It feels as though this debate has been raging as long as the toilet roll has existed. Having your toilet roll facing out or in has sparked many arguments and even been discussed on popular TV programs such as Oprah.

Well, regardless of all the debates, there actually is a definitive answer!

According to the patent created by the toilet paper inventor Seth Weeler, the end of the roll should be hanging off the exterior i.e. it should be placed in the 'over' position not under. The 1891 patent for the toilet paper roll shows this quite clearly:

However, let’s not just take Seth’s word for it. Science agrees! According to scientists, over is the way to go because under can greatly increase the chance that harmful bacteria could spread from a bathroom/toilet to other areas of your property.

How does this happen? If you hang the toilet paper over, your hands are more likely to only touch the toilet paper that you intend to use. If you hang the toilet paper under then there is an increased chance that your hands may touch the wall too. It is here that deposits may be transferred. This means that every person using your bathroom is at risk of leaving or picking up deposits.

An American Doctor named Gilda Carle even devised a Toilet Paper personality test where she randomly sampled 2000 men aged between 18 and 75. One of the questions in this test was whether you were an over or an under.

She found that people that roll over are more dominant that those that rolled under. It has also been determined one in five people in the US would change the toilet paper if they thought it was the wrong way.

Oprah even polled her audience on one of her shows back in the eighties. She asked whether they preferred it if the toilet roll holder had the paper facing over or under. Whilst the debate was raging, Oprah stated the following "Let me say that I, Oprah Winfrey, am an over girl myself". She explained further "I prefer it over, because it tears so readily." This was met with cheers from all those over supporters (68%) and boos from the under supporters (32%).

You can watch it for yourself below:

Here at UK Bathroom Store, we are not ones to judge and therefore fully support both camps (although based on a quick straw poll, we are over supporters too). We are on hand to supply a wide range of bathroom accessories including toilet roll holders in all shapes and styles.