Toilet paper is one of those pesky household items that we all need, but it can be surprisingly difficult to dispose of properly. We’ve put together this post to answer the question on everyone’s lips: can toilet paper be flushed?
The short answer is yes -kind of. Toilet paper should ideally go in the bin, but it can make its way into your drains too. However, it comes with a few caveats.
What happens when you flush toilet paper?
Toilet paper dissolves surprisingly quickly in water, but it does take its time. You should expect your toilet paper to hang around in the pipes for anywhere between two and six weeks before completely breaking down. If you are experiencing a blocked drain, this will cause problems.
Blockages caused by toilet paper can be incredibly difficult to remove and they may require an experienced professional plumber’s help to remedy the problem. You may need to have a drain unblocked or repair the pipes through which your toilet paper flows to resolve the problem.
Is it better to flush toilet paper or throw it away?
Flushing the toilet paper is better than throwing it in the bin, because then it will be removed, but there are potential problems with using toilet paper as a flushing agent.
Firstly, toilet paper breaks down over time, and the pieces can clog up toilets and sewers alike. Secondly, it can get stuck in the pipes, causing blockages and unpleasant odors. Finally, septic tanks are often filled with toilet paper that has been left for some time to decompose.
It’s best to dispose of toilet paper in the bin.
Does it matter if I flush it?
If you’re asking yourself this question, then yes — it really matters. There are rules regarding what goes in and out of the sewers, so to ensure that your waste is disposed of properly we recommend composting toilet paper or getting biodegradable toilet rolls.
What countries can you not flush toilet paper?
There are certain countries that will advise against flushing toilet paper and will even have it in the household plumbing code. Examples of these countries are Turkey, Beijing, Montenegro, Bulgaria, and Macedonia.
How do you dispose of toilet paper?
There are a few ways in which you can dispose of your toilet paper: composting, recycling, or even flushing — if you have a septic tank. Below, we’ve gone into more detail to explain each option:
Composting Toilet Paper
Composting toilet paper is one of the best ways to dispose of it. This is because it will decompose naturally and break down completely without leaving any hidden chemicals, and it’s an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your waste.
Recycling Toilet Paper
Recycling toilet paper is better than flushing it, but it’s not as environmentally friendly as composting or throwing it in the bin. Recycling toilet paper is still a good way of disposing of your waste and can save you money too, but only on a small scale.
Throwing Toilet Paper in the Bin
Throwing your toilet paper in the bin is a good way to dispose of it, but there are some drawbacks. You’ll need to make sure that you dispose of the toilet paper correctly and wrap it up before you put it in your bin so that other waste doesn’t become contaminated. Also, throwing your toilet paper in the bin may mean that it goes straight to the landfill, which is, obviously, not ideal.
Flushing your toilet paper is an okay thing to do. It’s not a great thing, but it’s okay. It will break down and eventually decompose, so it won’t cause problems. However, there are problems that can arise, so I recommend avoiding flushing your toilet paper if possible.
Where does toilet paper go when you flush?
Toilet paper goes down the drain, and in most instances, it will end up in sewage treatment works. If your sewage treatment works aren’t working properly, then there is a chance that whatever you flush down the toilet will make its way back out into your home — or even into a local river or stream.
Things you shouldn’t flush
It’s important to avoid putting anything in your toilet that shouldn’t go there — this includes items like batteries, hairspray, and toothpaste. Remember to think about the environment and your home too — things like Baby Wipes, condoms or sanitary products are better composted. Flushing common items like these can cause problems for the sewage works, so it’s best to avoid doing it if possible.
Arthur C. Jackson is the resident handyman and toilet expert for BestToiletGuides.com. Drawing from his experience, he tends to focus on how he can help the consumer.