Wednesday, March 26, 2008

They shrunk the toilet paper!

Kimberly-Clark and apparently most other toilet paper manufacturers have gone and done something over the past few months they hoped we wouldn't notice. Well, this morning, I NOTICED!

They've gone and shrunk the sheet size of a sheet of toilet paper. In some instances not once, but twice!

Toilet paper used to be almost uniformly 4.5x4.5 inches. It was pretty much square. Now it's shrunk as much as 30%.

I'm a single guy and I prefer moist wipes for the bulk of my bathroom business. But sometimes you just need or want toilet paper. A family pack of Cottonelle Ultra from Costco lasts me about a year. Well, I finished off a pack before my recent trip out west and bought a new pack at K-Mart on the way home from the airport (along with sinus meds... a whole different story).

I thought I was buying exactly what I'd always used - Cottonelle Ultra in the purple package. And that purple package can be hard to find since not every store carries it. But somewhere in the past few months Kimberly-Clark thought they could pull a fast one and get away with it. Along the way Cottonelle Ultra became "Cottonelle Not-So-Ultra".

The new Cottonelle Ultra is no longer square. Oh no. It's now 4.2x4.0". Yes, 1/2" shorter in one direction and 1/4" shorter in the other. The nerve!

This size difference was immediately apparently to me when I went to use it. The only nice way I can put it is... it didn't "span the gap". And it's not nearly as soft as it used to be. From all appearances, they made it a little thinner too - which likely accounts for the lack of softness.

Now maybe the rest of America has smaller butts that I do. Uses the bathroom less than I do. Or maybe Kimberly-Clark is courting the children's demographic. Whatever they're doing, they shrunk my toilet paper!

I'm not the only one to notice this. Over at RoutingbyHumor, they have documentation of the incredible shrinking Scott Bathroom Tissue has been through over the past few months. It's down to 4.5x3.7". At least it's only shrinking in one direction.

I understand that the cost of production has gone up on resource intensive goods like toilet paper but really... downsizing toilet paper in an America where butts certainly haven't downsized in a long time. That's what I call deceptive product engineering. And further it's what I call a pain in the a$$. (rim shot)

So now I'm the proud owner of a 12-pack of toilet paper that no longer suits my needs. I always considered Cottonelle Ultra to be the Lexis of toilet paper. So when that Lexis becomes a Ford, where do you go?

If anyone out there knows of a super soft toilet paper that's still 4.5x4.5", send me some! (Or at least let me know what it is.)

I guess it's a good thing Wal-Mart recently upsized their Equate Flushable Wipes from 50 count to 60 count... with no increase in price mind you. I'll certainly be using more wipes now that the toilet paper just doesn't cut it.