Not All Paper Products Can Go Down The Toilet


While you may think that it's okay to occasionally flush any paper product down the toilet, it's not a great idea. One website says that the main cause of clogged toilets is toilet paper—so just imagine if you have too much of the wrong paper product. Here are a few products that shouldn't go down the drain:

1. Paper Towels

Because paper towels are meant to be used for cleaning up debris or spills, these towels are great at absorption. If you try to flush a paper towel, then just know that it will do a great job at absorbing water rather than being broken down by it.

2. Q-tips

You may think that since q-tips are small, they can go down the drain with no problem. However, q-tips that are flushed often get lodged sideways in the toilet bowl trap. When this happens, anything else that's flushed—even toilet paper—can get caught on the q-tip and start backing up. To remove a q-tip, you'll need to have a plumber come in with a closet auger to remove the clog.

3. Toilet Paper infused with Lotion

This one may surprise you—it's toilet paper after all. However, brands that have been infused with lotion have the same problem as the dyed toilet paper from the 60s and 70s: they don't break down.

Not only do these brands of toilet paper have a thicker ply, but the base paper has been bonded with a resin that resists water. If this resin wasn't on the toilet paper, then the lotion would just turn the paper to mush. So while these brands may feel nice to the touch, they do have a difficult time breaking down, and they can cause clogs easily.

4. Feminine Hygiene Products

There are many feminine hygiene products on the market that are advertised as "flushable" and "biodegradable." That doesn't mean they won't clog your system. According to, more than 300 billion dollars in the early 2000s was spent on public wastewater treatment. Much of this work comes from feminine hygiene products needing to be removed from wastewater and transported to landfills.

5. Tissue

Like paper towels, tissue has been designed to hold together when it comes in contact with moisture. A tissue is meant to absorb moisture from runny noses without breaking down, so it will have a hard time breaking down in the toilet. And like lotion-infused toilet paper, many tissue products are infused with lotion or oils to make them smell good and feel soft. Again, these ingredients hold the paper together and make it harder for the tissue to degrade.

As you can see, even though many of these paper products are small and claim to be biodegradable, they can cause a lot of damage to your toilet. If you have flushed one of these products and now have a backed-up toilet, contact a local plumber like Drain Doctors for help ASAP.


14 November 2017

Understanding Plumbing Components

Hello, my name is Yvonne Michaels. Welcome to my website about plumbing components. Plumbing systems of all kinds use interconnected components to bring fresh water in and waste water out of the building. By clearly understanding the plumbing components used in your commercial or residential building, you can ensure your systems remain in great operational condition for years to come. On this site, I will help you learn all about plumbing components for every system imaginable. I hope to inspire you to learn about these components and understand how they operate to keep your plumbing system in great shape. Thanks for coming by.