What to Do with Toilet Paper Alternatives

Fear of COVID-19 caused TP to fly off of shelves – leaving many looking for toilet paper alternatives. Here's a breakdown of how you should dispose of these items.

Back in late 2018, Macomb County Public Works discovered a gross glob of fats, baby wipes and other waste they call a “fatberg” in its sewers – and if residents of southeast Michigan aren’t careful, they could cause a similar buildup in 2020.

The fear of COVID-19 compelled many to snatch up and hoard obscene amounts of toilet paper, leaving others to make due with other bathroom options including wet wipes and tissues.

In an effort to prevent improper disposal of these items, which could cause another fatberg, we dug around the internet to find out how you should handle soiled baby wipes and other items your family uses to clean their tush.

Toilet Paper

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on some TP before it flew off the shelves, it is safe to flush in most toilets. Why? Because toilet paper is made to decompose quickly in both septic tanks and sewage systems, toilet-guru.com explains. If you have a squat toilet, though, skip flushing it.

Wet wipes and baby wipes

Don’t flush them. Even if wet wipes say they are flushable, scottenglishplumbing.net says. They may go down the toilet fine but they take weeks or months to dissolve and can cause backups. As for baby wipes, they’re for babies. Save them for moms with babies – but don’t flush them either.

Paper towels, tissues and napkins

For the same reason as wet wipes, scottenglishplumbing.net says you shouldn’t flush them. Place them in your trash can. If an open trash can bothers you, get a small, sealed can and stick them in there until it’s time to go out.

Socks or other items

On the very off-chance you need to use a sock or pages of a magazine, don’t flush those either. Dispose of them the same way you would paper towels – or if it gets to this point, consider a bidet. You can get them on Amazon for as little as $40 and they fit most standard waterlines.


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