Why can’t you flush paper towels down the toilet?

The 2020 pandemic changed lots of things and showed us some unusual situations. Running out of toilet paper is one of them. I know it’s silly to hear, but true. In the middle of the COVID, many markets run out of toilet paper. For this reason, many people search for alternatives. Many people use paper towels instead of this. But is it a good idea? Let’s see the difference and consequences you face after using paper towels instead of toilet paper.

Dissolve Time:

Paper towels: 5-7 days
Tissue paper: 30 seconds
Sponge: 3-5 days
Baby wipes: 12-24 hours

What happens if you flush a paper towel into the toilet?

To find the result of throwing towels into the washroom, you must know about the toilet tissue and paper towel structure. As I said before, the paper towel is made with woven plant-based fiber. It’s not only come from the plant.

So, throwing a towel in the toilet won’t fall apart easily into the water. Instead, start to absorb the moisture, remain in one piece, and get bigger after some time. So, when you flush it, this quickly goes down to the drainage system, but when it gets all moisture, it sticks under the pipe and stops water from passing through it. A paper towel takes 8-10 days to dissolve in the toilet. So it may clog the toilet system.Does flushing paper towels down the toilet

On the other hand, toilet tissue is a product of either virgin wood fiber or recycled paper solution with water and chemicals. And this is thinner, and the soaking water quality is not admirable. But when it comes to water, the cellulose fiber shatters down and mixes with water very fast. So, when you flush the toilet, it quickly goes through the drainage pipe and reaches the toilet septic system. This toilet paper is way cheaper than a paper towel.

So, the end of the discussion is that using a kitchen towel instead of toilet paper is not a good idea. This is a horrible idea because this towel can end up with a clogged toilet.

What are paper towels?

It would help if you had a roll of kitchen towels in the cooking station. These are also kitchen rolls, paper towels, or kitchen papers. This paper came from Britain. This is a solid roll of perforated sheets, but it also has stacked pre-cut and pre-folded layers; paper towel dispensers are friendly. Paper towels are way more different than cloth towels; they are disposable and intended to be used at once. These towels are very good at soaking moisture because they are loosely woven. This material enables water to soak up between the fiber, and sometimes it works against gravity. 

When you work in the kitchen, you must know what the usage of these sheets is. It is used to dry your hands, wipe the window and other surfaces, dust or clean any spills, just like other conventional towels. These towels are also used in the toilet because it’s more hygienic than the shared cloth or other towels.

Kitchen towels are also a plant-based product made from ground-up plant material called cellulose. This is a mixer of wood, cotton, and other plants. The cellulose molecules are mainly sugar, but it’s not like a regular one. This sugar attracts the water the most. This is a great solution to clean any spills on the floor or kitchen station.

Difference between toilet paper and paper towels:

There are many differences between these two types of paper and towels. You know the paper towel is a wet, soaking woven plant-based fiber. It’s not easily mixed up with water and is a cotton-mixed product.

On the other hand, toilet tissue is different from this. It’s virgin wood fiber, sometimes a mixture of recycled paper pulp with water and chemical sulfates. This is easy to break down, starches that also bring wet strength, and the chemical make it white. The Virgin toilet paper is made using only softwood and hardwood trees. They are more expensive than the mixture.What is the difference between toilet paper and paper towels

And the main difference between these two is their working principle and texture. Toilet papers are thinner and not too absorbent as towels. On the other hand, paper towels are softer, sturdier, and more absorbent than toilet tissue. These towels can soak up more water, and you can easily manage the kitchen with them. 

Can you use kitchen towels instead of toilet paper?

The strict answer is no. You can use a paper towel on the toilet. But you can’t flush this into your washroom. If you do it, you may face many problems in the future. These towels are not a good alternative to toilet tissue.

I accidentally flushed a paper towel down the toilet. What to do now?

You won’t face the consequence immediately when you flush the towel in the toilet. But you see the issue after using the toilet for some time. So, when you notice your toilet starts clogging, you can quickly unclog it with the help of a plunger or other unclog equipment. If you don’t open up after that, you need help from a professional. Call the plumber to help you out of this mess. 

What is the other alternative to toilet paper?

 When you use a kitchen towel in the bathroom, you need a good suggestion for an alternative to toilet paper. I can suggest some of that, but all these are not flushable.

  1. Bidet
  2. Baby wipes
  3. Reusable cloth
  4. Sponges, etc

If you use a bidet, you don’t need to flush anything here. If you are popular with this, you must know the bidet works with water. And this is a safe option; you don’t need to throw anything in the dustbin instead of the toilet. So as an altar to toilet tissue, I suggest you go with a bidet seat. It’s easy to use, and there is no clogging after use.

End of the discussion

In the future, I think you got the answer that you can use a kitchen towel instead of toilet paper. But you can’t flush it. This is not a good alternative; towels are more expensive than toilet tissue. We discuss other options, and you can choose whatever you want. But don’t flush this on the toilet. Otherwise, it clogs your bathroom and cuts extra money from your utility charge.

Toilet Unclogging Tips: 

Hi, this is Robert Crossan, the owner of this website, has 17 years of experience in the installation, maintenance, and repair of toilets and plumbing systems. After completing the Level 2 Basic Plumbing course in 2005, I started working in both domestic and commercial buildings as a professional plumber. So I can figure out the core difference between different toilet models and brands. It also helped me monitor their work performance and setbacks.

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