· Natural Remedies · The One Easy Bathroom Swap That Will Save Your Plumbing

The One Easy Bathroom Swap That Will Save Your Plumbing

bum spray

At our house, certain people (who shall remain nameless) have a thing for personal cleansing wipes. Also called “flushable wipes,” you can typically find them next to the toilet paper at most grocery stores.

While I understand their appeal to some extent, I’ve always suspected that they can’t be great for anyone’s plumbing. And after doing a bit of research, it turns out my instinct was correct!

The Problem With Flushable Wipes

While these wipes technically qualify as “flushable” in the sense that it is possible to flush them, most types of wipes don’t break down readily in sewers. Blockages created or worsened by wipes have wreaked havoc on pipes, damaged machinery, and even backed up entire sewage systems!

These types of problems are a high price to pay for the convenience of flushable wipes! But luckily, there’s a simple way to enjoy the cleansing effect of a wet wipe without contributing to clogs, blockages, and other sewage problems. And that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today! :-)

bum spray

A Better Alternative: Make Your Own “Bum Spray!”

I came up with an alternative to flushable wipes that works brilliantly. You simply spritz an all-natural, cleansing “bum spray” (which I’ll show you how to make below) onto normal toilet paper, and you’ve got a cleansing “wipe” that’s truly flushable!

This alternative provides the same cleansing effect of a wet wipe without the clogged pipes. And as far as our household goes, the pro-wipes crowd hasn’t minded the swap one bit! :-)

If you or someone you live with is fond of flushable wipes, I hope you’ll give this alternative a try and let me know what you think!

How To Make A DIY Cleansing Bum Spray

bum spray

You’ll need:

bum spray


Add the witch hazel, aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, and lavender oil to a small glass spray bottle. Screw on the spray top then shake to mix.

bum spray

To use, simply spritz it onto your toilet paper, then wipe for a refreshing clean!


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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Natural Remedies

  • Hello, thank you for accepting me to your group. I wonder if I can use natural aloe Vera from my plant instead of buying aloe Vera gel.? And would it be the same weight of liquid required?

  • Tried this and was not happy. I followed your directions and ended up tossing out first batch even though exact measurements used. I then used the measuring glass for the witch hazel, added the glycerin next, followed by the aloe gel (the glycerin helped all the gel side off), and then added the lavender oil. I stirred it thoroughly before filling, and I do mean filling, my four ounce bottle. Once in the bottle, with some from measuring glass being tossed out because my bottle was full, I shook it up again and tried it out. Now, I’m thinking I might like it because it’s not real strong scented or doesn’t burn sensitive skin.

  • I love this idea! I have 2 questions: 1. Do the ingredients require the glass bottle? I’m concerned about it getting bumped off the back of the toilet and breaking. 2. Is the lavender essential oil necessary? In general, does it need the essential oil? My hubby isn’t a fan of lavender so if needs the essential oil, I’ll find a different scent.
    Thank you so much!

    • Ruth, if you do not use the essential oil, you do not need a brown glass bottle. The essential oils last longer in dark bottles. You can choose to use a different essential oil or leave it out completely.

  • This is wonderful, I’m so pleased I came across your site!
    The only thing is, due to liver problems, I try and avoid alcohol and benzoic acid (found in the non-alcoholic versions of witch hazel).
    Do you think I could dilute the witch hazel with distilled water and would it affect its shelf-life? Or is there any alternative?
    Thank you :)

  • Hi Jillee,
    I made your homemade Bum spray and it’s great! However, I have never been a huge fan of Lavender essential oil. Is there possibly a different one I can use? Is citrus(lemon or orange) ok to use? Or would those irritate?

  • Do u have an alternative to vegetable glycerine, really struggling to find a bricks and mortar store to get it in, on a limited income and if I don’t have to pay shipping

    • Not entire sure I want to use witch hazel on my bottom given it has alcohol in it and I often end up with broken skin because of toilet paper

      • Thayers witch hazel is alcohol free and I use that on my face right from the bottle and no problems. Maybe dilute it by half if you want? I’m not sure if you can find it in a store where you are, best to order online.

  • Thank you for putting this up, I have a very sensitive bottom toilet wipes where a god send for me as they did a did a better job of cleaning my sensitive bottom, and I have been using them for years even though I know the risks to the e]sewer system because there was no alternative, the ridiculous toilet paper panic the corona virus has caused in Australia has forced me to look for an alternative and you provided one, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, for this recipe, now I can be environmentally responsible. while I am struggling to find vegetable glycerine in Australia, I will find it, I am going to try a local store that sells essential oils and candle making and soap making supplies, they may know where I can get it.

    • Hi Tania, I am in Australia and i brought vegetable glycerine at Go Vita Wholefoods. check out on the net where their shops are. any health food shop should have it.. And yes thank’s Jillee for the great recipe. It works very well, if not better than the store bought wipes. And saves money too..cheers narelle

  • I love the tip link you gave for clogged bottles. I definitely want to try that. The person who said their toilet can’t handle any toilet paper – it kind of reminds me of some Latin American countries. Their plumbing systems aren’t as good as what we have un the US. It’s actually fairly common in some places to have a trash can set aside for it . Kind of gross – so just be glad we can flush our toilet paper in the US.

  • I love this bum spray. Have been using it, as well as the feminine hygiene spray, since you first published the formula. They both come in handy, on a regular basis! And it lasts and lasts. I don’t really smell the essential oils, either. I use many of your formulas around the house & garage. My other favorites are the fabulous Body Wash, and the All Purpose Cleaner! Will be trying the leather cleaner on my car seats, since this time of year, my little dog gets them wet & muddy. I already have it mixed :) Thanks so much, Jillee!

  • To determine if paper is truly “flushable” for our RV we do this: Tear 3-4 sheets of TP and put it in a jar that has a lid. Add water to well cover the paper and put on the lid. Wait 15-20 minutes and shake the jar. If it looks like fluff in the water, it is good to go. Scotts individually wrapped rolls pass the test. It is single ply though. Just because a paper is really thin does not mean it will properly dissolve.
    So if in doubt, try the tried and true test. I cheat a little & sometimes keep “nice” paper, but it goes in the trash.

    • Been using rv toilets since 1979. Started out with the cassette toilet with tents and later a popup. Moved into Class C fulltime in 2006 and later self converted a schoolbus in 2010. In 2012, installed a low flush residential toilet. I use Cottonelle and the Sam’s Club brand of TP and the Cottonelle and Sam’s Club brand of wipes. These break down well. Not all wipes do. I also do the RV TP test several times a year as manufacturing changes. If you are using a low flow toilet, you may no be getting enough water into the system. Over the decades, I have learned you need the water, both in RV systems and in septic tanks. Without the needed water, solid waste will not break down in the septic system correctly. Plus piping runs are determined based on the solids having a sufficient amount of liquid (water) helping to carry the solid waste thru the pipes. With low flow toilets, as well as water miser RVers who don’t want to deal with dumping the black tanks, more people are using less water, some to the point of not using enough.

  • Sounds like a good alternative, but don’t really want my bum smelling like lavender or any other fragrance when I come out of the bathroom. Is the essential oil necessary? Plus some essential oils may not be the best thing around private areas.

  • Thank you, Jillie, for all your dedicated years of daily household and personal care tips. Today’s bum wipe tip reminds me of my friend’s challenging cleanse issue. She is finding increasingly harder to wipe her bum after bowel movements because she is too crippled to reach properly. I suggest her having a spray bottle of warm water on hand to start with. She wondered how she could keep the water warm for such an occasion without ever knowing when the next bowel movement would come or if it would give enough warning for her to prepare a warm water in time. Perhaps putting a spray bottle of warm water on a coffee mug warmer appliance would be useful. Thoughts?

  • Hi Jillie No matter what toilet paper we use it clogs up the toilet and the pipes so your solution for your bum is good but we do have to throw the toilet paper in the trash can.

  • Witch Hazel has alcohol so it could be too drying for some people. I like Thayer. My problem is bottles. I have bought good ones and they always get clogged and are not usable after a short period of time. I haven’t tried these wipes….yet… but did make a face spray that clogged the bottle.

  • almost 25K pluming disaster from flushable wipes. Told my plumber “But they say slushabloe” he rolled his eyes. All walls floors cabinets removed!!! Its no joke!!!

  • When we moved out to our country home I had to give up the flushables because of the septic system. I have been using your formula for about 2 years now and like it so much better! To the person that says her toilet paper falls apart I would suggest a 2-ply septic-friendly tissue and only lightly spray. FYI – I take 4 squares and fold them up so that you just spray the top square no more than 2 times. Works great!

  • I actually did experiment with trying this. I guess we just need stronger toilet paper in our house because it made it fall apart. I had tried to use when visiting my brothers family last year because I’m sure they in a area with septic tank systems.

  • I have been making and using Bum Spray for about a year now and am very happy with it. I was an avid flushable wipes user for decades and am now looking to get our septic tank cleaned out once the weather breaks.

  • Hi Jillie, thank you so much for this Bum Spray recipe! I am targeting lots of products in my household, and I do like my personal wipes. But I was thinking just last night “what can I do there…” and your email came into my inbox today – perfect timing and your work and sharing is very appreciated!

    • Hi Lynette! The label is an Avery label – just choose the size that best fits whatever container you used, and follow the directions on the packaging for printing. The have tons of fun templates to choose from!

    • Is using only witch hazel ok for this? Are the other ingredients needed? Im wanting a “bum” spray like this but dont want to use wipes. And my bidet broke–plus Id like to be prepared for anywhere else that dont have a bidet.

      Thanks for any info!

      • The other ingredients are definitely nice – the lavender oil and aloe vera are soothing on your skin, and the vegetable glycerine is a little slippery. You can absolutely try it with just the witch hazel – it will still provide a nice clean. It just won’t be quite as soft and nice as wipes :-)

  • Will definitely try these homemade wipes1 My city has one of the nation’s largest water and sewerage departments with well over 3 million residential and commercial customers. In a TV interview, an employee of the water department briefly (thank goodness) showed a collection of a few hours’ personal wipes removed from our local waste water system. (Don’t even think about it!) Since the paper fabric must stay moist in the container without dissolving, they NEVER dissolve in the sanitation system. SO, another step and additional cost in removing them is necessary. The spray on regular TP is a great idea!!!

  • I have lived with Crohn’s disease for almost 25 years and believe me, some days are really hard on my bum! I could kiss the person who invented flushable wipes! I’ll try your method and hope for good results!

  • I’d love to try these., I just have locate the vegetable glycerin., I use the flushable because sometimes I just need to use one.They are also great for if Im feeling gross and need something extra.

  • Thank you for this wonderful alternative. I wonder if a glass bottle is required, or is there a reason you can’t use a plastic spray bottle? Thank you for your informative posts. They are one of the blogs I receive that read every day! :-)

  • I LOVED the store-bought wipes when I was in town but knew that I couldn’t use them with a septic system once we moved to the country. So I have been very happy with a spray bottle of 1 part fractionated coconut oil and 2 parts water with a few drops of essential oil added but I can’t wait to try your particular blend! Thanks Jillee!!

  • I thought, first of all, that it said “burn spray”, then I thought that the word had been mis-typed and should read “burn”, I had to check a couple of times, then I read the rest and realised my eyes weren’t deceiving me! I don’t use wipes all the time, but I do find them very helpful at times, so I’ll definitely be trying this!

  • Doesn’t the moisture break down the TP? I don’t want bits of TP stuck to me, either. I’d imagine it would take more than one spritz to do the job, which might start to break down the paper. But I like this idea and recipe.

  • I used to love those wipes and used them for years until I got a nasty allergic reaction that lasted for months! You do not want that! This spray looks wonderful but I wonder if a small amount of a preservative is needed? I’ve always thought that a solution containing water would need a preservative. Doesn’t both the witch hazel and a commercial Aloe Vera gel contain water?
    I don’t want anymore rashes….

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