Toilet paper is flying off supermarket shelves in Australia as people prepare for corona virus (COVID-19) lock-down. People are panic-buying as much toilet paper as possible, leaving many shoppers staring blankly at empty shelves.
Therefore, others are forced to come up with different DIY solutions to toilet paper including kitchen paper towels, facial tissues and paper napkins. However, flushing these products can jeopardize your entire plumbing system. They also damage your bathroom products such as drains and toilets. If you have a damaged drain or toilet you can buy toilet online; but its better to stop damaging it rather than changing it every few week.
We are receiving a lot of queries where people have damaged their toilets when they blocked their toilets.
So, we have compiled a list of what not to do so that you don’t damage your toilet while trying to unclog it.
Never flush wet-wipes
Blocked drains and clogged sewerage systems caused by flushing wet-wipes has been an issue for plumbers well before COVID-19 came onto the scene. Wet-wipes come in many forms, all of which are very dangerous for your plumbing system. They include makeup remover wipes, baby-wipes, disposable cleaning wipes and the “flushable” variety that are marketed as a toilet paper substitute.
The issue with wet-wipes is that they are highly durable. There have been many tests conducted on various brands of wet-wipes and none of them break down easily like toilet paper. When wet wipes combine with grease and other debris in the sewerage system they form huge clumps which cost water companies and homeowners millions of dollars in blocked drain repairs every year.
There is no reason to assume that months from now, we’re not going to have plenty of toilet paper. Realistically, the only thing that is keeping the store from filling the supplies is that there are only so many trucks that can deliver.
Don’t flush kitchen paper towels
Paper towels were designed to replace fabric dishcloths. A Paper towel is constructed to be durable and highly absorbent so that it can wipe up spills and mess without tearing when wet.
Paper towel is convenient and much more hygienic than regular fabric dishcloths. It’s not, however, a good toilet paper substitute. It may not appear to be that different from toilet paper, but its durability means that it doesn’t break up easily when it’s flushed down the toilet. Its tear-resistance and absorbency mean the paper towel sits in the pipes, accumulating every time more is flushed until your toilet drain is completely blocked.
If at this moment any company over produce toilet papers, they would have nowhere to sell in the next few months.
Paper napkins should be placed in the bin
Paper napkins often come in lovely colors, with pretty designs and embossed surfaces. They are also much sturdier than toilet paper. If you place a paper napkin in a bucket of water and a few squares of toilet paper in another, give it a swirl and then come back in an hour the results will be very different.
The toilet paper will be almost completely dissolved while the paper napkin will remain largely intact. Now imagine you and your family flushing multiple paper napkins down the toilet every single day. It wouldn’t be long before you were calling a blocked drain plumber to come and unblock the toilet.
The good news: This nightmare will end. Once people stop panicking so much, and the national tissue ecosystem adjusts to our strange new normal, stores will be once again flush with toilet papers.
Can you flush facial tissues instead of toilet paper?
If you’re desperate, facial tissues are probably the best toilet paper alternative. They’re not as hardy as paper towels, napkins or wet-wipes and they will break down more easily when flushed. However, they are still stronger than regular toilet paper. They are also much bigger and often two or three-ply.
What can you flush?
The only things that are truly safe to flush down the toilet are excrement, toilet paper, and water. These are what sewerage systems are designed to transport and anything else will likely cause problems.
If you have caused a blocked toilet in your home by incorrectly flushing toilet paper alternatives, you can call a local plumber, don’t do it yourself or you would have to bear the cost of replacing your entire toilet set. They will carry a jet blaster machine capable of quickly unclogging a blocked toilet caused by any of the items mentioned in this article.