France is a wonderful country with many beautiful sights and other attractions. But one thing that tends to catch visitors by surprise, especially those from the United States, is the peculiar toilet paper. Yep, French toilet paper is not what you are used to. So, what’s so special about French toilet paper?
This article will look at everything you need to know about French toilet paper. What is French toilet paper? How is it different from regular toilet paper? Where did French toilet paper come from? Find answers to these and more questions in the sections below.
What Is French Toilet Paper?
French toilet paper is simply just toilet paper. However, there are a few key differences between the American toilet paper that you are probably used to and French toilet paper. First of all, they call it papier toilette, or PQ for short, in France. The main difference, though, is the color. That’s right; toilet paper is not white in France.
What Color is Most Toilet Paper in France?
The fascinating thing about French toilet paper is that it’s mostly colored or flower patterned. There’s nothing special about French toilet paper except that it’s colored or floral patterned. So, what color is French toilet paper, you ask? It’s pink!
Sure, you may come across the odd white roll on the supermarket shelf, but most of the toilet paper in France is some shade of pink. Why’s that?
Why Do French Use Pink Toilet Paper?
There’s no special reason French toilet paper is pink. It’s mostly just a regional preference. When toilet paper became mainstream in France in the 1960s, it was grey-ish in color. Grey toilet paper made from recycled paper was less appealing and needed more bleaching or dyeing; the French chose the latter.
Marketers thought the color pink would be more appealing for toilet paper and started using it. Culturally, people associate the color pink with purity and the softness of healthy young skin, so that’s probably another reason toilet paper companies thought the pink toilet paper would be more appealing.
But these aren’t the only reasons French toilet is pink. Muted shades of pink, blue, and red are the mainstay color scheme of the French-country style. Some believe that pink was chosen to match the toilet paper with the décor (more on that later). In either case, pink toilet paper is more of a regional preference.
What’s The Difference Between French Toilet Paper and Regular Toilet Paper?
There’s no significant difference between French and regular (American) toilet paper beside the color. Both are made from the same material — the recycled paper pulp — but one is colorful, and the other is white. The recycled paper pulp used to make roll tubes is typically poor quality.
As a result, the cover has to be dyed a more vibrant color or bleached a lot more to make it more appealing. The recycled paper pulp used to make French toilet paper is dyed to give it a pink hue, while the regular (white) undergoes further bleaching to give it a white appearance.
The History of Colored Toilet Paper
Back in the 1950s and 60s, toilet paper came in a magnificent cornucopia of soft pastel colors in most countries. This period was the peak of color coordination. That was back when newly built homes came complete with bathtubs, sinks, and matching color schemes, often pink, powder blue, or green.
Colored toilet paper could perfectly match the tub, tiles, and sinks in a beautiful, colored bathroom. But just like any other lifestyle trend, colored toilet paper was short-lived. As the world gradually started moving away from colored toilet paper, the French maintained their now trademark pink-ish toilet paper.
Why Is Most Toilet Paper White These Days?
Unless you live in France, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a roll that isn’t white on the shelf. Bathroom designs have changed significantly in the last few decades, which is why toilet paper isn’t colorful anymore. Bathrooms are mostly all white today, and white toilet paper fits right in with the décor.
Nonetheless, some people still prefer colored toilet paper over white rolls to this day. There are many reasons for that. Sometimes it’s nostalgia, especially for those old enough to remember when toilet paper used to come in various colors.
If your bathroom is any color other than white, you may want to create a color scheme that matches the décor in your bathroom perfectly. French toilet paper is an excellent option for those looking for colored options.
Where Can I Buy French Toilet Paper?
Colored toilet paper started disappearing from supermarket shelves in the 1980s, primarily due to alleged health concerns. Today, manufacturers in most parts of the world bleach toilet paper — well, except in France. As a result, almost none of the rolls in your local supermarket will be colored or have little pink flowers on them.
But if you like colored toilet paper, you can still buy French toilet paper. The popularity of pink or colored toilet paper hasn’t waned in France, and you can easily order French toilet paper online via sites like Amazon if you want colored options.
Why Is French Toilet Paper More Expensive?
Yes, French toilet paper is a little expensive compared to the regular, white toilet paper we are used to. A colored toilet paper requires more money to make, which is why French toilet paper costs a little more than regular toilet paper.
Since the 1960s, French toilet paper has maintained a shade of pink despite the evolving colors and trends in the toilet paper industry. There are few white toilet paper packs in the supermarkets in France, but most are pink. If you like your toilet paper pink colored, you can buy French toilet paper online in the United States.
To reiterate, pink toilet paper is more of a regional preference, just like the Germans like their toilet paper with fancy patterns. Across the Atlantic, Americans prefer white toilet paper, which just means a little more bleaching to take the grey out of the recycled paper pulp.