Will Paper Towels Clog a Toilet?

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Don't flush paper towels after you are done with them.
Don't flush paper towels after you are done with them. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

While toilets are made to flush away waste and toilet paper, it is important to remember that they cannot flush away everything. Paper towels do clog toilets, and understanding why is the first step to fixing the issue if it occurs.

Solubility

While both toilet paper and paper towels are made of paper, toilet paper is made to dissolve quickly and easily in water. Paper towels, on the other hand, are specifically thicker and made to be water-absorbent without breaking down. This makes them inclined to clog toilet drains if they get flushed.

Prevention

Do not put paper towels or any kind of paper products down the toilet with the exception of toilet paper. Teach your children not to flush inappropriate items in the toilet as well.

Solution

In many cases, plunging a toilet with a plunger will cause enough suction to get the clog out. In more serious cases, purchase a plumbing snake, also known as an auger, and thread it down the toilet. The corkscrew tip will either shred the clog or bring it back up.

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