How to Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank?
Just because toilet paper can flush, it doesn’t mean that it should dissolve in your septic.
So, how do you dissolve toilet paper in a septic tank?
- 1 How to Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank?
- 1.1 What Happens to Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank?
- 1.2 What Happens if Toilet Paper Doesn’t Dissolve in Your Septic Tank?
- 1.3 Removing Toilet Paper Clogs from Your Septic Tank?
- 1.4 Best Way to Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank?
- 1.5 Does Toilet Paper Dissolve in a Septic Tank on Its Own?
- 1.6 How Long Does It Take Toilet Paper to Dissolve in a Septic Tank?
- 1.7 What Toilet Paper Breaks Down the Fastest?
- 1.8 Tips to Prevent Toilet Paper from Clogging Your Septic Tank
- 1.8.1 Choose septic tank-safe toilet paper and don’t overuse it
- 1.8.2 Dispose of your toilet paper in a dedicated trash basin
- 1.8.3 Check that your septic tank is working properly frequently
- 1.8.4 How do I test if my toilet paper is septic-friendly?
- 1.8.5 How to dissolve paper towels in a septic tank?
- 1.8.6 Do sanitary products dissolve in a septic tank?
- 1.8.7 Does bleach dissolve toilet paper in a septic tank?
- 1.9 Wrapping up
To dissolve toilet paper in your septic tank, first ensure that you’re using the best septic tank-friendly toilet paper that will easily dissolve once it gets to your septic.
Add enzymes and bacteria to eat, dissolve, or break up toilet paper in your septic tank. Most importantly, check that your septic tank is working properly every few months.
What Happens to Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank?
There is no doubt that people wonder what happens to toilet paper in a septic tank.
Does it just get disintegrated?
Washed away and disposed of?
The answer is surprisingly simple.
Any toilet paper labeled ‘septic safe’ or ‘septic friendly’ or ‘great for septic systems’ will break up easily and quickly when it gets to the septic tank.
However, if you’re flushing heaps of toilet paper often down your septic tank or are using septic-unfriendly toilet paper, it may clog up your system.
What Happens if Toilet Paper Doesn’t Dissolve in Your Septic Tank?
The conventional theory is that when toilet paper goes into the toilet, it disintegrates and becomes part of the water.
However, if it doesn’t dissolve it bundles up, clogs the septic tank, and causes sewage to back up.
So, if you don’t attend to a toilet paper clog, your septic tank may fail and call for a more complicated clean-out.
Removing Toilet Paper Clogs from Your Septic Tank?
Before you try out treatments to dissolve your toilet paper, consider removing it first using these two methods:
Use a plunger
The plunger is a simple device that uses air pressure to blow a clog out of a drainpipe.
The device consists of a cylinder attached to a plunger head that fits over the drain opening in the toilet bowl.
Fill the cylinder with water or air and water mixture and then compress by plunging it down to unclog the toilet paper.
Use a snake auger
A snake auger can also be used to remove a toilet paper clog in your septic tank.
Start by turning off the water supply to your septic. Then, carefully and slowly lower the snake auger into the hole until you feel resistance (the toilet paper blockage).
You may need to twist the snake auger around to free up the toilet paper bundle.
Best Way to Dissolve Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank?
The best way to dissolve toilet paper in a septic tank is to restore a bacterial balance that’ll effortlessly break up the toilet paper and any other solid material and get rid of foul smells without damaging the pipes of your septic system.
|1. Rid-X||Contains powerful enzymes that break down toilet paper and solid waste. Bacteria grow and multiply, assisting in breaking down the waste. Use once weekly or several times a month. Available in liquid or powder form.||High|
|2. Epsom Salt||Inexpensive and readily available. Dissolves toilet paper, wipes, and other objects. Non-corrosive and helps eliminate hard-to-digest fats and oils. Requires a substantial amount for significant results.||Moderate|
|3. Vinegar & Baking Soda||Vinegar reacts with solid waste, breaking it down into smaller particles. Reduces odor. Baking soda adjusts the acidity of the septic tank. Pour a cup of baking soda followed by vinegar and boiling water.||Moderate|
|4. Dishwashing Liquid & Hot Water||Catalyzes a chemical reaction, breaking down the fibers of the toilet paper. Works best if the clog isn’t too bundled up. Boiling water may damage the septic tank.||Moderate|
|5. Drain Cleaner||Acidic solution made of lye, sodium hydroxide, and water. Effective in dissolving materials that shouldn’t go down the drain. Pour the recommended amount into the septic tank to dissolve toilet paper clogs.||High|
|6. Aspirin||Contains acetylsalicylic acid, which is soluble in water. Dissolve aspirin in water and pour it into the septic tank to dissolve toilet paper. Breaks down fibers and eats away the entire clog.||Moderate|
|7. Live Bacteria Packets||Maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms to dissolve solid waste immediately. Keep the septic tank clean and functioning effectively. Dissolve toilet paper within a short time.||High|
|8. Caustic Soda (Coke)||Sodium hydroxide is a common drain cleaner that dissolves toilet paper in septic tanks. Harsh substance speeds up toilet paper dissolution. Pour a can of coke to break down toilet paper and other solid waste.||Moderate|
This said, here are 8 treatments you can use to dissolve toilet paper in your septic tank.
Rid-X makes products to help users keep their septic tanks in tip-top shape, but the product Rid-X contains powerful enzymes that can dissolve toilet paper.
Due to its heavy nature, toilet paper breaks down very slowly, even when it’s disposed of properly. The enzymes in Rid-X are very potent and will break down the toilet paper inside your septic tank.
The enzymes begin action as soon as they get into contact with water. Bacteria also begin to grow and multiply, helping in breaking down the toilet paper and any other solid waste in your septic tank.
For best results, you should use Rid-X once weekly or several times a month. You can use liquid or powder Rid-X as both are equally potent.
2. Epsom salt
Epsom salt is inexpensive, readily available at the grocery store, and can do wonders to dissolve the toilet paper and other objects that get stuck in your septic tank.
Epsom salt dissolves toilet paper, wipes, deodorant sticks, and tampons that become lodged in your sewer system.
It’s not corrosive and won’t damage your pipes. The good thing about Epsom salt is that it not only helps dissolve toilet paper but also helps eliminate hard-to-digest fats and oils.
Please note: While Epsom salt can help unclog toilet paper in your septic tank, the effect is pretty minimal with a standard flush. You need a substantial amount of salt to see significant results.
3. Vinegar and baking soda
The vinegar reacts with the solid waste, including toilet paper in the septic tank, breaking it down into smaller particles that can be flushed through the drains. Vinegar is acidic in nature and also reduces odor.
Baking soda has a high pH and can be used to adjust the acidity of your septic tank. For best results, pour a cup of baking soda followed by vinegar and finally boiling water.
While these products shouldn’t be our first choice to remedy toilet paper clogs in a septic tank, they’re worth giving a try.
4. Dishwashing liquid and hot water
Dishwashing liquid and hot water do dissolve toilet paper in a septic tank. The combination of these two catalyzes a chemical reaction in which the fibers of the toilet paper are broken down.
Points to note:
5. Drain cleaner
Drain cleaner, an acidic solution made of lye, sodium hydroxide, and water, is used to clear clogs in the toilet bowl. Lye is extremely effective in dissolving materials that are not supposed to go down the drain.
Pour the recommended amount of drain cleaner into your septic tank if you’re having trouble dissolving toilet paper clogs.
Toilet paper is made from wood pulp, which is insoluble in water. Aspirin contains acetylsalicylic acid, which is soluble in water.
This means that if you dissolve aspirin in water and pour it into a septic tank, it’ll dissolve the toilet paper inside the tank it breaks down fibers making your toilet paper and eventually eats away the entire toilet paper clog.
7. Live bacteria packets
Live bacteria packets are a relatively new invention that is now being used in septic tanks and toilets to unclogging toilet paper and other types of solid waste.
They’re a great way to keep your septic tank clean and functioning effectively, preventing any clogs or malfunctions that can be caused by the buildup of solid waste inside your tank.
These packets maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms, which will ensure that any solid that accumulates is dissolved immediately.
Live bacteria packets will dissolve toilet paper in a septic tank within a very short time.
This is important because many people have a hard time finding good ways to get rid of toilet paper fast in their septic tanks.
8. Caustic soda such as Coke
Caustic soda, also known as sodium hydroxide, is a common drain cleaner that can be used to dissolve toilet paper in septic tanks.
This substance is very harsh and can help speed up how toilet paper dissolves in a septic tank.
Just pour a can of coke and leave it to break down the toilet paper along with the other solid waste in your septic.
Does Toilet Paper Dissolve in a Septic Tank on Its Own?
Toilet paper will definitely dissolve on its own in a septic tank. This means that flushing toilet paper is just fine and acceptable. But are you really going to be okay to flush your used toilet paper after using the bathroom?
The short answer is, yes, toilet paper will dissolve in a septic tank. But this does not mean that you should just go ahead and flush heaps of toilet paper away.
The truth is that toilet paper will disintegrate over time, but large bundles will just slow down and complicate the disintegration process.
How Long Does It Take Toilet Paper to Dissolve in a Septic Tank?
The average toilet paper takes about 20 minutes to dissolve in a septic tank or sewage system.
Toilet paper is made from a simple recipe: wood pulp, water, and chemicals. The specific time for the toilet paper to dissolve in water depends on the proportion of each component making the recipe.
The time can also fluctuate depending on how well your septic tank functions.
What Toilet Paper Breaks Down the Fastest?
There are three types of toilet paper that dissolve quickly once they get to your septic tank:
Recycled toilet paper
A septic tank won’t be blocked by recycled toilet paper, as long as you don’t use too much of it.
Biodegradable toilet paper
Biodegradable toilet paper is great for the environment. It doesn’t pollute like regular toilet paper and helps decrease waste. If biodegradable toilet paper gets to your septic, it breaks down easily.
Disintegrating toilet paper
Disintegrated toilet paper will not block a septic tank as it’s made of short wood fiber and lignin, which disintegrate immediately when they come into contact with water.
Tips to Prevent Toilet Paper from Clogging Your Septic Tank
Toilet paper clogs are a nuisance if they happen to your septic tank. They not only cause a big mess but can also lead to bigger issues if left unattended.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent toilet paper clogs from occurring in the first place.
Here’s how to keep your toilet paper from clogging your pipes:
Choose septic tank-safe toilet paper and don’t overuse it
Toilet paper is one of the most commonly-flushed items, and it can cause a clog in your home’s septic tank.
Using too much toilet paper or non-septic tank-safe toilet paper can easily cause an expensive plumbing problem, so it should be avoided.
Dispose of your toilet paper in a dedicated trash basin
Another way to avoid toilet paper clogging problems with septic systems is to dispose of your toilet paper in a dedicated trash bin and not flush it down the toilet.
Check that your septic tank is working properly frequently
When you flush something down the toilet that doesn’t dissolve in water, it can clog up your septic tank.
The tank becomes clogged when solid wastes accumulate around the inlet baffle and reduce the flow of incoming wastewater into the tank. This can be avoided with frequent inspections of your septic tank.
How do I test if my toilet paper is septic-friendly?
You can test your toilet paper by putting a few squares of toilet paper in the bottom of the bowl and filling the rest of the bowl with water.
If it dissolves within an hour, then it’s septic-safe. Otherwise, the toilet paper isn’t septic safe, and you shouldn’t use it in your septic.
How to dissolve paper towels in a septic tank?
Paper towels are a mainstay in most homes. But the truth is that most are not biodegradable or take a long time to biodegrade.
For this reason, you need to dispose of them properly; otherwise, they’ll cause issues for your plumbing system and septic tank.
If you’re already dealing with a paper towel clog in your septic tank, you can use enzyme treatment to speed up the breakdown process.
Do sanitary products dissolve in a septic tank?
Many women have never considered what happens to their used sanitary products when they flush them down the toilet.
The truth is that they don’t dissolve in a septic tank but instead accumulate over time, causing blockages and bad odors. To avoid these issues, sanitary products should be disposed of in a dedicated trash basin.
Does bleach dissolve toilet paper in a septic tank?
Toilet paper breaks down when exposed to very acidic compounds. Bleach is a base; hence it doesn’t dissolve toilet paper.
Bleach also affects bacterial growth and multiplication in your septic tank, so it’s not suitable to dissolve toilet paper in your septic. The same applies to raw cleaners and household chemicals.
When it comes to the disposal of toilet paper, it’s a good idea to be conscious of how you do it.
If you’re having trouble with toilet paper clogging in your septic system, refer to this article for an effective treatment, along with some crucial tips to remedy the situation.
You can experiment with different treatments until you find what works for your septic tank.
The most important thing to ensure that toilet paper dissolves in your septic tank is frequent maintenance.
If you inspect your septic tank frequently, you’ll identify when toilet paper clogs up the system and deal with the issue immediately.