We clean our bodies with soap and water and our bottoms with dry paper and some people water. Not everyone everywhere has the same hygiene methods. Some feel that using water does not do the job well enough, others believe that using tissue paper is dangerous. There are limited studies on this, nor do I know any, but I don’t think it makes such a difference in practice.
– Logically, toilet paper doesn’t seem the best option. It doesn’t seem like it cleans as thoroughly, and can even contribute to things like anal fissures, yet most of Africa, America and large portions of Europe use it.
– Also I think there’s some basis for “rubbing the anus with scratchy paper can create breaks in the skin through which infections can happen. There’s the case of Norovirus (one of the most infectious diarrhea agents), which are very stable in the environment, and you need very few of them to get infected.
– If your toilet paper is white, it could contain bleach. Chlorine bleach creates dangerous toxins that can accumulate in the body causing serious health conditions.
– It may not be the amount of germs left lying around your bum-bum after a “half-assed” cleaning session that’s directly relevant for your infection risk. Rather, it’s how much you get on your hands and fail to wash away.
– Fecal matter always contains undigested oils and fats which would resist removal via water. Yes given enough time water would clean it but tissue paper is more time efficient.
– Without thourough hand washing techniques, there is bound to be contaminants remaining.
For the best advice, use toilet papers and secondly wash your butt with water (and specific soap too, if you want). As you may clearly see, this is way more hygenic than any other solution.
A US university hospital’s department of hygiene suggests that wet naps (as long as they are made of a sturdy, poop-proof material) are probably your best bet.