The toilet is something we have all come to need and use every day. Some people make use of their toilets as it should be, while others make use of it as supplementary trashcans. We understand, It seems so easy and tempting to dispose of almost anything you can think of down the toilet – flush, and forget or even out of sight, out of mind.
Even though it might be really nice to have access to a trashcan that instantaneously disposes of its trash and the odor involved, your toilet and septic system is really not designed to deal with anything other than toilet paper.
Flushing the wrong items down the toilet could cause some grave and often expensive problems for any home’s plumbing lines. It could also even cause bigger problems in the local sewer system, from the pipes that run under the street outside the home, to the treatment plant, which is designed to dispose of and treat some specific items, as well as causing toxic environmental pollution and the mortification that comes with your plumber finding the cause of the problem.
While it might seem like an easy fix to make your daily life easier, disposing the wrong item down the toilet can and do cause blockages, which inadvertently take time and money (yours’ and taxpayers) to fix. No one really thinks about this until a day comes when they have a huge clog or septic tank problem and have to spend lots of money to fix it.
- Are Notebook Papers Flushable?
- Can a Notebook Paper Clog the Toilet?
- Is it Better to Throw Away or Flush Notebook Papers?
- Can You use Notebook Paper as Toilet Paper?
- Can You Flush Printer Paper Down the Toilet?
- Can You Flush Wrappers Down the Toilet?
- What Types of Paper Can Be Flushed?
- Alternative Ways to Unclog the Toilet
Are Notebook Papers Flushable?
In the bid to dispose of notebook papers or in an instance of absence of toilet paper, when notebook papers are used in its stead and think to flush it away. And at such times, we fail to ask, “Can you dispose of notebook papers down the toilet?“
Unlike toilet paper, notebook papers do not dissolve quickly in water (in fact, they could take from about two weeks to some months to fully decompose as from the time of disposal) and should, therefore, not be disposed of by flushing down the toilet, or else they could clog up the toilet or possibly harm the sewage pipes.
And if they accumulate over time along with other similar substances flushed down the pipes, they could cause blockages and lead to sewage backing up or even distort your whole sewage system.
Can a Notebook Paper Clog the Toilet?
Notebook paper can definitely clog up your toilet. All toilets, more especially older ones, are not designed to deal with anything other than thin paper, which dissolves instantaneously in water. That’s where toilet paper comes in as it is extra thin paper and designed to dissolve in water.
Notebook paper is a thick variety of paper and does not dissolve rapidly in water, most times taking ages to dissolve, thereby limiting the passage of water down the pipes, hence blocking or clogging the toilet up as they won’t be able to handle the thick and plush variety of paper.
Is it Better to Throw Away or Flush Notebook Papers?
Throwing away notebook paper is a safer option than flushing it down your toilet. As explained above, it can cause a clog and could lead to other problems if flushed down the toilet. It is also a good idea to throw away or dispose of notebook papers in a recyclable manner.
Can You use Notebook Paper as Toilet Paper?
Notebook paper can be used as toilet paper only if you are not sensitive to its coarseness. Toilet paper is designed to be soft so as not to scratch or irritate any skin.
If you must make use of notebook paper, then make sure it is one without ink as some ink could also irritate the skin. If you are out of toilet paper (which is a better option), you could keep a small wastebasket in the bathroom so as to dispose of any papers.
Can You Flush Printer Paper Down the Toilet?
Printer paper and your stock white paper will take extremely longer than toilet paper to break down. As they generally float when wet and in large amounts could clog your pipes.
Can You Flush Wrappers Down the Toilet?
Most forms of the wrapper are not designed to break down in the water and as such, they should not be flushed. Even paper wrappers take a long time to break down and will clog your toilet.
What Types of Paper Can Be Flushed?
There are only a few types of paper which can be flushed down the toilet and they are;
1. Toilet seat covers
Toilet seat covers are the only product that, like toilet paper, is designed to be flushed. As you may have noticed, they are very thin and they are probably the finest toilet paper substitute when it comes to flush-ability. Just ensure yours is approved for septic and traditional tanks, and do not try to flush several at once.
2. Tissues Paper
Tissues are still definitely not ideal, and using great amounts of them—or even the amount you’d use if using toilet paper—could clog your pipes. But if you are careful and do not use much of it, you should be able to get away with flushing it.
Alternative Ways to Unclog the Toilet
There are various alternative ways to unclog your toilet and here are some simple methods to do such with things most people have around their homes.
1. Toilet Brush
The very first way you can be able to unclog your toilet without a plunger is derived from personal experience. On one occasion, in the midst of moving into a new apartment, a friend’s toilet got clogged and his plunger was still packed in a box.
Nevertheless, using his quick thinking, he laid his hands on the next best alternative, his toilet brush. Despite the fact that a toilet brush possibly will not be as effective as a plunger, it can still get done the same task of unclogging a toilet.
A plunger works by driving the water through your toilet plumbing with a lot more pressure than a normal flush would give. This helps to dislodge the clog and lets water flow freely.
Subsequently, even though the toilet brush might not be able to drive as much water through the pipes with as much pressure as a plunger would, it can still produce enough pressure to get out of the small clogs. Desperate times, desperate measures.
2. DIY Plumbing Snake
If what you have got is a clog that is too big for your toilet brush to take care of then you can create your own plumbing snake just by making use of a clothes hanger.
A plumbing snake is just a lengthy bit of wire that plumbers put through the drains in order to break up the clogs. Basically, you just unfold a clothes hanger and move it through your toilet drain. Once you feel any resistance, you try to work the hanger around it in order to break up the clog.
If you decide to go ahead with this method, it is advisable that you use a plastic-coated wire hanger or bend the end of a wire hanger because the sharp metal on the end of a wire hanger could scratch the porcelain of your toilet.
3. Dish Soap
Head over to the kitchen for some dish soap as the slippery soap will help lubricate the clogged pipe and allow any lodged debris to slide down more easily. Pour about a half-cup into the toilet. However, if you are out of dish soap, you can chop a bar of hand soap into little chunks and drop them into the toilet.
4. Baking Soda Mixture
As another alternative to using dish soap and no plunger, there is an all-natural solution. Pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar down the toilet. Allow it to fizz for half an hour, and if the clog does not dissipate, try the hot water trick.
5. Hot Water
If after all the above, the water in your toilet still drains slowly, then pouring some hot water down the drain could help dissolve the clog. Do not make use of boiling water; this is because the shock from it could cause your toilet to crack. Instead, get some hot tap water from the sink or your shower and this should work just fine.
As soon as you have gotten your hot water, just pour it right in. If the toilet is draining sluggishly or not at all, be careful with this method because it could cause your toilet to overflow on accident.
6. Drain Cleaners
Draining cleaning chemicals are not accurately the most endorsed method. The chemicals can be extremely dangerous and can cause chemical burns or damage the plumbing. Plus, they are also not actually the most ecologically friendly option. But if you are in a pinch and that is all you have, they can work.
Or, you could use a mixture of bleach and powdered dish soap. Use two cups of bleach to a cup of powered detergent and wait about 30 minutes before you attempt to flush.
8. Epsom Salt
If you ever find yourself at the home of a friend or family member and a clog occurs, you might not want to let them know what happened, at least not immediately. And in this case, you probably do not have the time to wait for some hot water and soap to unclog it. Instead, you can take a look around to see if you can find some Epsom salt.
Not everyone might have this on hand, but if you find it, it is worth a shot. The salt creates a fizzy reaction when added to water and this should help to break things up to dislodge the clog. If you can’t find Epsom salts, a bath bomb could do the trick also. If you do use a bath bomb, just ensure that you replace it later.
9. Use a Plastic Bottle to Create Water Pressure
Warning: This unclogging trick could get messy.
Start by taking out as much water from the toilet bowl as you can; do this by repeatedly filling a small container with toilet water and pouring the water into a bucket. Next, fill a large plastic bottle with warm water.
Place your thumb over the top of the bottle and fit it into the outlet at the bottom of the toilet. (You might want to wear rubber gloves for this step.) Remove your thumb and squeeze the bottle immediately so the water inside shoots down the pipe. The added pressure could dislodge whatever is causing the clog.
10. Vacuum Valve
As a Last resort: Rent a wet/dry vacuum from the local hardware store—do not, we repeat, do not try this method with a regular vacuum. First, use it to remove the water from the bowl.
Next, wrap the hose of the vacuum in an old rag so as to create a seal, then stick the vacuum a few inches down the drain. As soon as you turn on the vacuum, it should suck out the clog. Again, do not forget to wear some rubber gloves.