How to Outgas Toilet Paper

Toilet paper can be a massive pain in the butt sinuses! You see, there are toilet papers sold as hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and allergy free; then there are the unscented versions… Finding a brand that doesn’t have fragrance chemicals in it is a game of pin the tail on the donkey. Often, the hypoallergenic ones are scented with artificial rose, or some such shit irritant. In the past, I’ve found ‘safe’ brands, yet for some reason, the manufacturers change their manufacturing processes and the rolls end up no longer truly fragrance free. My boyfriend told me it’s a ‘profit issue’ because if a company makes an unscented version and a scented version, the machines would need to be cleaned in-between batches—and then they’d have to pay someone for their time to do that…

Anyway, then there are the brands that reek of bleach, or some recycled-paper-and-ink type contaminant. Also, if the toilet papers been sitting in the supermarket, in/near the cleaning isle, then it needs to be aired outside for at least a week until I can even have it in the house. Look, I’m not being fussy, I swear. All I want is toilet paper that is fragrance free. Many times I’ve given it away to a friend or my boyfriend’s mum because, hey, how long can a person be expected to ‘air’ the stuff? You see, if it’s impregnated with this ‘scent’ and it gets on my hands and/or contaminates the air space in my bathroom,  it irritates my eyes and nose when I breath it in; and I—cantankerous of me I know, I just don’t want to wear a mask in my own bathroom.

I know this is not a normal thing to write about on the internet, but this here is my toilet paper routine (no, not folding or scrunching—outgassing chemicals!):

  1. I have a dear friend go to the supermarket for me, and buy the brand of toilet paper I’m using at the moment. If they don’t have it, he must go to all the other ones until he finds it. (This drives him nutty.) I think I’ve blogged about why I can’t go into the supermarket? Well, at this point in time, I can’t go into a supermarket (unless I’m wearing a mask, am super quick, steer clear of the cleaning isle, and shower and wash my hair as soon as I get home) because my eyes stop producing tears, my lids swell up, a stinging rash appears on my face, and breathing through my nose becomes painful; this is from the chemicals in the cleaning isle, outgassing vapours, which infiltrate everything in the place—including my own hair! I’m hoping this will change as I make my way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities… It’s been seven months since I last went into one, and I kind of miss it!
  2. I have *dear-gone-extra-nutty-by-now friend unwrap dunny paper and stack it on a table in my driveway—undercover from the elements—so that it can air out for as long as it takes. (This is the part where the neighbours hear me yell, “DOES IT STINK OF FRAGRANCE?  IS IT BAD?  IS IT RESIDUAL OR IMPREGNATED?  WELL, DO YOU THINK IT’S THE SORT THAT WILL GO AWAY SOON?  OH, AND PUT THAT BLOODY STINKIN WRAPPER IN THE BIN WILL YOU!”)
  3. After, two-three weeks (in winter) (or one-two in summer), when it’s ready, I bring it inside; if it’s not fragrance free, this is the point where I give it away: The fragrance has obviously been added ‘into’ the paper or the little cardboard cylinder in the middle of the roll, and it’s not going to air away… Not for me. Time to find a new brand.
  4. Add more toilet paper to the shopping list so the process can be repeated again. Before we run out…


This is what our outdoor table looks like almost permanently…

Supposedly 'fragrance free' toilet paper, being aired before use because of fragrance chemicals used in the manufacturing process or the contamination of fragrance chemicals from the shops

Supposedly ‘fragrance free’ toilet paper, being aired before use because of fragrance chemicals used in the manufacturing process or the contamination of fragrance chemicals from the shops. Only time will tell…

And this is our outdoor table in between deliveries…

Pretty, isn’t it?

There ‘s a coincidence in this: one brand that is safe to use, is actually called ‘Safe‘! Made by Encore, endorsed by Planet Ark or course… The other safe toilet paper brand: Kleenex, Cottonelle, Unscented: this comes in a double wrapped plastic bag and, at the time of this blog posting, is available in packs of 48 rolls and, for me, takes the least amount of time to outgas residual fragrance chemical vapours!

It’s a weird life, I can tell you…

(Disclaimer: *Nutty friend (who was not actually nutty until he started doing my shopping for me) gets compensated with payment of petrol and organic chocolate—therefore has not been emotionally or psychologically harmed during the process of fulfilling my requirments.)

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. I know this is an old post but I just found it. I have found tissues to be more reliably fragrance free than toilet paper and the store brand ones can be slightly cheaper once you account for the bigger sheet size.

    • Michellina van Loder says:

      Yes, I have had to resort to tissues. I actually like that the paper is thicker because I don’t have to use as much. I’ve been, or Dan has rather, shopping at Costco because their toilet paper comes in bulk and only takes a day or two to air. It’s the chlorine I think, not the fragrance. Also have been getting 10 kg bags of bicarbonate of soda from there. But! They store in in the cleaning section, which is a total bummer. What brand do you use? xoxo

  2. I live in the United States, but I’ve found a type of tp that doesn’t stink. You may be able to find it online. I say a “type” of tp, and not a “brand”, b/c I have found it under several different brand or store names (i.e., sometimes branded as the store’s own product). It has a certain look to it — a pattern (flowers and butterflies, with dots swirling around them). It’s packaged in multi-packs in plastic packaging, so I’m able to look through the plastic a little bit to look for the pattern weaved or pressed into the tp. When I see the pattern, I know it’s the right stuff. I’ll take a picture of it if I can figure out how to post it here (I’m low-tech). I have a new roll in front of me and just gave it another sniff just to be sure. I can even blow my nose with it.

  3. I’ve had to start ordering my t.p. in large cases from environmental stores (or co-ops) and have it picked up by someone soon after it arrives so that the outer box also doesn’t absorb the chemicals..
    Finding something non-chlorine bleached is a must.
    Recycled paper can be problematic, but clear-cutting forests for this is insane.
    I have a multi-purpose hanging thing that I air mine out on (and I don’t have a private patio or garage)
    Safe, non-irritating, fragrance-free t.p. shouldn’t be so difficult to aquire.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      Wow, so I’m not the only one. I knew I wasn’t but since I wrote that post, the comments have been really quiet about it.

      Buying in bulk is a great idea! What brand do you buy? Are there any others you can recommend to the readers of this post? Sometimes, just knowing what works for others can take a lot of the work/failures out of struggle to buy loo paper equation. Once I bought a huge amount but I had trouble storing it, so I guess I’m better off buying just a couple (two-three weeks worth) of packets.

      Once I bought some (a box of 20 packs of six rolls) from an asian two dollar shop because @ $1 a pack of six how could I go wrong? Well, you might know the answer to that: artificial rose scented cleaner/or air-freshener. It never aired out, and the pain on my eyes whenever breathed in when walking past the outgassing boxes on my veranda was never worth it.

      Who would think some people would have to put so much thought and planning into the humble roll of toilet paper, hey?

      • I’m in Canada, and found the Cascades brand to be tolerable (most of the time, it does seem to change a bit, but that could be the recycled paper content, I don’t know). It’s not great, but like with everything, there seem to be trade-offs.
        There’s another brand that was really good MCS wise, but it’s hard to find from a safe enough source, and then I discovered they use a lot of pesticides and do clear-cutting. I can’t support those types of practices, so I’m making do with the kind I can get.
        The Cascades doesn’t have fragrance contamination from the store I order from, just the paper itself. I have trouble with papers and inks, so that’s why I have to air it out a bit after unwrapping it.
        I have to buy a number of other things by the case to avoid the individual items from getting fragrance contaminated, it’s just something necessary for easier, less toxic survival.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      I know, it unscented toilet paper should not be so hard to find; for fairies sake, it’s just a roll of dunny paper, and spending so much time sourcing it, airing it, and protecting it from the weather could be spent better on more ‘normal’ practices. I like it when I find shops that people or relatives of people with chemical sensitivities open up so that they can sell fragrance free products. I’m yet to find someone who sells T.P like that though. (If anyone is reading this, and knows places that sell fragrance free products in Canada, Australia, or elsewhere, please let us know :) )
      I know about the forests too, I feel for them. At least we have some companies who are doing the right thing!

      • Most people have no idea how chemically contaminated everyday products and materials are. They also have no idea how difficult it is to find chemical-free essentials.
        Sadly, since this is so, more people are having to learn the hard way as the numbers of people with chemical injuries grows.
        Thank goodness there are some people and companies stepping up to do the right thing. That there’s now a financial opportunity there doesn’t hurt…
        Having lists of these alternative, safer options is really helpful

        • Michellina Van Loder says:

          True, however, I always let people know, and I call companies and politely complain about things. They need to know, and I’ve found some actually care too. But then there are the others, and they are a worry. Sometimes, I think it’s criminal to treat people, animals and the planet this way. I wish it were a crime that people would have to pay heavy for, cause without our planet’s health we have nothing. And, we are all equal, just because some people have less income doesn’t mean it’s okay for them to be made sick by chemicals.

          I’m going to make another list called: Global Fragrance Free Products for MCS-ers (or something like that), I’ll send you a link (and my other readers) and we’ll all collaborate on it okay? When I add a product, it’s one that I know is okay for me, or for most sensitive people (I know that, sadly, some can’t use anything though) but I always link it from a reputable shop, as in sustainable and/or chemical free.

          • I to am looking for someone who makes a product like MD TP use to make. Does TP put ingredients on their labels? Pls put me on your list of interested people. I never thought I would have to research TP.

  4. Miche – I love the table sans toilet paper. Isn’t it amazing all the crazy things we, as chemical sensitivity sufferers, deal with on a daily basis? Bless you for bringing something so intimate as toilet paper to the forefront. I have not had a problem with it yet but seem to keep getting the same brand and am ok. Heaven help me if that changes and I, too, load my patio table with toilet paper to gas out. And bless your “nutty friend” for all he does.

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      Thank you for reading. Yes, it’s a tad crazy at times, the way ‘things’ need to be aired. There have been other things that just never seem to air out and, perhaps, I just shouldn’t have bought: Ikea chipboard bookcase (smells of new wood that gives me headaches), two gorgeous gold gilt framed mirrors (a spray paint type odour), these are in the garage ‘outgassing’. Oh, and once I had four massive polystyrene beanbags that I aired for two years; I gave these to a non-chemically sensitive freind. And, yes, I too love my outdoor table to have nothing but beautiful flowers on it. Consider nutty friend blessed…

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
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