Hotel toilet paper folding is a common practice performed by hotels worldwide as a way of assuring guests that the bathroom has been cleaned. Elaborate folding is sometimes used, to impress or delight guests with the management’s creativity and attention to detail.
The common fold normally involves creating a triangle or “V” shape out of the first sheet or square on a toilet paper roll. Commonly, the two corners of the final sheet are tucked behind the paper symmetrically, forming a point at the end of the roll. More elaborate folding results in shapes like fans, sailboats, and even flowers.
Toilet paper folding (also known as “toilet paper origami” or “toilegami“) has attracted the attention of observers within the hotel industry and beyond it, involving both sober discussion of the practice as a marketing move as well as wry commentary with various degrees of seriousness. The practice has been considered an emblematic example of a meme copied across the world from a hotel to another until the point that most of them now do it.
The practice is meant to assure customers that their hotel room has been cleaned. Hotels want to give their guests the confidence that the bathroom has been cleaned since the last guest has used the room. To accomplish this, the maid will fold over the last piece of toilet paper to assure that no one has used the toilet paper since the room was cleaned. It is subtle but effective.
An automated toilet paper folding machine called Meruboa was invented in Japan. With the push of a lever the device folds the first sheet of toilet paper into a triangle.
Elaborate wedding dresses have been made from folded toilet paper (also using glue).
If you are interested by toilegami and would like to do it yourself visit Toilet Paper Origami for instructions.