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Toilet paper

Toilet paper is a tissue paper[?] product designed for the cleansing of the anus after defecation. Toilet paper was invented by Joseph Cayetty in the United States and, by some accounts, independently in China by a different inventor.

Before this invention, wealthy people used wool or hemp for their ablutions, while less wealthy people used grass, stone, sand, or water depending upon the country and weather conditions or social customs. Use of newspaper was also common. In monarchial Russia, some subordinates even stamped the toilet paper with imperial arms for the use of the Czar.

The advantages of toilet paper are that it is easy and intuitive to use, fairly absorbent, and can be conveniently made available near toilets, because of its compact size. Toilet paper was not available on a roll until 1879. Toilet paper is available as several types of paper, varying for colors, decorations and consistency, to appeal to individual preference. Toilet paper is typically made from recycled paper, to reduce the depletion of forests.

The use of water to clean oneself is common in southern India, where people use their left hand to clean themselves, and their right hand for eating. In parts of Africa, the converse is true, and a right-handed handshake could be considered rude.

In Europe, toilet sanitation has been supplemented by the invention of the bidet[?], which uses a stream of water to cleanse the genitals and anus.

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