Can You Flush Newspaper Down the Toilet? (And What Not To Flush)

You will always find newspapers wherever you find people. That’s why so many people complain about their houses and officers being full of newspapers.

Unknown to many, there are many things to reuse your old newspaper. One of them is to use it as toilet paper. However, there are many implications for this.

And this becomes relevant when you need to flush your toilet. So, can you flush newspapers down the toilet? In this article, we will answer all that and more.

Dive in!

Can You Flush Newspaper Down the Toilet?

Flushing newspapers down the toilet may be one of the easiest things to do. You may think, well, newspapers come from papers, so there’s nothing big to worry about. 

However, you must note that it is NOT SAFE to flush newspapers down the toilet. These papers may clog the toilet at a point. And this would create problems for your drainage and sewage system.

Besides, newspapers come with thicker fibers than toilet papers. So, they take a lot of time before they disintegrate.

Occasionally, when you run out of toilet papers, you may use old newspapers, but don’t make it a habit.

Can You Use Newspapers as a Toilet Paper?  

Many of us have been in some awkward situations in life. One of them is running out of toilet papers. It becomes messy when you are the only person at home, and you can’t get toilet papers elsewhere.

In this kind of situation, there is one thing to turn to. And that’s the old newspapers. YES, you can make use of your newspapers as toilet papers. 

However, we are not telling you to replace your toilet papers with old newspapers. We are just giving you some life hacks for when you suddenly realize you have run out of newspapers. 

Also, you might need it if you go on vacation. The hotel you lodge could run out of toilet papers. You can turn to your newspapers.

So, always have it in mind to stock up toilet papers in your homes. But keep this hack in case you need it.

How to Turn Newspapers into Toilet Paper? 

You would agree that the more papers you reuse, the more trees you are saving. That’s why it’s great always to find creative ways to reuse papers and many of your household items. 

If you have some stacks of old newspapers lurking around your room, you should get creative with them. One of the ways to do that is to use it as toilet paper.

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However, we advise you against flushing down your old newspapers. They don’t break down easily and may end up clogging the toilet pipe.

You can dispose of it in the waste bin in your toilet after use. But then, you know this shouldn’t stay indoors for too long. You may also try to flush it down once in a while.

Now, how do you turn your old newspapers into toilet papers?

Get Clean Old Newspapers and Fold 

The first thing to do is to get yourself some old but clean newspapers. Remember, you want to clean with it. So, don’t just pick any newspaper lying around. 

Once you get them, you can then begin to fold into a square. Don’t fold them too thick, so it would be easier for you to cut.

Cut Them Out Neatly

You can’t just fold newspapers and begin to use it immediately. You have to cut them out neatly.

We advise that you use scissors to cut them into squares. Ensure that they are of moderate sizes, not too big to use, and not too small to wipe your butt.

Fold and Stack Up

Once you cut them out neatly, you can begin to fold the newspaper square into halves. Ensure that they are of equal sizes, so they would be easy to pick and use. 

After this, please stack them up in the toilets where it would be quicker to pick when you need them.

So, that’s pretty much how to make old newspapers into toilet papers. But remember, let this always be your last option. Newspapers don’t break down quickly.

Will Newspapers Clog the Toilet? 

OF COURSE, if you flush down your newspapers, it would clog the toilets. If you have ever had a wet newspaper in your hands, you will notice that the gum easily; that’s how they come.

So, if you put newspapers in your toilet and flush them down, they may gum together until they form a toilet pipe wall. You already know what this would cause. 

Newspapers don’t break up quickly in water, so they may end up clogging your toilet. You don’t want this for yourself, so avoid flushing down newspapers.

Can You Compost Newspapers?

You might be wondering if you can put your newspapers in the compost bin. The answer to this seems to be yes.

Many people refer to newspapers as brown material. This is because it is suitable for your compost bin. After all, it can add a lot of carbon to your compost pile. 

However, not all newspapers may be good to compost. Some of the old newspapers were printed using inks that have some toxic chemicals.

If you put these newspapers in your compost bin, the ink may leach into the compost bin when it begins to decompose. This may kill the bacteria that help your compost. 

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For best performance, ensure you shred your newspapers before tossing them in the compost bin; whole newspapers take a long before they decompose.

What Should (Items) You Not Flush Down the Toilet?

One thing you should understand is that you can’t flush everything down the toilet. Even if what you want to flush is very small, you should ensure that it can dissolve easily in water. 

Many of the things you think you can flush down actually remain in the septic pipe. Sooner, they will cause a clog in your toilet. 

We have given you a list of what not to flush down. If you have been flushing them before now, you need to put a stop to it.

Here are the things you should never flush down your toilet.

1. Cigarette Butts

Some people have the habit of emptying their cigarette trays in the toilet. The thing is, while the cigarette ash will dissolve, the tiny cigarette butts will not.

The cigarette butts have more substantial materials in them than the regular toilet papers. Hence, they don’t dissolve easily in water. They store up until they are big enough to create a clog in the toilet.

Asides this, if you have been flushing down cigarette butts, it would be best if you put a stop to it. Due to the chemicals that remain in them, they can pollute the marine environment if they leach into the sea. This can cause a problem for aquatic animals.

So, the proper thing to do is to dispose of the cigarette butts in the waste bin properly.

2. Wipes

Wipes are not paper materials that tear in water easily. That’s why many of them come wet and are still strong for use. In most areas, wipes last longer than your regular toilet paper. If you flush them down, you better be ready to fix your drainage pipe with your savings.

 They take longer than usual to decompose because of their texture. The reasonable thing to do is to avoid flushing wipes down the toilet. If you want to dispose of them, get a waste bin and toss the used wipes in.

3. Menstrual Materials and Diapers

Do you think you can get away with flushing menstrual materials and diapers down the drain for real?

Let’s even think about it. Your regular menstrual pads and kids’ diapers are way too big to move quickly down the septic tank. Even if they make it past where you can see them, they will hang midway.

Do you know what that means for you? Blockage! Yes, lurking down your septic pipe is the potential for a clog. Even if you don’t want people to stumble on your used pad, that’s not a good reason to flush it down. There are better ways to dispose of your menstrual materials and diapers properly. 

Besides, menstrual materials and diapers come in such a way that they absorb liquid. That’s why you use them to soak in body liquids like blood and urine. The more liquid they absorb, the more difficult it would be for them to decompose. 

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So, except you will prove that your toilet pipe doesn’t have water floating in it, you should not flush menstrual materials and diapers down the toilet.

4. Hair

Sometimes, after combing or making your hair, you have a tray full of hair strands. Of course, you don’t need them again, and you want to dispose of them.

So, you think you can flush everything down? Wait a minute. That’s not the right choice.

If you put your hair in a bowl of water, you would see that they only float. They don’t decompose and can clog your toilet. So, next time you are thinking of getting rid of your hair through the toilet, think again and dispose of it properly.

5. Condoms

When you hold a piece of condom, you will discover that it is not something that water can destroy. Condoms come in latex, synthetic rubber, or plastic materials. Flushing them down can never be a wise choice; you are only creating a toilet problem. 

Condom materials do not decompose at all; they keep storing up somewhere in the septic pipe until they form a clog in your toilet. 

So, don’t just protect yourself and your loved ones during sex. Protect your toilet too. If you don’t, you will end up spending more than you bargained for.

6. Pet Fish

If you loved your fish so much, you shouldn’t think of flushing it down the toilet.

Even if it dies, why not think of giving it a state burial? It’s a good idea you might want to try out. However, one thing is clear, abstain from flushing your pet fish down the toilet sink.

If you keep flushing every pet fish, you will wake up one day to discover that they all didn’t go anywhere. They were waiting for you in your toilet pipe and decided to draw your attention by causing a clog.

Now that you know better put a stop to it and tell everyone you know to stop flushing their pet fish.

7. Food Waste

Flushing down food waste is not the right choice. Even if you get tired of it, you can use it to make compost for your garden flowers. 

You see, though food wastes will eventually decay, the decay doesn’t occur overnight. Hence, it may clog your toilet and give you a drainage problem.

You wouldn’t want to risk that. So, abstain from flushing down food waste.

Final Thoughts

Now that you already know a lot about your old newspapers, you can now begin to put them into proper use. However, whatever you do with your newspaper, always remember not to flush them down the toilet; they would create more problems than you can handle.

References:

https://www.housebeautiful.com/lifestyle/cleaning-tips/a21992808/what-not-to-flush-down-toilet/

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-newspaper.htm

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.