The Issue With Flushing Paper Towels Other Non-Flushable Items Baby Wipes Cotton Balls, Makeup Sponges, and Q-Tips Menstrual Items Tissues Diapers Conclusion You are probably reliant on indoor plumbing, whatever you are. A vital component of sanitation and hygiene is your toilet.

However, there are occasions when you are forced to use tissues or paper towels in place of toilet paper. Can you flush them in this situation?

For added convenience, you might also be curious if paper towels can be flushed. Because of this, you won’t need to change the trash bag as frequently if they don’t take up much space in your bathroom trash.

Paper towels may appear to be flushable. They appear to be constructed of the same materials as toilet paper, after all.
But is this really the case?
In essence, no. Paper towels, baby wipes, and other goods shouldn’t be flushed.
But let’s examine the causes in more detail.

issue with flushing paper towels

Materials flushed down the toilet should be made of organic material. In the absence of that, they must be created to dissolve in water.
The materials ought to decompose in your pipes to make it simpler for them to go into your septic tank or sewer system.

Paper towels don’t degrade the same manner as toilet paper because they aren’t made to be flushed. Have you ever seen advertisements for paper towels with extra strength?

They are made to absorb fluids, but they are also made to withstand becoming wet without breaking. In actuality, they simply get bigger.
If you flush one or two paper towels at once, you might not experience any problems. However, you’re taking a chance.

The likelihood of the paper towel being stuck in the pipes increases as it absorbs more moisture. And by the time that occurs, it’ll probably have gotten too far down the pipe for you to readily fish it out.

For a while, a paper towel that is stuck might not be a problem. You might not notice any difference in your drainage or flushing ability.

However, the material will be more prone to catch debris, which could cause a serious clog. Paper towels will ultimately congeal and cause a clog if you keep flushing them, no matter what.

Non-biodegradable material clogs can create a major mess. It’s challenging to move them.
It’s possible for your toilet to back up and smell. You can get stuck with a big fee if you need to hire a plumber.

Additional non-flushable items When the necessity arises, individuals utilize a wide variety of materials in place of toilet paper. Other items might also appear appropriate to flush down the toilet.

As a general rule, only flush toilet paper and human waste into the toilet. But let’s go more detailed now.

Baby wipes are frequently used to assist in cleaning up spills in restrooms. On delicate body parts, they are mild and safe to use. However, you cannot flush them.

The package for these wipes frequently states that they are flushable. However, this is false.

Even flushable wipes don’t decompose as easily as toilet paper does, which means they might clog pipes. One at a time flushing normally doesn’t cause problems, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Simply said, baby wipes cannot decompose like toilet paper does. Therefore, you ought to discard them in your garbage bin.

Cotton Balls, Makeup Sponges, and Q-Tips

The number of people who attempt to flush cotton cosmetic items down the toilet may surprise you. It does, however, make some sense.

After all, eliminating them is practical. If you apply cosmetics every day, cotton swabs and balls can accumulate in the garbage, necessitating more regular trash removal.

However, many items, like paper towels, aren’t made to decompose in water. It’s critical to properly dispose of them.

Cotton has a propensity to bunch up. This implies that if any of these parts become lodged in the plumbing, they may entrap additional cotton and clump together.

That might potentially cause serious clogging and harm to your piping.

Menstrual Items


There are good reasons why women can dispose of tampons, menstruation pads, and other menstrual products in public restroom trash cans. It’s difficult to find a location to discard these outside of the bathroom.

However, you must never flush them.
These are some of the worst things you can flush, in actuality. They frequently contain non-degradable cotton and plastic components.
Additionally, they are made to expand when they absorb water. Consequently, they risk bloating inside your pipes and causing significant obstructions.


Many individuals are surprised to learn that tissues cannot be flushed. We frequently don’t give these alternatives to toilet paper much thought because we use them so frequently.

However, you shouldn’t dump most tissues down the toilet.

It is true that cotton or paper towels are less prone to degrade in water than tissues are. They don’t, however, decompose as quickly as toilet paper.

As a result, your chances of experiencing a clog are increased, especially if you flush a lot of tissues at once. In rare instances, the obstruction may clear out over night.

However, in some cases you’ll need to hire a plumber.
If you must substitute tissues for toilet paper, make sure you throw them out in the trash rather than the toilet.


You might assume that not flushing diapers is common sense. However, there are times when parents clean up after their kids without being fully awake.
Diapers, like menstruation products, are made to absorb liquid. They can also enlarge substantially beyond their typical size.
They are often much too large to fit through the pipes even before absorbing any liquid. Additionally, they won’t degrade like toilet paper.

These shouldn’t be flushed. If this happens, your greatest chance is that the diaper gets stuck quite close to the pipe, making it easy to fish out.

CONCLUSION It can seem like a quick and easy fix to flush paper towels. After all, it disposes of the materials, reducing the amount of waste you need to take from the residence.

You might not want them in your bathroom trash can if you’re using paper towels in place of toilet paper.
However, do not flush them. They were not intended to decompose in your wastewater pipes.

In fact, they are designed to hold up well even after being submerged in water. Because of this, you may use them to clean up kitchen spills without having to deal with grit.

Basically, only toilet paper and organic waste should be flushed. To allow for easier movement in the pipes, materials must break down there.
Anything that doesn’t decompose may become trapped inside the pipe, causing further obstruction.

You should probably call a plumber if you didn’t know you shouldn’t flush paper towels and now you have a clog. They’ll be able to find the obstruction and gauge its severity.

Then it can be taken out.





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