Why You Shouldn’t Be Flushing Paper Towels Down the Toilet

Why You Shouldn’t Be Flushing Paper Towels Down the Toilet

A blocked toilet can be incredibly frustrating for homeowners. Aside from finding another bathroom to relieve yourself, you’ll have to address issues such as slow flushing, unusual gurgling sounds, and a foul odour. However, you must recognise that toilets become jammed most of the time due to poor practices and habits.

A Toilet Clog Culprit You May Not Have Considered: Paper Towels

Most people know that big wads of toilet tissue are blockage hazards, but there are plenty of other foreign objects that could damage your toilet. Paper towels, unlike toilet paper, are not designed to dissolve quickly in water. A single sheet is significantly thicker and bonded to be stronger. They are designed to absorb kitchen spills, oils, and other liquified materials.

Believing that paper towels will dissolve because they’re composed of paper is flat-out false. They are not soluble in the toilet, and they tend to remain in your pipes, which sometimes creates problems. That, in turn, could cause a bathroom to become blocked.

What about tissues? While toilet tissue should ideally be disposed of in waste bins, they are significantly less durable than paper towels. While they will break down into smaller pieces, they are not specially engineered to dissolve in water. When you flush, they’ll go down the pipe but will likely remain in some form, lingering in your plumbing system and potentially contributing to a future block.

What Can I Do to Unblock My Toilet? 

It is always a bad idea to flush paper towels, tissues, and wet wipes. You might get away with it for some time if you have a sound plumbing system, but narrow, aging pipes will not stay free of waste buildup and obstructions for too long. If your household has been disposing of these materials in the toilet, you may need to free your toilet of a paper towel or tissue-related obstruction.

It’s important to note that serious blocks will often require the services of residential plumbers. If you encounter a significant obstruction, here are your options:

  • Find Ways to Dissolve the Blocked Paper

There are many DIY solutions to clearing a pipe of a foreign object. To dissolve and remove paper towels, try pouring a pot of steaming water down the toilet. However, you must exercise caution. Heat can exacerbate the scenario by causing plumbing issues. 

Another option involves some items you probably already have in your cleaning or kitchen cupboard: baking soda and vinegar. These two are a softer alternative to toilet cleaners that include harsh and powerful chemicals. Often, many people use these chemicals to clean their toilets.

Many blocks can also be resolved with the help of an old-fashioned toilet plunger. Aside from clearing the obstruction, it will bring it up the other way and keep it from going further down your pipes. While it can be rather messy and unpleasant, it can also be a good solution for minor to moderate blocks.

  • Require Assistance From Professionals

Unfortunately, many blockages occur far deeper down your pipes, in places that you cannot reach on your own. There are occasions when you get lucky, and the obstruction is close to the toilet, making it simple to cleanout. 

Nevertheless, there are times when the damage is so severe that you must dig up one of your lines and physically remove the block. While you can do this on your own, it is preferable to hire a reputable plumbing team. Deep blockages in your pipes necessitate the use of specialised cleaning techniques and equipment, which professionals frequently list as part of their skills. Remember that there is no shame in seeking professional assistance when things become rough with your blocked toilet.

Final Thoughts

Many people are aware that hair and soggy wipes can cause blockages. However, many homeowners are oblivious that paper towels are also on the “never flush” list. While you may always try to get assistance if you are in this circumstance, it would be better to avoid it from happening in the first place. Also, if you think the problem is too complex for you to handle, seek professional assistance before making it worse. 

Don’t let blocked toilets stress you all the way! Check us at Sunny Coast Plumbing and Gas and trust the best professionals in plumbing inspection on Sunshine Coast!

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