Can You Flush Paper Towels? Everything You Need To Know!

9 min read

Although putting paper towels down the toilet may seem simple, doing so might lead to major plumbing issues. It may cause issues in the sewer system that runs from your home to the water treatment facility. Blockages caused by flushing the wrong items down the toilet can also take time to repair. To put it simply, you cannot flush paper towels down the toilet. I’ll explain why you can’t flush paper towels and other items you shouldn’t flush down the toilet in the light of finding a solution to the problem of how to properly dispose of paper towels.

Can You Flush Paper Towels

To avoid damaging your drains, water pipes, and drainage system’s motors and filters, never flush paper down the toilet. Towels, such as toilet paper, are not designed to decompose rapidly. Clogging and other costly problems with the home plumbing can result from flushing them.

Can You Flush Paper Towels

Alternatively, one may inquire if paper towels can be flushed down the toilet. Although other paper towels are made of plastic that will degrade, this paper is made of high-quality wood pulp, ensuring its durability. Because they are porous and effective, paper towels become stuck in pipes because they don’t dissolve quickly.

What Happens If You Flush Paper Towels?

Contrary to popular belief, paper towels do not disintegrate when submerged in water. They will, of course, soak up water, but they will remain intact and only grow in size.

The first time you flush them, they’ll be flushed down the drain. As the surface area grows, however, they’ll get stuck.

For a while, this may go unnoticed, and a paper towel may even be flushed to the bottom. You’ll eventually have a clog in your toilet if you flush paper towels.

In addition, a bad blockage can cause a terrible mess, a horrible stench, and a costly plumbing expense.

What to Do If You Flush Paper Towels?

If you flushed paper towels because you didn’t know if you could or not, don’t feel bad. In the event that something goes wrong, there are several simple measures you can take to get things back to normal. The following are some of the most common methods for clearing a toilet clogged with paper towels.

  • A Plunger Is All That’s Needed.

Plunging the toilet should always be the first line of defense when dealing with a clogged toilet. Using the plunger, you create pressure by pushing and pulling air through the pipe. Most of the obstructions can be cleared just by doing this.

  • Use an Auger to make your job easier.

A plunger isn’t always enough. If the obstruction persists, you may need to resort to more powerful equipment. Using a plumbing auger could be the solution if this occurs.

Pushing an auger down the toilet is as simple as inserting the auger’s one end. The other hand should be used to turn the other end. By applying physical pressure, any clinging materials can be dislodged.

Unlike the plunger, the plumbing auger is not a common household appliance. But it can be quite beneficial. The plunger is a lot cheaper, but this is a much better investment.

This is especially important if your home is prone to blockages.

  • Drain cleaning kits may be purchased at most hardware stores.

It can be used to unclog a variety of clogs, including one caused by paper towels getting stuck in the toilet.

Things you should never flush down the toilet - Water

Call a Plumber

When all else fails, your only choice is to call a licensed plumber. Even the worst clogs are no match for a skilled plumber, who comes equipped with all the required equipment.

Consider the possibility that the entire toilet bowl will have to be replaced! Paper towel blockages can be incredibly difficult to remove.

If your home is equipped with a septic system, hiring a plumber may prove to be too expensive. There are several reasons why you should avoid flushing paper towels, including this one.

However, if the answer to “Can you flush paper towels” is “No,” how do you dispose of them?

Paper towels should not be flushed into the toilet. That’s something we’ve nailed down. They have a wide range of possibilities at their disposal.

Obviously, the first and most straightforward solution is to dispose of them. Because paper towels can’t be reused, throwing them away is the only sensible option.

Composting is a superior alternative. Home recycling is rare because not everyone has a compost in their home.

Paper towels are a brown material because they contain a lot of carbon. Because of this, they can be put to use in your yard and garden.

If you’re going to recycle a paper towel, keep in mind that it may not be worth it. In the case of a chemical spill, composting would be counterproductive.

Also, before doing so, make sure your paper towels don’t contain any harmful chemicals or ingredients. In order to be recyclable, some paper towels contain a unique coating.

Make sure your paper towels are free of any dangerous chemicals or components before you begin. Paper towels with a specific coating that prevents them from being recycled are available.

What to Do if Your Toilet Is Clogged with Paper Towels

In the event that you have previously flushed paper towels down the toilet, you may be confronted with a clog. There are a few things to do if that happens.

1 – Use a Plunger

Using a plunger to clear a toilet clogged with paper towels is the first step. The air in your pipe is pushed and pulled by a plunger. This usually does the trick for clearing minor obstructions.

2 – Use an Auger

Using a plumbing auger if a plunger doesn’t work is the best option (or snake). The other end of a plumbing auger is turned by hand after being inserted into the toilet. Movement in your pipes might help dislodge any obstructions in their path.

Your local hardware shop carries plumbing snakes. If you have a lot of clogs in your house, it’ll pay for itself over time.

3 – Call a Professional

Otherwise, you’ll have to hire a professional plumber to get your pipes fixed. They are equipped to handle even the most severe obstructions. Depending on the severity of the clog, your toilet may be temporarily removed.

Make sure you have enough money saved to cover the cost of any necessary repairs if you’ve made it to this point.

How to Dispose of Paper Towels

What are our alternatives for disposing of paper towels now that we know they can’t go down the toilet? Unfortunately, your choices are limited, but there are a few to think about.

Compost Them

Composting your old paper towels is a terrific way to divert them from landfills while also benefiting your garden in the process. A brown material is one that is high in carbon, such as paper towels.

It’s important to remember that composting paper towels isn’t always the best option. Paper towels shouldn’t be composted after they’ve cleaned up a chemical spill, for example.

As an added precaution, make sure you don’t store any paper towels that have a chemical coating or are produced from unbleached paper.

See my post on composting paper towels for more details.

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Throw Them Away

Although I’d rather not throw away something that may be reused, this is the best option for most individuals. The majority of us don’t compost at home, either because we lack the room or because we don’t have the motivation.

Throwing out your used paper towels is the best solution if you don’t compost at home.


Yes, paper towels can be flushed down the toilet. We really hope that we were able to answer your query. There have been times when toilet paper has found its way into the bathroom. Other than toilet paper, urine, and poo, nothing else should be flushed down the toilet. Please dispose of all other stuff in the trash can. Keep our environment safe by following through on your commitments and taking action when necessary.



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