What is septic safe toilet paper?

June 11, 2020
pink toilet

Have you thought about what happens to your toilet paper once you’ve flushed? If not, let us break it down for you! Most people do not think about their septic systems until it costs them something, but purchasing septic-safe toilet paper is one of the best preemptive measures for ensuring that your septic systems stay unclogged, and the septic bills do not skyrocket. Basically, non-septic safe toilet paper does not dissolve quickly after being flushed, leading to build up in pipes and septic systems. Septic safe brands of toilet paper dissolve faster, require less water to degrade, and often do not include bleach and other harmful chemicals that can alter the balance in a septic system. 

What Not to Flush


Similar to non-septic safe toilet paper, there are some things that just do not belong in your septic system. If the wrong thing is flushed, this could severely alter the balance in the system and clog the pipes. This includes things like greasy food scraps, coffee grounds, toxic chemicals, garbage, feminine products, and more. 

So why are these items not septic-safe? Any solid can be extremely harmful to a septic system because it will cause an icky sludge to accumulate, causing unnecessary back up in the tank. Not only can solids create this sludge layer, but grease and oil as well. Consider composting food scraps and scraping excess cooking oil into the garbage before rinsing it down the sink or flushing. It is also important to consider what types of bleaches, drain cleaners and water softeners you use at home. Sometimes drain cleaners and discharge from water softeners can actually make the breakdown of material in the tank less productive because they alter the state of the scum layer and may kill beneficial bacteria. In the long run, it is best to flush what you know is safe, and to get your tank regularly checked and pumped.

Toilet Paper to Avoid


There are also certain types of toilet paper that can cause problems in your septic system. Next time you go to purchase toilet paper, pay attention to the labels, they may help in making a decision for what you would like to flush. To eliminate any clogged septic concerns, we have created a list of three things to look for, or rather avoid, when shopping for toilet paper: 


  1. Is it advertised as “ultra thick”? 
  2. 3-ply toilet paper 
  3. Heavy-duty toilet paper

If any or all of these phrases appear on your toilet paper packaging, chances are it is not the best choice for your septic system. 

plunging toilet

Is Biodegradable Toilet Paper Septic-Safe?


In order for a rapidly dissolving toilet paper to be effective, it needs to be biodegradable. A biodegradable toilet paper is designed to deconstruct more quickly once it is exposed to water. This is because the bonds holding the paper together are looser, leading to a quicker breakdown process after flushing. Quickly dissolving toilet paper is ultimately more cost effective for the home because it minimizes the calls to the septic companies. 

If you want to test if your toilet paper is septic safe, place 4-5 squares of each into a large mason jar or other clear container. Fill the first jar about ¾ full with water. Replace the lid and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. This will mimic what happens to toilet paper after it is flushed and travels through the pipes and into your septic tank.

Have a look! If the toilet paper has fallen apart into tiny pieces, you’re in luck--it’s a better choice for your septic system. Do a comparison test with other brands, then you can make a decision based off of other factors such as comfort and price!

gif of putting toilet paper in jar of water   shaking jar of water with sheet of toilet paper inside    toilet paper dissolving in jar of water


Bamboo Toilet Paper is Biodegradable


Often biodegradable toilet papers are recycled or made with a tree-alternative, such as bamboo! Our bamboo toilet paper breakdown is simple; it is 100% biodegradable, and still offers strength and support for when you wipe. That is why Bim Bam Boo created a 100% bamboo and biodegradable formula that offers the perfect balance of softness and degradability to ensure septic-compatibility. Bim Bam Boo’s formula was created with no formaldehyde, itchy adhesives, lint, BPA, or bleach; all harmful factors that can cause imbalances in the body and within the home. If you are looking for toilet paper that is simultaneously gentle on your body, your home, and your pipes, choose septic-safe Bim Bam Boo.


👉 Shop Septic-Safe Toilet Paper

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