How can you destroy documents without destroying them?

How can I shred sensitive documents without a shredder?

I have some documents that contain sensitive information that, for obvious reasons, shouldn't be in the hands of others. How can I destroy these documents so that others cannot read them? I don't have access to a paper shredder, which is generally the recommended way to destroy them.


If you have a fireplace or something similar that may contain a small fire, burning the documents will make it very difficult to recover the information. Just make sure that the part that the information is in is burned and use a stick or something to disintegrate the ashes.

Mixer or food processor with water. Turn it into mush.

There aren't many substitutes for the standby methods of burning or crushing. The safest thing to do is to cross the shredding, then to burn them and eventually grind the ashes by grinding them to a fine powder or washing them down a drain.

A bath full of water and a sharp knife swirling around when it's nice and damp does a great job of destroying everything.

Add bleach or something caustic to make sure the ink is illegible.

If you don't mind manual labor, you can tear it off by hand.

Since hand-tearing it is not perfect, you can cut out the important part and spread it out in different places.

This avoids people finding the puzzle pieces!

If you're really bored, you can measure yourself against another person (whom you trust) to see who can tear the most papers at one time

Take the papers to your local copy shop and have them shredded for you. This is probably the easiest way to take care of them.

For example Fedex / Kinkos will shred documents for 99 cents per pound (around 100 sheets per pound depending on the paper size and thickness).

Fold the paper on itself several times and cut off the result with strong scissors (nibble off mm for mm), a box knife, bolt / wire cutters, sandpaper / grindstone ... as small as possible cutting for a little bit :) i mention wire cutters because good wire cutters also cut paper and will likely survive a pile of paper better than your average scissors :)

In such cases I tear or cut them into strips and lay the strips alternately with the old paper and with the compostables (fruit and vegetable scraps). If you want to recreate them, you have to sort large amounts of old paper and rummaging through disgusting compost.

Has anyone suggested just burying them? It would take a little effort to dig the hole, but the paper would biodegrade in no time. Alternatively, you can mix them up with garden waste, potato peels, and the like, and it all turns into compost. Use that in your garden and take care of your plants with these unwanted reports and correspondence.

This is how you completely destroy confidential paper documents - without shredding or burning them.

You need an old pair of pantyhose with no holes. One pair of tights is enough for two "treatments". Cut off one leg of the hose.

Place your documents in one leg of the panty tube and tie a knot.

Throw it in the washing machine. Run it through a wash cycle with a little washing-up liquid.


Discard the bundle of wet fiber residue without removing it from the bag.

I have not yet found any personal information that will survive this treatment.

Eating the doucment always works and you don't need a fuel source or nearby water source.

I thought of 2 solutions for this:

  1. Burn the document. Use a matchstick to light its edges (be careful) and let it burn slowly (NOT on fire). The fire is slowly eating its way through the document. Burn it until the essential part of the document is gone and erase it by blowing on it. For safety reasons, it is advisable to do this over a bathtub filled with water. Also, be careful not to burn your hand.

  2. Throw the document in the water. After a few minutes it is extremely soft and easy to tear. Just take it out of the water and tear it up into dozens or hundreds of small pieces of paper by hand.

Throw them in acid. If you don't have access to acid, toss it in water and let it sit for a while. Then throw away the remaining parts. Or, you can wait until they try and then use a knife to cut them into several pieces and then burn the pieces. That will be pretty safe.

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