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Whatever Happened to Colored Toilet Paper?

by Cindy Phillips

I do some of my best thinking in the bathroom. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not like a man when it comes to going to the bathroom. Most men I know approach the act not as if it was a job, but as an adventure. They keep the room stocked with a cache of reading materials, they announce to the world when they are headed in, and I swear, some of them would pop a bucket of popcorn to bring along if they could get away with it.

I Do My Best Thinking in the Bathroom

But for some reason, ideas seem to creep into my head when I am in the bathroom. Perhaps it is the serenity of the room. Maybe it is because for a minute or two my mind has a chance to stop thinking about work, kids, dishes, vacuuming, laundry, bills and the crises in the Middle East. Whatever the reason, prolific ideas seem to pop into my head when I am in there. Today was no different. As I was perusing the room, it hit me. Whatever happened to colored toilet paper?

I remember when it all started. I was just a kid and I think my mom had decorated our single bathroom in blue that year. By the way, growing up with three women in the house and only one bathroom, well, you can imagine the chaos that resulted. Anyway, I can remember how excited my mother was when they started selling blue toilet paper and blue Kleenex.

Colored Coordinated Bathroom

From that day on, our bathroom was always color-coordinated. My sister and I would keep a box of Kleenex in our bedroom, but it was pink to match our pink-and-orange-big-bright-flowers décor. Hey, this was the 60s. Anyway, if we ran out of Kleenex in the bathroom, we would grab our pink Kleenex and put them in there so they were handy for dabbing makeup. My mom would freak! Pink Kleenex in her blue bathroom? She would promptly remove them and give us a stern warning to never, ever do that again.

So what ever happened to colored toilet paper? It doesn’t exist anymore. It used to come in blue, pink, green, yellow and sometimes lilac. And there was facial tissue to match. Back in the 60s, you could find it in prints as well. Now you can walk down the paper goods aisle in the supermarket and see printed paper towels, but you are not going to find colored toilet paper.

Environmentally Friendly?

Apparently, there were two reasons why colored toilet was discontinued. Some doctors reported that the colored TP could cause skin irritations in some pretty sensitive areas. Then, it was rumored that the dyes could be harmful to the environment. And so, colored toilet paper, as we knew it, was literally wiped out. Or as others might see it, the concept went down the drain.

What Else Was Gone?

As I pondered the question of the disappearance of colored toilet paper, I glanced around the rest of the bathroom wondering what else had gone by the wayside. What had gone missing without me even noticing it? What other childhood memories had been eradicated due to scientific findings?

SaniFlush! When is the last time I saw a can of SaniFlush in my bathroom? Again, it was determined to be an unsafe product. Hogwash! OK, maybe my mom did don heavy duty rubber gloves before opening the can. And maybe she did wrap a thick towel across her nose and mouth so as not to inhale the fumes. And maybe we were warned to stay back at least 15 feet from the bathroom when she poured it into the bowl because it caused a chemical reaction similar to putting Mentos in a can of coke. But hey, toilet bowls were never cleaner.

Bathroom Cleaners

Today I squeeze a bottle of cleanser around the rim and a watery, blue liquid runs down the sides. I quickly try to get the scrub brush going before all the liquid flows into the bottom of the bowl, but my hands are not that fast any more. Maybe I need to try out those little Scrubbing Bubble guys who run around the inside of the bowl and do the work for me. Could be expensive though, I hear they are unionized.

And when is the last time you saw a complete bathroom rug set? Yes, we all still use bathroom rugs and matching shower mats. But I remember our bathroom having a rug on the toilet seat, the toilet tank and a contoured rug that fit right up against the commode. The rug on the seat always seemed to slide off, being held in place by two flimsy strings of elastic. If my mom found the toilet seat rug askew, she had the same reaction as when we dared to put the pink Kleenex in there.

Bobby pins, foam curlers, rouge, hairnets, Goo, pocket combs (think Kookie from 77 Sunset Strip), Minipoo, English Lavender, LifeBuoy, Ipana, and Tangee. Where did they go? Ah, I guess I am just getting old, and the thought of it is giving me Agita. Better go take a bicarbonate of soda.

More About Cindy Phillips:

Contact Cindy at cphillipsauthor@yahoo.com.

Read Cindy's blog at Life as a Turkey Sandwich

More Articles for Boomers:

Sexy Plus Size Cruise Wear: Cocktail & Formal Dresses

Best Swimsuits for Women Over 40 & 50

Hippie Wedding Dresses for a Casual Bohemian Chic Celebration

Burgundy Color for Fall & Winter: The New Black

Do you remember anything that's gone now?  Leave a comment at the bottom of the page. It won't show up until I have time to approve it.

Cindy Phillips is a quintessential Baby Boomer who has finally figured out her top priorities: family, friends, and good health. Her life is currently divided between Vermont and South Carolina. Ms Phillips writes a Baby Boomer column for a regional weekly, but her most important job is being a grandma.

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  1. M

    Ah, that's progress! I'm married to a guy who made toilet paper for a living (Procter & Gamble products -- don't mention that other brand of facial tissue to him). Besides the environmental problems and irritation from the dyes, adding color also increased costs. so, out it went.

  2. Joan

    I also think about colored toilet paper. I grew starting in the 40's. And we always had colored toilet paper. But there was a time a very long time ago that my Mother got a very bad infection and was hospitalized for a few days. The doctor said it was from the colored toilet paper. So we never had it in our home again. In this modern age, why dont the invent colored toilet paper that is safe.????? I bet it would sell.

    • Tina-Boomerina

      Joan, I have heard about those infections. I think it was back in the 60s, but maybe it was the 70s.

      I would love to have colored toilet paper AND colored Kleenex and colored paper towels. Why doesn't someone invent a safe, environmentally sound way to give us color again?


      • Tina-Boomerina


        I would like to have blue and white paper towels to match my new Polish Pottery canisters. I would also like to have purple toilet paper... or ANY color as long as it's not white.

        I'm sure SOMEONE can come up with a dye that's compatible with modern usage. T