Toilet paper is a soft paper or other material used to clean themselves after going to the toilet. It usually consists of many white or colored tissue paper sheets glued together on one edge.
We can wonder if it can be flushed. Let’s take a look below.
There are a few different types of toilet paper. The most common is the tissue paper-like kind that is often white or off-white. There is also the thicker, more absorbent type that is often blue or green. This type is usually used in commercial settings such as restaurants and hotels. Finally, ultra-thick, industrial-strength toilet paper is often used in construction or other industrial settings.
Flush toilet paper didn’t become popular until around 1857 when two brothers, Benjamin and Henry David Bell, started manufacturing it on a larger scale. The Bell brothers’ product became very popular, and they eventually sold their company to E. Irvin & Sons, who continued to manufacture and market flush toilet paper under the brand name “Charmin.”
There is no right or wrong answer to the question if you should flush toilet paper – it depends on your personal preferences and the specific plumbing in your home. Some people choose to flush toilet paper because they believe it is the easiest way to dispose of it. Others choose not to flush toilet paper because they are afraid that it will cause clogs.
In most Western countries it is possible to flush toilet paper. It is important to buy the right toilet paper though. Let’s discuss what toilet paper can be flushed.
Does toilet paper and tissue paper dissolve?
Some toilet paper and tissue paper dissolve but it depends on the quality. You can test toilet paper by dipping it in water 3 times to check if the toilet paper dissolves. If it dissolves in water, you can generally flush it.
One thing to keep in mind is that flushing a lot of toilet paper can increase the risk of a clog. You shouldn’t use too much toilet paper and flush regularly. A lot of people want to save water by flushing less often but this can create clogs. Using cheap toilet paper is also not a great idea as this doesn’t dissolve that well.
The test that a lot of plumbers use is to dip toilet paper twice in water. If it dissolves, it is good toilet paper.
If you have a septic system (in a rural area), you should get special toilet paper. Normal toilet paper can clog up your septic tank. If you don’t have a septic system, flushing high-quality toilet paper shouldn’t be a problem
Don’t flush wet wipes as these can clog your plumbing system. Only water and toilet paper should go in the toilet. Don’t throw towels, dirt, or garbage in it as toilets are not made for this. These items also include baby wipes, disposable diapers, tissues, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products.
Another reason why you might not flush toilet paper is if the drains of your toilet are not wide enough. Sometimes the wrong size gets installed and this can lead to clogs as the toilet can’t push the water and paper away. Installing new drains is often the only solution. You can try to flush more water by adjusting your toilet and see if this works.
Generally speaking, you should flush the type of toilet paper designed for flushing. Most toilet paper are designed to be flushed, but it is always best to check the packaging. If you’re not sure whether or not the type of toilet paper you’re using is designed to be flushed, check the packaging or contact the manufacturer.
Some people recommend using recycled toilet paper because it requires fewer trees. However, some recycled toilet papers contain small pieces of plastic that can clog up your plumbing. So if you decide to use recycled toilet paper, be sure to check the packaging carefully to ensure that it’s safe to flush.
Alternatives to flushing toilet paper
There are many alternatives to flushing toilet paper down the toilet. One popular option is to use a waste bin next to the toilet to dispose of toilet paper. This is a convenient way to avoid clogging the toilet and helps keep your bathroom clean. You might have to explain how this works when you have guests over.
Another option is to compost your used toilet paper. To do this, you will need a compost bin and some soil. Add your soiled toilet paper to the compost bin and cover it with soil. The heat from the compost will break down the tissue, and you can use the soil in your garden or landscape plants.
A third option is to install a bidet. This sprays water over you to clean you. This can be very comfortable but is not used by a lot of people in the USA.
Can you flush toilet paper down the toilet when you travel?
In most Western countries it is possible to do this. However, there are countries such as Greece that don’t allow this as the drains are not wide enough. A bin is placed next to the toilet and you have to dispose of the toilet paper there.
Other places (such as Japan) use a bidet there instead of toilet paper. This is based on local traditions and culture.
Given that some countries don’t have the infrastructure to flush toilet paper, you should always do your research if you travel to a new country. There is often a sign next to the toilet if you can’t flush toilet paper.
There are many consequences that can occur when improper items are flushed down the toilet, including:
– Blockages in the sewer line or main drainage pipe. This can cause sewage to back up and overflow into your home or backyard. It can be quite expensive to fix these as the plumber has to use a drain snake or water pressure to get it removed. In some instances, they even have to dig up drains to fix them.
– Clogging of wastewater treatment facilities. This can lead to raw sewage being released into local waterways.
We have discussed how you can unclog a toilet here.
The environmental impact of flushing toilet paper
The environmental impact of flushing toilet paper is significant and causes many detrimental effects. For example, the manufacturing process of toilet paper consumes a large quantity of water and energy, leading to air and water pollution.
Likewise, clogging up the pipes by flushing paper towels down the toilet can also cause problems. People sometimes use harsh chemicals to get this removed (which you shouldn’t do!).
It has to be noted that in a lot of countries such as Mexico and Greece it is not allowed to flush toilet paper as the plumbing system hasn’t been designed for this. You can clog up the toilets if you flush toilet paper there as the drains are not wide enough to process the toilet paper. In these countries you have to place the toilet paper in a bin. This bin is often cleaned.
To conclude, we can state that you generally can flush toilet paper. Just buy toilet paper that breaks down well. You can test this by dipping it in water a few times and seeing if it breaks down. Cheap toilet paper can clog up your drains. If you have a septic system, you need to get special toilet paper. Don’t flush anything besides toilet paper. Wet wipes are terrible and can create a lot of clogs.