the roll over the top method.

I think the over the back method could leave you with a situation whereby the previous user tears and then backrolls the toilet paper thus hiding the torn edge for the next user.

This can then lead to the user forcefully creating a second free edge.

PS These captcha are so difficult I'm surprised anyone ever posts!

Please check this site. This is a very informative site. It will help you look for what you need for your house needs.

I was staying at a Hotel in Nottingham and they had loaded the toilet roll holder the wrong way wrong, criminal.

Have you ever been to Asia? many hotels put them all the wrong way, I don't blame them too much however, they actually don't use toilet paper to clean.

Great article, but unfortunately i live in Thailand and we don't use toilet paper because there drain system is useless, we use a water jet at the side of the toilet, i found it hard to use at first but i have fully converted now. Give it ago i can not believe how much more cleaner it is than using toilet paper!

You are making the assumption that the toilet paper roll is close to the wall.

yes it's very interesting post, fist time i saw a blog post about Toilet Paper.....:)

well, the proper use of Paper is required and you have done a good thing that you have included pictures for more clearance.

Well ! The idea is great and you might be the first blogger who did it. I mean to say, you wrote about toilet paper setting.

Hahaha , I agree I use the roll " under " position myself , Though I didn't give much thought to the technicalities of that particular positioning . I got into the habit by seeing how my folks did it when I was a kid.

Who would have thought there is actually a science behind this eheheheh.

[...] configuration images by Brian Mathis, whose opinion, by the way, is just plain wrong ;-) [...]

Definitely the paper should roll over the top and avoid touching the back wall. If it touches any surface then it will slow down the roll and frustrate the user.

Just forgot to make 1 more comment. Just make sure whatever contraption you design, the toilet rolls can be easily replaced and there is a protective shield over the roll.


your design is awesome.
will try at home.

Certainly an interesting debate, I suppose their isn't a wrong on right way, simply a personal preference

Over is better because....due to the friction that is created yes you may, on occasion, have the roll tear on you. This is better than under because, and I am sure you would agree, the paper tearing too early is much better than the paper not tearing at all and all of a sudden you have an entire half roll to ravel back up because when you went to snap it, it simply kept spinning. The "friction" factor is why this way is better, it gives you the snapping lock that is required when tearing.

As I sat pondering all these blogs I heard my left butt cheek tell my right butt cheek " if we stick together we can stop all this shit"

Although you provide scientific evidence, it is very unsupported. There are a few factors on which you neglected to state. One being the angle at which the paper is pulled. If, using either method, the paper is pulled at the same angle, it should make very little difference as to what how the roll should react. Second, not every roll of toilet paper is exactly cylindrical. They usually become deformed during transport at some time, thus resulting in a shift of the fulcrum as the roll advances. Now, I could go on about how much is to be considered in this discussion, but, I'm only worried about being able to find where the roll starts. That's what I say, and I'm sticking to it.