Can (Or Should) You Flush Paper Towels Down The Toilet?

Toilet at a corporate office

It’s happened again. The office has run out of toilet paper, and people are deciding whether they can use tissues or paper towels while someone heads out to save the day. This is a common problem for many small businesses, and one that can be avoided by buying toilet paper in bulk from a reputable supplier. Not only that, but it will be cheaper than doing so from a local supermarket in case of an emergency. If you or someone in the team has been tempted to flush paper towels down the toilet, we’re here to tell you whether this is a good idea or not. 


Paper Towels vs. Toilet Paper

If you’re out of toilet paper, you should never flush paper towels or similar napkins down the loo. Although it might seem like a simple solution to your problem, the reality is that they don’t dissolve as readily in water as their toilet paper counterpart, meaning it can cause damage to pipes, clog up the whole system, and result in flooding in the bathroom. Water is meant to help speed up the process of breaking down toilet paper, but because of its structural composition, paper towels are not as readily able to break down when they come in contact with water. Simply put, they shouldn’t be considered as an option that dissolves in water to begin with. 


How Long Do Paper Towels Take To Break Down?

We don’t mean it lightly when we say that paper towels should be considered a “dissolving” product. It takes them anywhere from two weeks to a month to break down in the same setting as toilet paper, which can cause major problems for you and the team at the office. Flushing them down can result in large expenses to fix the issue. That’s not even mentioning the inconvenience factor, which may even result in you having to bring port-a-potties into the building to make do while plumbing problems get rectified. This is not ideal, especially if you’re trying to court a new client with an office visit. 


Bulk supply of toilet paper


Discouraging Toilet Users From Flushing Paper Towels

Now that you know why it’s such a bad idea to flush paper towels, it’s important to discourage the team from doing so. Don’t be shy about telling them that it can cause problems, but also remember to cover your bases in order to make sure they never have to do so to begin with. A steady supply of toilet paper will mean that nobody has to be tempted to use paper towels when nature calls. Ensure that paper towel dispensers are well away from bathroom cubicles, and put signs up if need be, especially if you’ve dealt with this problem in the past. 


For Regular Shipments of Toilet Paper & Consumables

Don’t be shy about formalising a toilet paper solution that guarantees regular shipments so you never have to worry. Bidvest Steiner offers this alongside doing so for a variety of different consumables that can make life at the office a little easier for everyone. With a range that caters to almost any scenario you can imagine, and affordable products that have been designed with eco-friendliness in mind, you can’t go wrong by going this route. You’ll be having everyone in the office laugh about the (then) crazy idea to use paper towels for the toilet in no time at all. 

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