Can you flush paper towels? No, it is not recommended to flush paper towels down the toilet. Paper towels are not created to break down and dissolve easily in water like toilet paper; flushing them can cause blockages and damage your plumbing system.
It’s best to dispose of used paper towels in the trash or compost them if they are made of 100% natural materials. The article discusses the best way to dispose of paper towels and other things you should avoid flushing.
Why Flushing Paper Towels Isn’t Safe
Flushing paper towels down the toilet may seem like a quick and easy way to dispose of them, but it’s unsafe. Unlike toilet paper, paper towels are not designed to dissolve quickly in water, which can lead to various plumbing problems.
When paper towels are flushed down the toilet, they can clog pipes and cause backups in your plumbing system. The issue ends in costly repairs and can even damage your septic system.
If a clog is severe enough, it can also cause sewage to back into your home, which can be a health hazard. In addition to causing plumbing problems, flushing paper towels can harm the environment.
What Happens After Flushing Paper Towels?
When you flush paper towels in the toilet, they do not dissolve as quickly as toilet paper. Instead, they can cause problems in your plumbing and municipal sewage systems.
Paper towels are designed to be more durable and absorbent than toilet paper, so they do not break down easily when exposed to water.
It means that when flushed down the toilet, they can get caught on pipes or other debris in the plumbing system, leading to blockages and backups. Over time, these blockages can cause serious damage to your plumbing system.
What to Do With Used Paper Towels?
Accustomed paper towels should be disposed of in the trash or composted if they are made of 100% natural materials. Here is the list of alternatives you can do rather than flushing the paper towel.
Throw Them Away
Used paper towels should be disposed of in the trash or composted if they are made of 100% natural materials. It’s important to avoid flushing paper towels down the toilet. The best way to clean out the paper towel is to throw them in the trash can.
Install a dustbin in your washroom, and always dispose of the used paper towels hand by hand.
Use Them for Composting
Composting decomposes organic matter into nutrient-rich soil, such as food scraps and yard waste. Composting used paper towels is a great way to reduce waste and create nutrient-rich soil. Here are the steps to compost used paper towels:
- Collect used paper towels in a compost bin or pile and other organic materials such as food scraps and yard waste.
- Ensure the paper towels are 100% natural, without synthetic materials, coatings, or chemical residues.
- Tear the paper towels into smaller pieces to help them break down more quickly.
- Add a layer of dry organic materials, such as leaves or wood chips, to the paper towels to help balance the moisture level.
- Keep the compost pile or bin moist but not too wet, and turn it regularly to ensure that the materials break down evenly.
Once the compost is fully broken down and resembles dark, crumbly soil, it enriches the soil in gardens or other planting areas. Note that not all paper towels are compostable, and you should check the labeling on the product to ensure its composition.
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How to Unclog a Toilet With Paper Towel Clogs?
Yes, it is possible to unclog a toilet paper towel clog. You can use a plunger, hot water and dish soap, enzyme cleaner, or a plumbing snake. However, avoiding harsh chemicals or objects that could damage the plumbing system or toilet is important.
Use a Toilet Auger
To unclog the toilet using an auger, insert it into the bowl and turn the handle to feed the cable into the drain:
- Turn the handle back and forth to break up the clog, and remove the drill carefully from the bowl.
- Flush the toilet to ensure the clog is gone.
- Use caution and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging the plumbing system.
Push It Out With a Plunger
Place the plunger over the drain, pump vigorously to create suction until the clog is dislodged, add water if the level is too low, and flush the toilet to ensure the clog is gone. Use a plunger with a flange and avoid using too much force to prevent damage.
Try Dish Soap
Dish soap can help unclog a toilet with paper towel debris. Squirt a few tablespoons of dish soap into the bowl, add hot water, and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a plunger to create suction and break up the clog. Flush the toilet to ensure the clog is gone. Consider using a plumbing snake or calling a professional plumber if the clog persists.
Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda remove the chalk paints and can help unclog a toilet with paper towel debris. Add one cup of baking soda into bowl and one cup of vinegar. Let the blend sit for about 10 minutes. It will fizz and break down the clog. Use a plunger to create suction and flush the toilet to ensure the clog is gone.
To flush or not to flush?
Generally, it’s best to avoid flushing things other than toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. Flushing other items can cause clogs in your plumbing system, damage your septic system, and harm the environment. Check what not to flush.
- Paper towels, napkins, and tissues – These items are designed to be more durable and absorbent than toilet paper, so they do not break down as easily in water and can cause blockages in your plumbing system.
- Feminine hygiene products – Tampons, pads, and other hygiene products should never be rinsed down the toilet. They can cause jams and blockages in your plumbing system and harm the environment.
- Baby wipes and cleaning wipes – Even wipes marked as “flushable” should not be flushed down the toilet. They can cause blockages and backups in your plumbing system and harm the environment.
- Dental floss and hair – These items can get tangled in pipes and cause blockages, so it’s best to dispose of them in the trash.
- Medications and chemicals – Flushing medications and chemicals can harm the environment and contaminate water sources.
How Long Does It Take for a Paper Towel to Dissolve in the Water?
Paper towels are designed to be more durable and absorbent than toilet paper, so they do not dissolve as easily in water. The exact time it takes for a paper towel to dissolve in water can vary depending on several elements, such as the kind of paper towel, the amount of water it is exposed to, and the water temperature.
Generally, a paper towel can take several minutes or even hours to break down in the water. However, the paper towel can take much longer to dissolve and disperse in the water.
It’s important to note that paper towels are not designed to be flushed down the toilet, even if they eventually dissolve in water. Flushing paper towels can cause blockages in your plumbing system and harm the environment.
Instead, used paper towels should be disposed of in the trash or composted if they are made of 100% natural materials.
What Will Dissolve Paper Towels in the Toilet?
While paper towels are designed to be durable and absorbent, they are not meant to be flushed down the toilet. Flushing paper towels can cause blockages in your plumbing system and potentially damage your septic system.
It’s important to dispose of paper towels in the trash or compost them if they are made of 100% natural materials. While some people may try to dissolve paper towels in the toilet using various products or chemicals, it is a very bad step.
Using chemicals to dissolve paper towels can cause damage to your plumbing system or harm the environment. If you are experiencing a clog or blockage in your toilet or plumbing system, call a professional to analyze and fix the issue properly.
Sometimes, a plumber may need specialized tools to remove the blockage or repair damaged pipes. In summary, one should not flush paper towels but dispose of them in the trash or compost if possible.
Using chemicals or other products to dissolve paper towels in the bathroom is not recommended. If you experience a clog or blockage in your plumbing system, it’s best to call a professional plumber to address the issue adequately.
Will paper towels dissolve in the toilet?
Paper towels will not dissolve in the toilet. When exposed to liquid, they reach their full potential, especially in the sewer system. The expended paper towel will clog your sewerage pipelines, causing severe damage.
Can I flush paper towels down a septic tank?
Flushing paper towels down to the septic tank causes them to stick and create a fatberg. It hinders the system’s smooth working and generates damage.
What happens if you flush a paper towel?
You can not flush out the household kitchen paper towel. It did the same damage as wipes, napkins, and tissues.
You should not flush paper towels down the toilet. They didn’t dissolve in water appropriately and formed clogging in sewage pipes. In this article, we have told you possible ways to discharge paper towels other than flushing them.
You can use plungers and other tools to unclog the pipeline, but if the problem goes serious. Don’t be shy to call a plumber. Because clogging might be an intense issue if not given proper attention.