The best toilet paper for your septic tank

Finding the best toilet paper for your septic tank is crucial for a properly running system. Numerous brands claim to make septic-safe toilet tissue, but finding the right product requires going beyond just the label.

Solid waste travels from your toilet to the septic tank with each flush. Toilet paper settles at the bottom of the tank, creating a sludge layer over time. Some of the sludge naturally decomposes because of the tank’s bacteria, but it’s necessary to have your septic tank pumped regularly to clean out the other waste.

Toilet paper that dissolves quickly is one of the best choices for a septic tank to create as little sludge buildup as possible. To keep your tank running properly, opt for toilet tissue with these qualities:

  • Septic-Safe Toilet Paper: A “septic-safe” label typically indicates toilet paper will dissolve quickly by breaking apart into tiny pieces. However, you should also look for the icon from the National Sanitation Foundation. The non-profit tests products related to the environment and certifies the best septic-safe toilet papers.
  • Recycled Toilet Paper: Many toilet papers contain chemicals, like bleach, that can be harmful to your septic system. Recycled toilet paper has fewer of those toxins, supporting growth of the natural bacteria in your tank. The paper dissolves more quickly in water.
  • Biodegradable Toilet Paper: While all toilet paper will eventually dissolve once it hits your septic tank, it’s beneficial to use one that can break down with very little water. Although more costly, biodegradable toilet paper dissolves fast.

Septic Tank Toilet Paper

If you want to test your current brand of toilet tissue, fill three-fourths of a 64-ounce container with water. Place four or five sheets of your current paper in the container and cover the top. Shake the container forcefully for 15 seconds. The shaking mimics the flushing of a toilet and will show you how the paper dissolves or breaks apart in water. Repeat the process with other brands you want to test and decide which brand performs best for your tank.

How Often To Clean A Septic Tank

How often you clean your septic tank depends on a number of factors, like your household water use and septic tank size. On average, a septic tank should be pumped every three to five years. Using biodegradable cleaners and toilet paper designed for septic tanks can help reduce the amount of sludge buildup and extend the life of your septic system between pumps.

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