TP – What’s better? Over or under?

Have you ever thought about the proper way to hang a new roll of toilet paper? Believe it or not, this is a hotly debated topic with proponents on both sides of the aisle. Some say having it hang over is better, while others claim it’s best when hung under. So, which is better? That’s what we’ll try to determine today.

The Argument For “Under”

It’s estimated that around 30% of people prefer hanging the toilet paper roll under. There have been many reasons given for this preference, with the most common being that it provides a tidier appearance since the loose end is more easily hidden from view. Other people claim that during late-night trips to the bathroom, toilet paper hanging under is much easier to grab in the dark.

This method is also sometimes preferred by some parents and pet owners because it’s harder for toddlers and pets to unroll the paper when they’re batting at it. Furthermore, some people who drive recreational vehicles like it because it reduces the risk of the paper unrolling while the vehicle is in motion.










The Argument For “Over”

This leaves the other 70% of people claiming that hanging the toilet paper roll over is better. And the truth is, this side of the argument actually provides better reasoning for their opinions. For starters, when the paper is hung over, it reduces the risk of brushing the cabinet or wall with one’s knuckles, preventing the transfer of germs and grime.

Another reason many people prefer this method is because it allows cruise ships, hotels, public places, and office buildings an easy way to fold over the last sheet to signify the bathroom is clean. Because after all, what’s better than a clean shared or public restroom?

Hanging the roll over also makes better sense when dealing with patterned toilet paper because it’s generally the intended direction of manufacturers.

What Does Science Say?

So, while both sides will argue that their way makes it easier to locate and grasp the loose end, what does science say? Science says you should hang your toilet paper over! Those of you who already do this are probably thinking, “I knew it,” while those who prefer under are wondering why this is. And the answer is simple, hanging the toilet paper roll under greatly increases the risk of spreading bacteria.

The University of Colorado recently conducted a survey that found even the cleanest bathrooms are comparable to dirty Petri dishes. The truth is that most bacteria found in public restrooms is e. Coli, which is a common source of food poisoning. It’s easily transferred from surfaces onto your hands and then to anything you put in your mouth.

If you consider why people use toilet paper in the first place, then it’s not hard to see how likely it is for someone to have this bacteria on their hands. So, when the toilet paper is hung over, a person’s fingers only touch the paper they will use, which will end up getting flushed.

Alternatively, when the paper is hung under, there’s a high risk that a person’s fingers will touch the wall and leave bacteria behind. And once this “deposit” of bacteria is made, every subsequent bathroom user reaching for the toilet paper runs the risk of picking up the germs and possibly even leaving more behind for the next person.

Even worse is that once the bacteria is on your hands, there’s a good likelihood that it will be transferred to the toilet seat, stall lock, and flush handle. Once the germs are on your hands, they are hard to get rid of, and most people don’t wash their hands long enough to actually rid them. In fact, to wash your hands properly, you must scrub with soap for about 30-seconds or sing through “Happy Birthday” two times at a normal speed.

So, in the end, to each their own. However, if you’re looking to reduce the number of germs in the restroom, you’ll definitely want to always make sure to hang your toilet paper over!