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Can Facial Tissue Be Flushed Down the Toilet?

hand picked tissue form pink box

It is not uncommon for people to interchangeably use toilet paper and facial tissues. For example, they might use toilet paper to blow their nose when tissues are not handy. They may use facial tissues to wipe when they run out of toilet paper.

However, there are some key differences between the two and the effects they can have on your home’s sewer system.

What is the difference between facial tissue and toilet paper?

Facial tissue and toilet paper are both paper products. They are designed for single-use applications. These are the only two similarities between the two.

Facial tissues have a special coating on the paper that helps the tissues retain their shape and absorb moisture. Some tissues have lotions or other coatings to help keep the nose soft and from getting red and irritated.

Compared to facial tissues, toilet paper is designed to be absorbent when used. Yet, it will start to dissolve and break down in a short period of time when exposed to water. Depending on the toilet paper quality, this could occur as soon as it is discarded into the toilet bowl.

What happens if you flush facial tissues?

Facial tissues are not designed to break down quickly. While they will degrade over time, it can be days or weeks before the tissues start breaking down. Since tissues retain their shape longer, they can cause all sorts of problems if you flush them down the toilet.

Tissues can get stuck in various areas of your home’s sewer system. If you flush multiple tissues simultaneously, you could accidentally create a clog that can be difficult to remove. Not to mention, facial tissues are not as easily processed by water treatment plants and will cause septic system tanks to fill up faster.

What can you do if your toilet clogs from flushing facial tissues?

If you clog your toilet from flushing facial tissues, there are a few things you can do. The first thing you do is use a plunger to try to remove the clog. Sometimes, plunging the toilet will work if you usually do not flush tissues down the toilet.

For more difficult clogs, it could be necessary to call a plumber for assistance. Your plumber will use various tools and methods to remove the clog. If you were habitually flushing tissues down the toilet, it is highly recommended you also have your plumbing system sewer lines cleaned to ensure every bit of tissue is removed.

What other items should you never flush in the toilet?

Flushing down disinfectant wipes as toilet paper

Facial tissues are not the only items that you should never flush in the toilet. Other items that are not safe to flush include:

  • Paper Towels
  • Disposable Diapers
  • Dental Floss
  • Baby Wipes
  • Tissue Paper
  • Q-Tips
  • Cat Litter
  • Cleaning Wipes
  • Condoms
  • Cigarette/Cigar Butts
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Medications

What about flushable wipes? Are they safe to flush?

There are numerous brands of flushable wipes on the market. You need to read the packaging to see if it says it is safe to flush. If there is nothing on the package indicating this, do not flush the wipes in the toilet.

Additionally, you should never flush more than two flushable wipes at a time. Otherwise, excessive amounts could also cause a clog.

For help removing toilet clogs and other plumbing problems in New Braunfels, Temple, San Antonio, or the Austin Metro area, please feel free to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!

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