When you use a public bathroom or have to go while camping, it’s natural to wonder if what you are doing is safe. Of course, it all came down to whether or not paper towels can be flushed.
Not sure if your paper towels are flushable? Recently there have been many bloggers writing about this issue and what’s the best way to dispose of your paper towels so you don’t impact drainage systems.
You might be wondering – Can you flush paper towels down the toilet?
No, it is not recommended to flush paper towels down the toilet. But if you do it you might cause problems with clogs and backups. This is because they are made of very thin sheets of paper. The slivers can get caught in the pipes, or wrap around the flapper valve (the thing that opens and closes to allow water to enter the bowl).
The best way to dispose of paper towels is to toss them in the trash. If you must flush them, don’t use more than one or two at a time.
Is it possible to flush paper towels?
Yes, you can flush paper towels down the toilet, but only the non-plastic kind. The plastic-y coating on most paper towels won’t break down in the sewer system. If you have a septic tank, make sure they go all the way through and into the main tank; don’t just let them plug up the pipes on their way down.
How long do paper towels take to dissolve in water?
While paper towels are designed to be disposable and will not break down in your septic tank like regular tissue paper, they do disintegrate in water. This is because the fiber used to make them is a lot stronger than regular tissue. The glue that binds it together is a lot more resistant and does not dissolve in water.
Toilet paper is a different story; it’s designed to break down and dissolve in water so it won’t cause any clogs. However, if you’re cleaning a particularly dirty bathroom or have just used a lot of toilet paper, it’s best to wait until you have a full load before flushing so you don’t risk clogging the pipes.
What do paper towels make of?
Paper towels are made from a mixture of wood pulp, chemicals, and additives. They’re designed to absorb liquids (which is why they make such great cleaning tools) and they have a very low “wicking” rate meaning liquids won’t move from one end of the towel to another very quickly at all.
The overly absorbent nature of paper towels means if you flush them down the toilet you risk causing a major blockage that could lead to expensive repair bills for your local council. There’s also evidence to suggest flushing them can cause environmental damage by breaking them down into harmful chemicals that pollute the water systems we rely on for drinking water.
Difference between Toilet paper and Paper Towels
Toilet paper is very different than these other paper products (facial tissues, paper towels, etc.). A major difference between toilet paper and the others is that toilet paper is made out of a long strand of soft cellulose fibers, while tissues, paper towels, and facial tissues are made with a pulp base and contain materials that will clog your pipes and cause them to get backed up. In most cases, if you use the wrong thing in your drains, you’re going to be stuck with lots of problems.
It is not a good idea to flush paper towels down the toilet. There are some issues and disadvantages that many people don’t think about when they decide to do this. It is always recommended to throw paper towels in a trash bin. The next time you have a paper towel spill, take them to your trash can or recyclable bin.