How to Break Down Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank

Toilet paper is an item that is extremely important in modern society. It improves our hygiene, convenience and comfort. Despite its enormous utility, it has some drawbacks. It is one of the worst things you can put down a septic tank. Not only does it not break down quickly, but it can cause serious damage to your entire septic system. It can clog septic tanks and cause back-load into toilet.

It is one of the most common household items that can harm your plumbing. If you use the wrong kind of toilet paper, you could end up with clogged pipes and other problem. Here are a few facts about toilet paper when it goes in, it does not biodegrade. Although it is safe to flush, but it can cause some major problems in your septic tank. Due to the fact that we cannot entirely do without them, its best to learn how to break down toilet paper in a septic tank.

When using toilet paper in a septic tank, use have to be conscious of the amount you dispose into the tank. The average person uses about a roll of toilet paper a week. This amount can add up to almost 300 pounds of paper every year.

ALSO READ: Does Bamboo Toilet Paper Block Toilets?

Ways to Break Down Toilet Paper in a Septic Tank

1. Use enzymes

The best way to break down toilet paper in a septic tank is with enzymes. These are natural, organic compounds that break down the tissue and water-soluble components of the paper, which will then pass through your drain field.

Below are tips to use enzymes to break down the toilet paper

Choose an enzyme product specifically designed for septic systems. Look for one that contains protease, amylase and cellulase enzymes. Add it according to the product’s directions and store the rest in an airtight container away from moisture and heat until it’s time to use it again. Pour just enough water into the toilet bowl so that it covers all but a few inches of the top layer of paper before flushing again.

Rid-X Septic Tank Treatment Enzymes

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Rid-X excellent product for removing organic matter from your tank. It contains beneficial enzymes that break down toilet paper, grease, oil, starch, protein and other materials without harming your pipes or septic system. It’s ideal for restoring and maintaining your septic system’s bacterial balance, as well as clearing your drains of any foul odors caused by clogging.

2. Use less toilet paper

It takes about 6 pounds of paper products per person per day to fill up a single-family home septic tank. Use less by switching to cloth hand towels to wipe bum or clean hand, using fewer washcloths and buying durable products with minimal packaging. Try flushing only one or two sheets of toilet paper at a time. This will prevent them from clogging up your pipes and causing a backup or overflow situation.

When you flush a wad of toilet paper, it breaks down into tiny strands that have a tendency to get stuck in the pipes. This can be particularly problematic for septic tanks. If there are too many fibers in the toilet paper, it won’t break down properly and could cause blockages or worse problems in your pipes or drainage field.

3. Dispose the toilet paper

There is no rule that requires you to flush your toilet paper. You can buy a toilet paper waste bin and tell all family members to deposit all toilet paper in that bin.

ALSO READ: Does Hot Weather Affect Toilet Paper Storage?

4. Dissolve Toilet Paper with a Chemical Additive

Septic tank additives are typically marketed as sewer-safe solutions meant to disintegrate toilet paper. These items can be immensely helpful if your septic tank is blocked due to an accumulation of toilet paper. Simply break the blockage by adding the chemical powder to the water and flushing it as indicated on the container.

This chemical additive aids in the breakdown of toilet paper. It has the ability to unclog a sewer line. To use the chemical additive, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Even though they are mainly intended for septic- tanks, chemical additives such as these are safe for all sewer lines. They can help prevent clogs if used on a regular basis as a preventative measure.

5. Plunge

Instead of using chemicals to remove a toilet paper blockage, consider manual alternatives first. Using a plunger to unclog a toilet is the most simple way. With a two-handed grip, place the plunger tightly against the outlet hole at the bottom of the toilet bowl, then plunge vigorously. The additional pressure of the plunger may break down most toilet paper jams, freeing up space in your septic tank.

6. Change the Way you Dispose your Toilet Paper

Flush toilet paper only when it’s wet, like after taking a bath or shower. This will help prevent clogs in your pipes and keep things flowing smoothly for everyone in the house who needs to use the toilet.

ALSO READ: How to Unclog Bathroom Sink Naturally

7. Use baking soda

Before calling a plumber to fix your clogged septic tank, you can try a DIY method to fix things. Put 1/2 cup of baking soda into the bowl; then pour in an equal amount of white vinegar (or lemon juice) and let it stand for 10 minutes. The combination of baking soda and acid will assist in dissolving any clog present in the drain line.

After 10 minutes, flush the toilet again to see if it drains better. If not, repeat this process until the clog clears.

8. Choose the Right Toilet Paper

Choosing the right toilet paper is a key way to break down toilet paper in a septic tank. The wrong kind of toilet paper can cause clogs and backups, so it’s important to understand what makes for good toilet paper. If you’re using standard TP and it’s causing clogs, try switching to a high-quality, uncoated toilet paper that breaks down quickly in the septic tank. Toilet paper should dissolve quickly in water. If you don’t know which one will work best for your septic system, you could end up with clogged pipes and a whole lot of mess on your hands.

How to Choose the Right Type of Toilet Paper for Septic Tank

One of the most common issues with choosing the right toilet paper is that many people don’t realize that different kinds of TP are made from different types of paper.

1. Unbleached toilet paper

These days, many brands make unbleached toilet paper, which is better for your septic system than bleached varieties. However, if you’re using a brand of unbleached toilet paper, that’s not specifically labeled as being septic tank safe, it’s possible that you’re using something that could clog up your system.

2. Consider the material the toilet paper is made of

Toilet paper is made from different types of materials such as wood pulp or recycled paper (which contains recycled newspaper). The choice of material used for making toilet paper can affect its ability to break down waste matter in our septic systems.

The best toilet paper for septic systems is soft, contains no dyes or fragrances and comes from recycled paper sources. If it’s not used only in your bathroom, but also as a facial tissue, choose a product that’s 100-percent post-consumer waste (PCW) fiber.

3. Pick septic safe and biodegradable toilet paper

Not all toilet papers are septic safe. This is because they are not all biodegradable. While toilet paper is made from biodegradable materials, the manufacturing process sometimes include non-biodegradable ingredients such as chemicals, lotions and perfumes.

Whereas, some toilet paper brands are environmentally friendly, with no chemicals used in the manufacturing process. The material the toilet paper is made also determines if it is septic safe. Bamboo toilet paper is biodegradable, septic safe and environmentally friendly than traditional toilet paper.

If you don’t want to pay the extra for eco-friendly toilet paper, simply make sure it is unscented and free of lotion. It will keep it more biodegradable and easier to break down.

 4. Ply

Choose single-ply rather than double-ply. Double-ply products tend to clump together, which can cause serious problems if you’re trying to flush them down your pipes. Single-ply products are less likely to clump, which makes them easier on your plumbing system and easier on your sewer system as well.

One-ply tissue or two-ply tissue that contains no chemicals or additives. Try to avoid multi-ply tissues as they contain more chemicals than single-ply tissues do which can damage your pipes over time.

5. Consider the amount of time it takes the toilet paper to dissolve

There are two main types of toilet paper. Toilet paper that breaks down quickly and easily in water and toilet paper that doesn’t break down easily in water. Toilet paper that breaks down easily in water is made from materials such as cellulose, which are biodegradable and suitable for septic tanks. However, these types of toilet papers cost more than regular ones, so if this is important to you then make sure to check the label before buying any products.

The higher quality brands contain more fiber per sheet than lower quality brands. The lower quality brands have less fiber and more filler materials like polyethylene glycol (PEG) which will not break down as fast.


There are several ways to easily break down toilet paper to avoid damaging your septic tank. Go through the article to find out the different ways to break down your toilet paper.

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