The materials should break down in your pipes so it’s easier for them to flow into the sewer system or your septic tank.
Since paper towels aren’t designed to be flushed, they don’t break down the same way that toilet paper does. Have you ever seen commercials for “super strong” paper towels?
They’re designed to absorb liquid, but they’re also designed not to break when they get wet. In fact, they just increase in size.
It’s possible that you won’t have any issues if you flush one or two paper towels at a time. But you’re taking a risk.
As the paper towel absorbs more liquid, it’s more likely to get stuck in the pipes. And by the time that happens, it will likely be too far down the pipe for you to fish it out easily.
A stuck paper towel might not cause any issues for a while. You may not notice any difference in your flushing power or drainage.
But debris will be more likely to get caught on the material, which can lead to a major clog. And if you keep flushing paper towels, they will eventually clump together and create a clog no matter what.
Clogs made from non-degradable materials can be a huge mess. It’s difficult to dislodge them.
Your toilet might back up and start to smell. If you have to call a plumber, you might end up with a hefty bill.
Other Non-Flushable Items
There are tons of items that people use as a replacement for toilet paper when the need presses. And there are other items that it might seem fair to flush down the toilet.
As a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t flush anything except toilet paper and bodily waste. But here are some more specifics.
People often use baby wipes to help clean messes in the bathroom. They’re gentle and safe to use on sensitive areas of the body. But you can’t flush them.
In many cases, the packaging for these wipes will say that they’re flushable. But this is misleading.
Even flushable wipes have trouble breaking down the same way that toilet paper does, which means that they can cause clogging. You usually won’t have issues if you flush just one at a time, but it’s better not to take the chance.