Is Expensive Toilet Paper Actually Bad for Your Toilet?

Updated: Oct. 11, 2023

There are a lot of ways that a toilet can get backed up. But what if it's actually your expensive toilet paper that's causing the clogs?

toilet paper on toiletcunaplus/Shutterstock

“What kind of toilet paper do you use?”

That’s not the kind of question you often hear. But when it comes up, it sure makes for a great debate! There’s toilet paper made from trees, toilet paper made from recycled paper, one-ply, two-ply and even four-ply! There’s low-grade toilet paper that has one or two plies max and is very coarse. Mid-grade is two-ply and textured to provide softness and durability.

The fanciest toilet paper has two-to-four plies, and can even feature things like lotion and wax. When it comes to comfort, the premium stuff is clearly the best.  Unfortunately, higher quality toilet paper is also more expensive — and more likely to cause clogs. If your toilet seems to clog often, it may be time to downgrade your toilet paper.

Rough pipes, low-flow toilets and excessive toilet paper are among the most common reasons a toilet clogs. But if none of those factors are present, it could be thickness of the paper that’s the culprit.

While that ultra-plush roll feels lovely, the thicker each square, the easier it can get stuck in your pipes and cause clogs. The pros at Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air, San Diego, CA, recommend testing your toilet paper. “Take a square or two of your current toilet paper and drop it into the toilet,” they say. “If a few minutes have passed and it still looks similar or nearly identical, then it may be too thick, putting your plumbing at risk. Instead of using the thick toilet paper products available today, opt for a thinner, lighter option. Usually, the more cost-effective toilet paper products are friendlier to your plumbing.”

If you don’t like the idea of chopping down forests to make toilet paper, consider switching to an alternative: bamboo toilet paper. Here’s what you should do if you drop your phone in the toilet.

Expensive toilet paper is not the only thing that causes clogs. Here are some things you should never flush:

Did you know these 15 everyday items are actually dirtier than a toilet seat?
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