Can You Flush Tissues Down the Toilet? (And Alternatives To Tissue Paper)

flush-toilet

On every extensive shopping list, hardly will you not find tissues. They are extremely popular items which people use in the household, workplace, and beyond. Well, you shouldn’t be surprised. This is because they have come to be of great benefit to almost anyone that cares enough about hygiene.

Its multipurpose nature makes it an almost indispensable item, as well as a recurring one. Their uses are ranging from contributing to improved hygiene to enhancing comfort as well as convenience. So, no matter the alternatives readily available, one thing is sure. You will always make your way back to using Tissues.

However, everyone is so much focused on the uses and great benefits of tissue. In turn, they pay little or no attention disposal of tissues. However, if you have been wondering about the best ways of disposing of tissues or you have simply been curious to know more about the disposal of tissues. We’ve got you covered.

In this article, we shall focus majorly on answering in detail whether you can flush tissues down the toilet. We’d examine as well other ways of using and disposing of tissues.

Let’s get right to it!

Are Tissues Flushable?

Well, unto our million-dollar question, are tissues flushable? It’s relatively straightforward and simple. No! Tissues are not flushable.

I’m sure you most likely expected a different answer. After all, tissue, paper towels, and toilet paper are all made from paper. Hence, they should be flushable. I assure you they are not the same. While you are perplexed, relax, let us explain further.

Of a truth, tissues, just like paper towels and toilet paper, are designed to provide strength despite being light-weight. They are engineered to be soft and absorbent. However, tissues still aren’t flushable.

Well, as it is, tissues have a significantly different design and constituent from toilet paper and paper towels. As such, when you flush tissues, they cannot disintegrate the way toilet paper does. When they don’t rot, they tend to cause blockage and other damage to the sewage system.

So, while toilet paper is designed to break down quickly, tissues, unfortunately, is not. The fact that they are designed to retain moisture prevents them from being flushable. As such, don’t let the similarities confuse you. You should avoid flushing your tissues the same way you would flush your toilet papers.

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What Happens If You Flush Tissues?

Now you are fully aware that you should not flush tissues. However, if this escapes your mind and you happen to flush tissue, what happens? Well, let’s find out!

If you make a mistake and flush tissues just once, honestly, there should not be any problem. However, if you have a developed habit of flushing tissue, you are most likely going to have several sewage troubles.

You will most likely experience a clog in your toilet caused by tissue you have continuously flushed over time. This might, in turn, prevent water from getting drained whenever you make use of the toilet. It can even lead to flooding of your toilet, where the clog is significant.

So, you see, something as little as flushing your tissues can result in clogging your plumbing system and damaging your pipes.

You definitely wouldn’t want to have a bad toilet experience, would you? As such, it would be best if you refrain from flushing tissues.

Can I Use Tissues Instead of Toilet Paper?

Here, we’ll tell you whether you can use tissues instead of toilet paper. If not, you get to know about other items you can use when running out of toilet paper.

To answer your question, you shouldn’t use tissues instead of toilet paper. Truthfully, tissues are probably the closest replacement for toilet paper. They are engineered in the same structure and texture. Regardless, they are not flushable.

However, if you must use tissues instead of toilet paper, it is rather practical that you don’t flush them in the toilet after use.

As you already know, despite their similar texture and structure, they are different. Because they are designed to retain moisture, tissues do not break down the same way toilet paper does. As such, they can cause a clog in the drainage system.

So instead of flushing tissues after use, you should toss them in the trash can with a proper cover. And when you the trash can are full, you can throw them out.

5 Amazing Alternatives To Tissue Paper

Now that you are aware that flushing tissue is not a good idea, other options or alternatives of toilet paper that you can resort to include:

1. Paper

You can make use of upcycled paper if you run out of toilet paper. You should avoid utilizing glossy newspapers or magazine pages. This is because the colored ink can touch sensitive places. However, just like tissues, you cannot flush them. The proper way for you to dispose of them is by tossing in an adequately covered garbage can just like you dispose of your used tissues.

2. Cardboard Toilet Paper Rolls

You can also make use of cardboard toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. All you need do is remove the layers of registration you need. To make it more comfortable to use, you can wet it slightly before use.

Also, do not flush to avoid clogging your drainage system. Dispose of your cardboard toilet paper rolls in a trash can.

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3. Sponge

This option is very ancient, as its origin can be traced to ancient Rome. They are known to pack up dirt very quickly. They even guarantee a cleaner surface after use due to its abrasive scrubbing outlook. The sponge needs no flushing or disposal in the garbage can. All you need do is clean thoroughly with water after use.

4. Cloth

In the scarcity of toilet paper, a cloth might come in handy. It could be a face towel or a clean t-shirt rag. Of course, you should know not to flush it. After use, wash separately and adequately from other laundry items.

5. Water 

When all other options fail, water doesn’t. It is efficient, sanitary, and easily affordable. And of course, water has no problem with being flushable.

What To Do If the Toilet Gets Clogged With Tissues?

So far, we have been able to answer the question of whether tissues are flushable. We have also examined the possibility of using tissues instead of toilet papers and other alternatives you can resort to.

Now, the focus is on what you should do when your toilet gets clogged with tissues. As a refresher, you are not supposed to flush tissues because they cannot disintegrate like toilet papers and paper towels.

However, if you find yourself to have made a habit out of flushing tissues, and now, your toilet gets clogged, here is what you should do.

1. Leave the Toilet, And Then Flush After Some Time

When your toilet gets clogged with tissues, you can leave it for some time, probably overnight. Then you can try to flush again. This method is effective and works by way of the force of gravity. The water exerts pressure on its own on the clog, which will clear after some time.

However, if this method doesn’t work out, get ready to stop the water from overflowing out of the bowl.

2. Make Use of Hot Water and Then Flush

This method comes in handy when you do not have the patience to leave the clog to clear by itself. Pour hot water into the toilet bowl. It will help break down the tissue waste and clear out the clog faster.

However, be cautious not to keep pouring bowls of boiling water as it could crack the toilet bowl.

3. Add Soap into The Toilet and Flush After Some Time

This can also prove quite useful for unclogging your drainage. Pour some detergent into the toilet bowl. It that the soap will help break down tissue waste faster than just water. Instead of a detergent, you can as well make use of liquid hand soap or shampoo.

4. Make Use of a Plunger

If hot water and soap don’t work, you can always resort to using a plunger. A flange plunger with its rubber sleeve would be more appropriate. Put the flange into the drainage hole and apply slight pressure in a downstroke and upstroke manner. Try it a couple of times. The applied forces will loosen the clogged drainage.

5. Use A Closet Auger

If the plunger doesn’t work, then it’s time to use an auger. It is quite efficient in that it can accommodate the toilet trap’s sharp turns without damaging the toilet bowl.

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Please make use of the end of the auger. Then, insert it into the toilet bowl and use the handle of the auger to work your way around the clog. Keep cranking with the handle of the auger. It should break up the tissue clog in little or no time. Then you can remove the tissues once the blockage clears.

6. Call a Plumber

This is the last option you can resort to. If you have tried all the above-stated remedies and the tissue still doesn’t unclog, you should get a plumber to examine your toilet. They are professionals with the appropriate tools to get the job done. You’ll just need to pay them in return.

Unique Ways to Dispose of Tissues

If you have been curious about knowing the safest ways for you to dispose of your tissues, then keep reading! We’ve got some great options for you.

1. Toss It in the Trash Can

Since tissues are not flushable, it only seems right that you toss them in the trash can. Also, you should ensure that the trash can is adequately covered. Also, make sure you bag them properly. 

2. Recycling

We’re sure you are probably cringing at the thought of recycling used tissues. While it may sound disgusting, it represents a very effective way of disposing tissues. However, tissues are produced with extremely short fibers.

So, it might be extremely difficult to find recycling centers for your tissue. In case you don’t want the stress, you can just go for the trash can option.

Conclusion

Many things seem harmless at first because we haven’t taken out time to educate ourselves about them. For instance, improper disposal of an item such as a contact lens can contribute to plastic pollution. Drugs and other pharmaceuticals improperly disposed of and flushed down the drain have also posed problems to drinking. So, you see how even the tiniest of items can contaminate waterways.

If something as little as a contact lens or dental floss can cause some havoc, indeed tissues too can cause some damage. Well, that’s why we have written this article. Now you know better than flushing your tissues just the same way you would flush your toilet paper.

References:

Sarah Walker
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