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The Great Toilet Paper Debate: Over or Under?

The toilet paper debate is a timeless argument that has divided households for generations. Should the toilet paper roll over or under? While it may seem like a trivial matter, the direction in which your toilet paper is hung can spark passionate discussions and even lead to household discord. In this article, we'll delve into the history of this debate, explore the arguments for each side, and perhaps finally settle the score on this pressing issue.


hand reaching for toilet paper
Explore the age-old question of whether toilet paper should roll over or under, with a humorous take on the debate.

The toilet paper debate is a timeless argument that has divided households for generations. Should the toilet paper roll over or under? While it may seem like a trivial matter, the direction in which your toilet paper is hung can spark passionate discussions and even lead to household discord. In this article, we'll delve into the history of this debate, explore the arguments for each side, and perhaps finally settle the score on this pressing issue.


The History of Toilet Paper: To understand the origins of the over versus under debate, we must first look at the history of toilet paper itself. Toilet paper has been used for centuries in various forms, including leaves, moss, and even stones. However, it wasn't until the late 19th century that modern toilet paper, as we know it today, was introduced. In 1857, Joseph Gayetty invented the first commercially available toilet paper in the United States, which was sold in sheets infused with aloe.


The Debate Begins: The debate over the proper way to hang toilet paper can be traced back to the early 20th century when toilet paper began to be mass-produced and sold in rolls. As more households adopted this convenient form of toilet paper, people began to notice a difference in how the paper was hung. Some preferred the "over" method, where the paper hangs over the top of the roll, while others preferred the "under" method, where the paper hangs underneath the roll.


roll of toilet paper with the paper over the roll
"Team Over: Advocates say it's more hygienic and easier to use. "

Arguments for the Over Method: Those who advocate for the over method argue that it is more hygienic and easier to use. With the paper hanging over the top of the roll, it is easier to locate and grasp, making it more convenient for users. Additionally, proponents of the over method argue that it reduces the risk of the toilet paper brushing against the wall or other surfaces, which could transfer germs.


toilet paper roll with paper under the roll
"Team Under: Supporters argue it’s tidier and prevents unraveling."

Arguments for the Under Method: On the other hand, supporters of the under method argue that it is more aesthetically pleasing and reduces the risk of the toilet paper unraveling. With the paper hanging underneath the roll, it is less likely to be pulled too quickly or unravel accidentally. Additionally, some argue that the under method creates a tidier appearance, as the loose end of the toilet paper is hidden from view.


The Science Behind the Debate: While the over versus under debate may seem trivial, some scientific studies have attempted to shed light on which method is superior. In 2011, a study conducted by Dr. Gilda Carle found that the over method was more effective at preventing the spread of germs, as it reduced the likelihood of the toilet paper touching other surfaces. However, other studies have found no significant difference in hygiene between the two methods.


The Verdict: In the end, the debate over whether toilet paper should roll over or under is largely a matter of personal preference. While some may argue passionately for one method over the other, the reality is that there is no right or wrong way to hang toilet paper. As long as the toilet paper is accessible and functional, how it is hung is ultimately up to the individual user.


The debate over the proper way to hang toilet paper is a lighthearted topic that has sparked countless discussions and debates. Whether you prefer the over method or the under method, one thing is clear: toilet paper will continue to be a staple in households around the world for years to come.

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