I have been a faithful Charmin toilet paper user for years and generally make a habit of throwing some in my cart whenever I go grocery shopping. Charmin is well known for being a plush brand that comes in a number of different varieties. Though I just reviewed Charmin Plus this morning, I usually buy Charmin Ultra, which comes in a red package. Up until very recently, I was completely satisfied with Charmin Ultra and never had any reason to switch brands. Unfortunately, though, Charmin Ultra has made a rather interesting transformation that I don't find very appealing. First, there's the name. Charmin Ultra has split into two types: Charmin Ultra Strong and Charmin Ultra Soft. The familiar red package that I thought was plain old Charmin Ultra is now known as Charmin Ultra Strong. I went to Charmin's official Web site to see if Ultra Strong was yet another incarnation of the old style Ultra. Sadly, it appears that the old Ultra really has been replaced.
Recommend this product?
What is Charmin Ultra Strong?
Charmin Ultra Strong is marketed as unusually strong toilet paper that doesn't tear as easily as ordinary toilet paper does. From what I could gather, this makes users supposedly less likely to suffer from the dreaded toilet paper infused dingleberry.
Charmin Ultra Strong has a "diamond weave" texture that is supposed to be better at cleaning. I suspect the diamond weave is also what makes this product stronger than other, more run-of-the-mill brands of toilet paper. I also believe this product was designed as an answer to Charmin's competitor, Cottonelle, which has ripples. Charmin's Web site compares Ultra Strong to "the leading rippled brand".
My bale sized package of Charmin Ultra Strong came wrapped in plastic. Each white roll of toilet paper consists of 427 square feet and has 200 2-ply sheets per roll. Each square measures 4.27 inches by 4 inches.
Directions for use
Charmin Ultra Strong is safe for most septic and sewer systems. It is designed to disintegrate in water and can be safely flushed down toilets in countries that have developed plumbing systems. If you literally need instructions on how to use this product, feel free to see my review of Charmin Plus!
My experiences using this toilet paper
I was very surprised the first time I balled up a wad of Charmin Ultra Strong. I had been very used to the old style of Charmin Ultra, which was very soft, comfortable toilet paper that didn't irritate my skin. Texture wise, Charmin Ultra Strong still feels pretty soft to me. However, I can't help but be reminded of paper towels when I actually go to use this product. The paper seems a bit thicker than what I'm used to, even compared with other two ply products. Moreover, this two ply paper doesn't really seem like it's two ply at first. I tried separating the plies and found it rather difficult. Again, it seems more like a high end paper towel than toilet paper.
Charmin Ultra Strong is unscented and contains no dyes. Interestingly enough, when I feel Charmin Ultra Strong next to Charmin Plus, the two papers feel almost identical, even with Ultra Strong's diamond weave pattern. But Ultra Strong is harder to wad up because it's thicker.
Charmin Ultra Strong strength
There's no doubt that this is strong toilet paper. Charmin's advertising is definitely truthful in that regard. I think this toilet paper could easily handle messes created by any 300 pound truck driver or cheap beer swilling frat boy. And I'm stereotypically betting that those folks will be among this product's biggest fans. In fact, I'm almost tempted to try to scrub my stove top with some of this stuff.
Admittedly, I have used toilet papers that are much harsher than Charmin Ultra Strong could ever be. Consequently, I tend to be forgiving when it comes to my softness standards for American style toilet paper. However, I don't like the fact that this toilet paper reminds me of paper towels. Even though it's safe for septic systems, I still have a nagging worry that it will somehow clog up my toilet. My worries are probably irrational, but they still cross my mind.
The diamond weave may be useful for cleaning away residue after a visit to the toilet, but I find this paper harder to wad than thinner paper. For me, wadding is the best way to get clean, special weaves notwithstanding. Besides, even with the diamond weave, this product really does feel the same texture wise as Charmin Plus does. Charmin Plus doesn't make any special promises of being better at cleaning.
Should you buy Charmin Ultra Strong?
It depends. If you are the type of person that needs thick, strong toilet paper and you don't care as much about softness, Charmin Ultra Strong might be "charmin'" enough for your butt. Personally, I prefer paper that's a little thinner and easier to shape into a wad. I probably won't buy this product again, but your mileage may vary.
Please visit Charmin.com or call 1-800-777-1410.
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