Toilet Paper and Your Plumbing | R. A. Styron | Plumbing Specialists

When flushing your toilet the type of toilet paper you are using is probably the farthest thing from your mind. Not all toilet paper is made equally and some may lead to clogs while other’s wouldn’t.

There are so many options when choosing toilet paper. Some people look for the toilet paper that appears to be the softest and most comfortable while others may opt of the least expensive option. Have you ever considered how dissolvable the toilet paper you choose is? Most likely, not.

Whatever brand you choose it should dissolve quickly to avoid backups. Toilet paper that does not dissolve quickly will build up in your drain lines and can lead to your toilet or even whole home backing up. This is even more true if you have older drain lines or toilets. Older toilets will provide less pressure to push the paper down the pipes allowing it to collect just adding to the clog making things that much worse.

Some people may think that one-ply toilet will be the most dissolvable but that is not always the case. Of course, the single ply toilet paper will be the thinnest but that does not always equal to better dissolve-ability. There are loads on online information and testing done to find the best toilet paper to buy. I have found this one (link) to be the best and most reliable as far as accurate unbiased information goes. You may be surprised to find that the inexpensive store brand tissue is often the best option in terms of preventing buildup and clogs.

If you are interested in doing your own testing, it’s quite simple, really. Place one square of toilet paper in a container of water. Allow it to set for 10-30 seconds and gently stir the water to see how well or quickly the paper breaks down. The quicker it breaks down the better for your plumbing.

Another thing to remember is this, even if a product says that something is “flushable” doesn’t mean that they quickly dissolve. Toilet paper is the only thing you can safely flush. If you use flushable wipes it is much safer to throw them out instead of flushing them down. Because of the thickness of flushable wipe they tend to take much longer to dissolve allowing them to easily get hung up and cause major problems.

There are several items that homeowners flush down the toilet without thinking about it until they are forced to wait for a plumber. These things should NEVER be flushed down the toilet:

  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Cotton balls
  • Tissue (like Kleenex)
  • Paper towels
  • Wrappers
  • Medications


If you notice your toilet draining slowly, bubbling, or not draining at all, do not try flushing it again. Doing so, will lead to water overflowing causing your bathroom to flood and certain water damage. If you are able to plunge the toilet successfully you may have dodged a bullet, but be sure to keep a close eye on it.  Some clogs can be easily cleared with specialized equipment but some clogs can be caused by breaks in the drain line.

If you are experiencing clogs often or are not able to plug your toilet successfully, give R. A. Styron a call. We have an experienced plumbing department with lots of tools at our disposal that can clear your drain line. We also have the capability to send a camera down your drain line to spot or find any breaks, tree roots, or spots of concern. Scheduling is easy and painless through our website or over the phone at 757-420-5488.


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