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Does Tissue Paper Dissolve in Water? (And Can You Flush it?)

Does Tissue Paper Dissolve in Water? (And Can You Flush it?)

Tissue papers are essential sanitary items, which boast diverse uses. You can even use them as a toilet paper substitute. Let’s also not forget that men and women can use facial tissue papers.

After using the tissue paper, flushing it down the toilet is the next thing that comes to most people’s minds. Many forget that the toilet can easily get clogged.

The last thing you would want to experience is spending unnecessarily to solve a plumbing disaster. So, be mindful of what you flush down your toilet. 

This post is to help you understand the difference between tissue papers and toilet papers, and which of them you can flush down the toilet, and why. We also touched on other crucial topics, so keep reading. 

Can Facial Tissue Paper Dissolve In Water?

Yes, facial tissue paper dissolves in water. The only problem is that tissue paper takes far too much time to dissolve compared to toilet paper. Toilet papers take 1-4 minutes to disintegrate into tiny particles that make their way into the septic tank or sewer effortlessly. 

But facial tissue paper is different. They can remain in the water for an extended period without disintegrating. And it’s surprising, especially knowing that toilet papers and facial tissue papers are made from the same materials. Why don’t they disintegrate in water the same way? 

The bottom line is that facial tissue paper boasts a different design. That is, tissue papers are not designed to disintegrate faster in water, as toilet papers.  

Facial tissue papers are designed to absorb moisture. That’s why they tend to stay in shape much longer when dissolved in water

If tissue papers were designed to disintegrate quickly once dissolved in moisture, they wouldn’t be doing their cleaning job perfectly well. You may even find tiny pieces of tissue paper all over your skin after cleaning. 

But that is not the case, as tissue paper doesn’t disintegrate when dissolved in water. You can try this at home. Get a tissue paper and dissolve it in water. You will see that it would remain firm for days. 

How Long Does It Take Tissue Paper To Dissolve In Water?

Facial tissue paper is made to retain its strength for an extended period, even after absorbing water or getting dissolved in it. They tend to maintain their strength even when extremely wet. 

When soaked in water, tissue papers can take over 6 weeks to disintegrate. Even when the water is agitated constantly, it would still take a longer time for tissue papers to dissolve completely. 

Even when tissue papers dissolve, they won’t get as tiny as toilet papers. You may still find some pieces of tissue paper, especially if the water is clear enough to see what’s inside.  

Do Paper Towels Dissolve In Water?

Yes, paper towels dissolve in water. Paper towels, tissues, and toilet papers are all paper products and are made from paper. The only difference between these three sanitary materials is that toilet papers dissolve faster than the other two (paper towels and tissue papers). 

Paper towels take over eight days to dissolve in water. Toilet papers take one to four minutes, while facial tissue papers can take over six weeks to dissolve in water. 

One aspect of paper towels that sets them apart and makes them a must-use sanitary item in the kitchen is how well they absorb liquid. And the reason for that is how they are made. 

Usually, paper comes manufactured from cellulose. And as you know, water molecules enjoy clinging to cellulose. Thus, paper towel is more absorbent due to their cellulose fibers, which boasts empty spaces and smaller air bubbles between them. 

However, just because paper towels take a little over 8 days to dissolve doesn’t give you enough guarantee to dump them in your toilet. If you do, you should be ready to solve the plumbing disaster that it may cause.

So, literarily, it’s not worth using paper towels and flushing them down the toilet. The only thing you can safely flush down the toilet is your toilet paper and feces. Avoid flushing any other sanitary material. 

Kitchen paper towels do the job they are made to do. They can help with cleaning up spills and make your kitchen appear neater. 

But after using a paper towel for cleanup, send it to the trash can. It will eventually end up in landfills, where its disintegration would begin. 

You should also not think of recycling your paper towels. Instead, use them to serve as mulch and composting in your backyard garden.   

You can’t recycle paper towels because each time you do so, the fiber gets shortened. So, the best is to trash the towels after use.

Furthermore, when you run out of paper towels, a clean rag can serve as a great substitute and get the job done for you. 

Can You Use Tissue Paper Instead Of Toilet Paper In The Toilet?

Let’s clear the air; facial tissue papers are used to clean dirt, moisture, and oily substances from one’s face. On the other hand, toilet paper is used to wipe one’s anus after defecating or urinating. 

But the exciting thing is that you can use tissue paper in place of toilet paper. The only problem you would have is when disposing of it. You can use facial tissue paper to clean your anus, as neatly as toilet paper, though you could experience some level of discomfort if the tissue paper has some fragrance. 

After cleaning your anus with facial tissue paper, probably because you no longer have any toilet paper left, how do you dispose of it? The best way is to send it to the rubbish bin.

But ensure the bin is cleared off your property as soon as possible, as the smell from the feces may make others that come around uncomfortable. 

Read: Toilet Flushes Slowly and Incompletely (This will FIX it!)

Toilet Paper Alternatives

Let’s discuss 4 toilet paper alternatives you can use in the toilet. But please don’t forget that you can’t and shouldn’t flush down your toilet.    

1. Family cloth

Family cloth is the same as reusable cloth. It’s a fabric toilet paper or better described as a toilet paper alternative. 

As the name implies, the family cloth can be used by everyone in a family. All each person has to do is use, wash, and the circle continues. 

Family cloth is much thicker than a typical toilet paper. So, using less can get the job done. But you have to be mindful of putting your health in jeopardy.

Infection can spread from one family member that uses the reusable cloth to another. 

The best way to use this toilet paper alternative is to wash your hands thoroughly before and after using it. You should also wash, disinfect, and dry the reusable cloth under higher temperatures. 

2. Sanitary pad

Yes, a sanitary pad can serve as a toilet paper alternative. But keep in mind that you can’t flush it down the toilet after use. 

The Sanitary pad is soft and absorbent. You may only need one to clean your anus and get the job done nicely. But compared to toilet papers, sanitary pads are expensive. 

3. Napkins

Napkins also make a good toilet paper alternative. They are even almost of the same thickness as toilet papers. 

Some napkins have rough surfaces, while others are smooth and comfortable on the skin. Avoid napkins with uneven surfaces, as they are not the best to use on such delicate areas of your skin.   

4. Facial tissue paper

No one can argue that tissue papers can make a good toilet paper alternative. They clean dirt, moisture, and oily substances from the face, so they can do the same on other parts of the body. 

A Handy Tip: If you decide to use facial tissue paper as a replacement for toilet paper, choose a fragrance-free facial tissue paper. Avoid those with minty or methanol fragrances, as they may irritate your tender skin. 

Can We Flush Tissue Paper?

No, you can’t and shouldn’t. No matter how advanced your toilet system is, resist the urge to flush your tissue paper after use. 

Tissue papers are almost of the same thickness as toilet papers. But don’t fall for that. They are way stronger once they absorb water and take a longer time to disintegrate. 

When you flush tissue paper down the toilet, it just goes to the pipe and clogs it. And before you know what’s happening, you are faced with a plumbing disaster. 

You may end up hiring a professional plumber, which usually isn’t the most budget-friendly.

So, now that you haven’t gotten yourself into such a mess, start taking caution. Never flush tissue paper down the toilet. It can clog the sewer system or the pipe. After using tissue paper, dumb it in the rubbish bin.

Can The Toilet Get Clogged By Tissue Paper?

Yes, it can, and the reason is not farfetched. Tissue papers are made to maintain their form, even when dissolved in water. You can never find a tissue paper that disintegrates the minute it gets flushed down the toilet. 

Even when agitated, the facial tissue paper will maintain its original shape. 

A Handy Tip: Adding bleach to a clogged toilet system won’t help to unclog it. Bleach doesn’t disintegrate tissue papers; neither will it speed up the rate at which the paper would dissolve. What you have to do is to remove them manually or hire a plumber to get it done. A drain cleaner may also help. 

Your toilet can only handle tissue paper and feces. It’s not designed for wipes, tampons, sanitary pads, or paper towels. These are sturdier and take a longer time to dissolve. 

You’re able to flush down toilet papers in the toilet because they are soft and dissolve the moment they get into the water in the toilet. Toilet papers also disintegrate within minutes, so it’s difficult for them to clog a toilet. 

Difference Between Tissue Papers and Toilet Papers

  • Facial tissue papers are used to wipe hands, nose, and face. They help to keep one’s face moisturized and clean. Toilet papers are mostly used after defecating or urinating.
  • Tissue papers come packed in bundles and folding, while toilet papers, also called restroom tissue papers are packed in rolls. 
  •  Tissue papers are less popularly used than toilet paper. However, both are crucial to maintain good hygiene. 


Tissue papers are produced from the same material as toilet papers. But they have different uses. However, tissue paper can also be used as a toilet paper alternative. But regardless, you can’t and shouldn’t flush it down the toilet. 

You can’t flush tissue papers because they do not dissolve quickly and can clog your toilet. The best way to discard them is to throw them in the rubbish bin after use.