You may have heard that you shouldn’t flush toilet paper in the toilet, but you may be confused about 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 South Korea and 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!
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 into 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.
South Korea and Seoul have 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.
A bidet is often a water sprayer that hangs next to the toilet. Using a bidet can take some getting used to at first but is a great system.
You will be able to use it after a few tries without too many issues. Toilet paper is mainly used in the West but other cultures use other systems such as a bidet.
Bidets are mainly used in Asia and the Middle East. The water is often heated to make it more comfortable. In more rural areas you might have to use a bucket and apply the water yourself.
This is why you might see a warning sign above toilets in South Korea and Seoul as you are not allowed to flush toilet paper. In some places, there is a bin next to the toilet where you can dispose of toilet paper in.
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 South Korea and 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 South Korea and Seoul Restroom?
The short answer is “no”. Flushing toilet paper is not allowed in almost every restroom in South Korea and 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 slowly and cause a lot of problems. Especially if you have a septic system, you should be careful with this.
Do they use Toilet Paper in South Korea and Seoul?
No, they don’t use toilet paper in South Korea and Seoul. You might find it in some toilets but then you have to dispose of it in a bin. You generally will have to use a bidet. This sprays water over you and cleanses you.
This might be weird at first but you will get used to it.
When it comes to public restrooms, you should always follow the rules that are posted. In the restrooms in South Korea and Seoul, you shouldn’t flush toilet paper.
So, if you want to do the right thing, 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.
South Korea is known for kpop and a lot of famous movies. They also have great local dishes. It is a very modern society overall. In most instances, you won’t see hand sprayers but full-fledged bidets that are easy to use and have advanced programs. This makes it easy and fun to use. Some of them even allow you to set the temperature of the water to increase comfort! A lot of people decide to install a bidet at home after using one in South Korea. It can be quite easy and fun to use.
Korea has beautiful nature and it is a very modern society. You will be able to discover a lot of new items. Your friends and family will be curious to hear your stories once you come back from this unique location!
Enjoy your trip to this magnificent country!