Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Think you have to spend a lot for quality toilet paper? Think again.
Research done by Consumer Reports in its May 2012 issue says the best toilet paper in America is a Walmart private label — White Cloud 3-ply Ultra Soft and Thick. At 25 cents per 100 sheets, White Cloud got a high score of 91 based on softness, strength, disintegration and tearing ease.
In second place, Quilted Northern Ultra Plush got a score of 81 and costs 38 cents per 100 sheets. Third place was claimed by Great Value Ultra Strong — another Walmart brand — with a score of 77 and a price of 27 cents.
My beloved Costco brand, Kirkland Signature, checked in with a score of 69 at 12 cents, just about the cheapest brand sampled.
The three absolutely cheapest options — Scott 1000, Walgreens Big Roll and CVS Earth Essentials — cost 8 cents per 100 sheets. But all scored below 40 on the Consumer Reports tally. Ouch!
Meanwhile, I have a special word of warning for seniors. Last year, con artists in Florida stole $1 million from the elderly by convincing them they needed specially formulated toilet paper to comply with new government regulations.
The scammers were telling people with septic tanks that unless they bought the product they were selling, they would ruin their tanks and have to spend big bucks to fix them later.
First, let me say that some types of toilet paper are marked “not safe for septic systems,” that much is true. But most major brands now are in fact safe.
Several of the cons charged with running this scheme admitted guilt earlier this year and will spend two years on supervised release as part of a plea deal. So they just narrowly avoided using prison-issue toilet paper!
-by Clark Howard, Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs
Find more answers to your consumer questions at ClarkHoward.com. Listen to his radio show live 1-3 p.m. Monday through Friday on WSB 750 AM and 95.5 FM.