It's been one of the most enduring images from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States - people flocking to their local grocery stores to stock up on toilet paper so they can be prepared for a possible quarantine down the road.

But the temptation to stockpile toilet tissue has led most of us to ask ourselves something we've never really had to think about before: exactly how much toilet paper do we need?

There's now a handy 'TP Calculator' to give us the answer. considers a number of factors to reach its conclusions:

  • Number of rolls you currently have at home
  • Number of bathroom visits per day
  • Wipes per bathroom visit
  • Sheets used per wipe
  • Number of sheets on toilet paper roll
  • Number of people in the household
  • Potential days of quarantine

Once you honestly answer all of those questions, the website will tell you exactly how many days worth of TP you have and how that compares with what you might need for an extended stay indoors.

Here's an example:

  • Family of four
  • Ten rolls currently on hand
  • Three bathroom visits per person, per day
  • Three wipes per visit with three sheets of paper per wipe on a roll of 160 sheets

That translates to 15 days worth of toilet paper - just enough to get you through a potential 14-day quarantine.

If you have more than that, it's time to give other people a chance to build up their supply.

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