You may have heard that you shouldn’t flush toilet paper in the toilet, but you may be confused why. After all, it’s just a big old bowl with water and some sort of magical flushing device on top. It can handle TP, right?
If you’re thinking about going to visit Seoul and wondering if you can flush toilet paper in the restrooms there or not, then this article is for you. Keep reading to find out!
If you are planning on going on a trip and heading to Seoul, then here are some things that will help you find out if it is okay to flush TP in the public restrooms there or not. Let’s dive in.
What Is the Big Deal with Flushing Toilet Paper?
Toilet paper is generally made of either paper or a combination of paper and cardboard. Toilet paper is specifically designed to wipe away solid waste and clean your delicate areas. Toilet paper dissolves in water and can often be flushed. This requires an advanced system of drains and wastewater processing facilities though.
These wastewater processing facilities make sure that the dirty water doesn’t get in the local rivers as this can cause a lot of problems. If these facilities have to process toilet paper as well, they have to be more advanced and this requires a big investment.
Not every country or city has this advanced system. This might be because the country is quite large or because they decided to invest the funds somewhere else. We have to keep in mind that Seoul is an island so they don’t have the advanced infrastructure that is needed to process toilet paper.
Seoul has another culture though. They use bidets instead of toilet paper. This is why you won’t see toilet paper in most restrooms. This is also the reason why their plumbing system is not able to process toilet paper: they don’t use it at all. Using a bidet can take some getting used to at first but is a great system.
This is why you might see a warning sign above toilets in Seoul as you are not allowed to flush toilet paper.
In some areas of the world, the width of the drains is not big enough and toilet paper would clog them. Wastewater would back up and make the toilet overflow. This can result in wastewater all over the house. Next to bad smells, it also results in a dirty house.
When those pieces of toilet paper break down, they create a very thick, sludgy substance that winds up jamming your household pipes and the local sewage systems. When these materials enter the sewer system, they cause major problems.
In some instances, it can be removed by flushing a lot but this is not always the case. A plumber will have to come out to clear the drains with a water jetter or an auger. This costs quite a lot of money. If there is a big clog, it might be needed to dig up the drain and open it up. This is a lot of work and can result in a big expense. This is why restaurants and hotels in Seoul are warning you that it isn’t allowed to flush toilet paper. You might get in trouble if they catch you doing it anyway.
Can You Flush Toilet Paper in Seoul Restroom?
The short answer is “no”. Flushing toilet paper is actually disallowed in pretty much every public restroom in Seoul. So, when you go to the restroom in a public place and see signs that say “no flushing toilet paper” or “no TP flush”, you should listen and don’t do it.
You might think that “no flush” just means that you can’t flush toilet paper, but you can’t flush anything down the toilet. That includes items such as sanitary napkins, wet wipes, paper towels, and so on. These items can’t be flushed in any country though as they don’t break down and can cause clogs.
Plumbers often get called out to remove clogs that have been caused by wet wipes. It can be indicated on the packaging that you can flush them but most plumbers advise against it. They dissolve too slow and cause a lot of problems. Especially if you have a septic system, you should be careful with this.
The Verdict – Should You Flush Toilet Paper in Seoul?
When it comes to public restrooms, you should always follow the rules that are posted. In the restrooms in Seoul, you shouldn’t flush toilet paper. Besides being environmentally harmful, it is also against the law. So, if you want to do the right thing and help clean up the city, you should always use the bidet next to the toilet. Furthermore, you should never flush sanitary napkins either. These items are intended to be thrown away, not flushed.
This might be weird at first but you will get used to it. Enjoy your trip to this magnificent city!