Fun Info: How Long Does Toilet Paper Take to Break Down

Fun Info: How Long Does Toilet Paper Take to Break Down
The Siliconreview
07 Febuary, 2020

Three-Hundred and Twenty-Two million people on average use toilet paper each year. The question most people never think about is, how long does toilet paper take to break down? The answer may surprise you!

Read more to find out how long it takes to dissolve, and where it takes the longest to dissolve:

Did you know that not all toilet paper is made the same?

There are multiple different ply counts, each thicker and more absorbent. Just as there are multiple different types of toilet paper, there are also multiple different septic tanks. 

Not knowing the capacity of a septic tank could create a blockage in the future.

If you want to test whether your toilet paper will dissolve try this: Take a few sheets (up to four) of toilet paper. Place them into a container with a sealable lid. Fill the container a little over half with water. After that, shake the container gently for 10-15 seconds. If the toilet paper dissolves, then it will be easily digestible in a septic tank.

Toilet paper should generally begin to break down within 10-15 seconds if it doesn't then toilet paper that is being used may be too thick. Additives to the paper such as aloe can slow the breakdown process and can even stop some toilet papers from dissolving.  

How does it work when not at home? In other words; what if you want to hit the high sea?

Toilet paper that is marketed for RV or boat use is designed to break down more quickly! This is because these mobile vessels are more compact in space, so they need to be as efficient as possible. Cruise ships use quick breakdown toilet paper, so you never have to worry about bringing your own. A cruise should be relaxing for you, and a Hawaii cruise is truly the best way to relax!

What happens in the septic tank?

Most toilet paper is flushed down with any waste. From there, the waste flows down a collection of tubes, connecting to the septic tank. The pulpy residue settles at the bottom of the tank. After the material has settled, it will slowly begin to dissolve into smaller and smaller particles that will be filtered out. 

Regular toilet paper without additives is the best thing for a septic tank. The regular toilet paper will dissolve more quickly and take longer to build up inside a septic tank.