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Proper Toilet Paper and Your Plumbing

Toilet paper in a bathroom

Feel free to impress your friends with this fun fact. Toilet paper was developed in the United States 150 years ago. The average American uses around 50 pounds of it a year.

Did you know that it’s important to have the right kind? Toilet paper is designed to be quickly degraded into fibers so it can flush down, without creating a backup. Your toilet might be a high-quality, high-powered toilet that can flush just about anything away. Still, there are some things you need to avoid flushing down the toilet. They would include:

  • Disposable diapers
  • Cotton balls/swabs
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Condoms
  • Bandages, bandage wraps, Band-Aids
  • Pet waste
  • Unused medication
  • Cleaning wipes (baby, disinfecting, etc.)
  • Poisons and hazardous waste
  • Dead animals

If you’re wondering if something fits the bill for what can be flushed down, you might try our handy test.

  1. Fill two bowls with water
  2. Place toilet paper in one, and then place the object in question in another.
  3. Swish both items in the water, then wait an hour.
  4. Swish again.
  5. After that first hour, the toilet paper should have disintegrated. Most likely, the other item is still fully intact.
  6. If the item is still intact, it needs to be thrown away—you could risk a blockage in your pipes.


  • Place a waste basket in the bathroom for items that cannot be flushed
  • Keep the toilet lid closed to reduce the likelihood of items accidentally dropping in if your toilet does clog and you’re in the Orlando area, call the expert plumbers at Michael’s Plumbing.

Now on to the next big dilemma, how you hang your toilet paper—over or under?

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