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Accidentally Flushed Paper Towel (What Happens+Solution!)

Accidentally Flushed Paper Towel (What Happens+Solution!)

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Many people mistake paper towel paper towels for toilet paper because of the degree of resemblance. They have become a daily staple for most people, and you may accidentally use them for the wrong purposes. Did you flush your paper towel and don’t know what to do? Scroll down.

You should not flush paper towels down the toilet because it can lead to a clog in the drain pipe or the toilet trap. It is because paper towels absorb moisture and do not disintegrate quickly in the presence of water.

If you accidentally flushed your paper towel and are thinking about the next course of action, this article is for you. We will focus on the possibility of vinegar dissolving paper towels and whether one paper towel will clog your toilet, among other exciting findings. Read on to the end to broaden your understanding and know-how to handle the situation better next time.

Effects Of Flushing Paper Towels

Paper towels comprise cellulose which is ground-up plant material. It may include cotton or wood, which makes them effective in picking up liquid spills. However, this feature causes problems when you flush it down the toilet or sink.

The paper towel does not dissolve in water as fast as toilet paper. That means your toilet will clog, and you might stare at the following repercussions:

  • Nasty mess all over your floors
  • Costly repair bill from your plumber
  • Your house might become uncomfortable with the smell from the clogged toilet.

That is why it is always necessary to use paper towels for their right purposes and dispose of them accordingly. Therefore, you can dispose of paper towels by composting them or trashing and burning them later. However, you should take care because paper towels contain a special coating and chemicals which may be harmful.

Will Vinegar Dissolve Paper Towel?

Now, there are various ways of disposing of paper towels, and many people have suggested using vinegar. But how effectively can this prevent the recurring problems we’ve highlighted above?

The vinegar disintegrates the paper towel into individual fibers but does not dissolve it. The paper towel only dissolves with a mixture of acid and heat.

If you want to dissolve the paper towel using vinegar, it is advisable to incorporate baking soda and hot water. Using these two agents creates a fizzing reaction, breaking down the paper towels. These are effective in breaking the paper and helping push the paper towel down the drain.

Will One Paper Towel Clog A Toilet?

You can never underestimate the power of one paper towel. Whether it is one or many, the fact remains that paper towels don’t dissolve fast in the water. As such, the one paper towel you flush would still get trapped.

Depending on the toilet’s design, one paper towel can either be detrimental or cause negligible impact. In cases where there is not much pressure to force the paper towel out of the toilet, it may easily clog.

When the paper towel remains undissolved, it may end up in sewage backups. The situation becomes worse when it becomes a solid clog. However, a plunger would be effective in dislodging the one paper towel down the drain.

If you have one paper towel clogging, you can flush the toilet twice or thrice. The force applied by this excess water is enough to carry the paper towel out of your house.

Alternative to Unclogging A Toilet

 While the vinegar mentioned here may be effective, it may not be readily available in many cases. That is why you should have an alternative way of unclogging your toilet when you accidentally flush a paper towel.

You can use a plunger that pushes and pulls air through the pipe. It is the perfect choice for light clogs.

Try using the plumbing auger, which requires you to stick one end of the pipe down the toilet while cranking the other end in your hand. The frequent movements of the pipe will ultimately loosen up the clog.

Final Words

Since paper towels do not break down in water easily, you should always avoid flushing them down the toilet. If you do this accidentally, you can use vinegar, an auger, or a plunger to remove the clog. However, the best option is always to trash it in the bin or your compost pile.

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