The Best (& Worst) Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Plumbing

some toilet paper options cause major plumbing problems

Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus, more of us have found ourselves in need of toilet paper than ever before. What was once a product that was taken for granted, toilet paper has become one of the most sought-after commodities. This is still true today, despite the supply leveling out in stores.

 If you’re worried about the next toilet paper shortage, or just want to make sure you’re prepared in case you “gotta go” and have no toilet paper to use, keep reading. Today we’ve listed the best (and worst) toilet paper alternatives for your Pasadena plumbing.

Worst Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Plumbing

There’s a lot of debate as to whether popular toilet paper alternatives sold in stores are safe for plumbing systems in Pasadena, MD. However, it’s not likely many of them are good for your plumbing. This is especially true when you use them for a long time.

Let’s take a look at common toilet paper alternatives people like to use, but shouldn’t if they want to keep the plumber away.

1. Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are a popular choice among those with sensitive skin. This is because they do not cause any irritation or leave behind any lint. After all, they are used on baby bottoms! Even the wipes that are labeled for adults are similar to the ones used on babies.

That said, the 2019 Defining Flushability for Sewer Use Final Report claims that even wipes that are labeled as “flushable” do not break apart in sewer systems. This is because these products are made of woven cotton or synthetic fibers. In other words, they are considered cloth, not paper, and do not break down in Pasadena plumbing systems like toilet paper.

Lastly, The Guidelines for Assessing the Flushability of Disposable Nonwoven Products does not recommend anyone flush wipes for any reason.

2. Sanitary Pads

Sanitary pads or napkins are very soft and super absorbent, making them seem like the perfect toilet paper alternative. Not to mention, if you use a sanitary pad to take care of business, you likely won’t have to use very many of them.

But when it comes to using these, you should definitely think twice. Because they are so thick and absorbent, they just don’t break down. This can lead to clogs in the toilet and surrounding pipes and end up costing you a lot of money to fix.

3. Napkins and Tissue

Of all the toilet paper alternatives, napkins and tissue are probably the best options. Most napkins and tissues have the same thickness as toilet paper. In other words, they could possibly dissolve once flushed. However, you just never know. In fact, while toilet paper is meant to dissolve in water after being used, tissue is not. It is instead meant to withstand you blowing your nose into it without dissolving right away.

Another reason tissue is not recommended as a toilet paper alternative is that it often has menthol or other minty fragrances in it to help with congestion. This can irritate your skin and cause a lot of irritation. If you’re really in need of something, and all you have on hand is a tissue, try your best to make sure it’s a fragrance-free type.

4. Paper Towels

One step up in terms of roughness is the paper towel. Sure, the word “paper” is in the name, making many think it’s okay to use it as a flushable toilet paper alternative. But the truth is, paper towels just don’t dissolve in water that quickly because of their built-in scrubbing ability. This means flushing paper towels down the toilet could lead to a major clog in the pipes and cause a major toilet backup.

5. Coffee Filters

One unusual suggestion as a viable toilet paper alternative is coffee filters. They seem harmless enough. After all, they are relatively thin and soft. However, the entire reason you use coffee filters is to come into contact with wetness and not dissolve or break down. So, unless you are brewing coffee over your toilet bowl, forget the idea that coffee filters can be used as a toilet paper alternative that can be flushed without worry.

Best Toilet Paper Alternatives for Your Pasadena Plumbing

Toilet paper is always going to be the best thing to use for your plumbing system. It tends to dissolve more quickly than any alternatives and does not cause problems in sewer systems.

While there are not many alternatives to using toilet paper, there are some tips and tricks you can use to test a possible alternative when you’re in a pinch:

  • Place four sheets of the toilet paper alternative in a plastic container with a lid
  • Fill the container a little over halfway with water
  • Shake the container for about 10 seconds and wait for the water to settle

If the toilet paper alternative begins to dissolve, it is safe to flush down your toilet.

Other toilet paper alternatives include:

1. Toilet Seat Covers

Another option to think about are toilet seat covers. Designed to be flushed down the toilet, these thin sheets of paper can serve as a toilet paper alternative in a pinch. That said, it’s important you make sure they are approved for use with septic and traditional tanks and that you don’t try to flush too many at once.

2. Bidet

Though not a flushable product, it’s good to know that a bidet is a handy plumbing fixture that can serve as the perfect alternative to toilet paper whether you’re short on supply or not.

Used primarily around the world for keeping clean after using the restroom, the bidet is still not super popular in the United States yet – though it should be. They spray a targeted stream of water in the exact right spot every time for a fresh and clean feeling. And the best part is, you never have to worry about handling any plumbing issues when you use one.

Final Thoughts

Are you in need of an emergency toilet fix in your Pasadena home? Then contact us today and see how we can help unclog your plumbing after using a toilet paper alternative that isn’t recommended.

At Chesapeake Plumbing, Inc., we have a team of licensed plumbers that care about our customers and are on hand to help you with all your plumbing needs. In fact, we offer free estimates for every plumbing project, from emergencies to bathroom renovations and everything in between.

So, if you’re looking for the most qualified and experienced plumber in Pasadena, MD, look no further and rest easy that whatever you need handled will be taken care of in a timely, affordable, and friendly way.