It’s hard to imagine a world without toilet paper; it’s estimated that the average American uses over 100 rolls of toilet paper every year. People use toilet tissue for personal hygiene, nose care, spills, makeup and a variety of other reasons. With its many uses, a roll of toilet paper typically lasts in an average household for about five days.
Toilet paper needs to be sanitary; if it’s not clean and hygienic, then it never makes its way to the consumer. Toilet paper is composed of relatively unrefined bleached pulp; this makes it soft, bulky and absorbent.
How is it made?
First, trees arrive at a mill. The trees are debarked; this process removes the bark off of a tree without removing much wood. The debarked trees are put through a wood chipper; they are cut up into pieces that are about one inch in length. These small pieces make it easy to pulp the wood later.
After the mill chops up about 50 tons of wood chips, they take them and mix them into a variety of cooking chemicals. The wood and chemicals are mixed in a huge pressure cooker called a digester; the digester contains 10,000 gallons of chemicals.
The chips are cooked in the chemicals for about three hours; during the cooking process, almost all the moisture from the wood chips evaporates. After the cooking is done, the wood chips weigh about 25 tons. The remaining 25 tons consists of fibrous cellulose, lignin and other substances. Out of these 25 tons, about 15 tons are usable pulp.
After the pulp is extracted, it goes through a washing cycle; this cycle makes the materials clean enough to sell to the public. When people shop for toilet tissues, they demand a soft and sanitary product. The first wash removes some lignin; it also removes all the cooking chemicals that were used to process the wood chips. See Redmart toilet tissues
After the materials are washed, they are sent to a bleaching plant; at the plant, the pulp goes through a multiphase process to remove color from the fiber.
Making The Paper
After the pulp is washed, it is mixed with water again; this process produces paper stock. The paper stock, which is mostly water, is sprayed between two moving mesh screens; this process allows most of the water to drain out of the stock. After going through the screens, the stock forms a matted fiber.
The matted fiber is transferred to a big heating cylinder; the cylinder dries and presses the paper. After the paper dries, it is creped; this makes it soft and airy. While the paper is being creped, it is scraped off the dryer with a metal blade. This scraping lowers the thickness of the paper so it breaks up later when it is flushed down the toilet.
After creping and scraping, toilet paper is wound on huge spools; these spools feed converting machines that unwind, cut and rewind the paper on long cardboard tubing rolls. The long rolls are cut up and wrapped in packages; they are the exact rolls that you or I would buy at a local market.