Having a septic tank can be a bit tricky. You have to be very mindful about what gets flushed and even put down your drains.
Even toilet paper needs to be scrutinized as not all of it is septic safe. We tend to take it for granted that toilet paper is going to break down.
The reality is that we can be clogging up our septic system by using the wrong toilet paper and not even realize it. With so many toilet paper options out there it can be confusing as to whether we are using the right one or not.
To take away this confusion, we put together this handy guide on what to look for in a septic-safe toilet paper and which ones are best. Read on for all the information that will help you keep your septic system happy.
What to look for in a septic safe toilet paper
A toilet paper that is safe for septic systems needs to be unbleached and has few layers. There are a few reasons for this so let’s go into the details.
Unbleached toilet paper
A crucial element for every septic system to have is a healthy ecosystem of bacteria. This bacteria will break down a lot of the solids in the cistern so it can continue to fill. Without this bacteria, solids would stick around and take up a lot of space. This leads to septic systems that are frequently overflowing.
Bleach in toilet paper kills off a lot of this bacteria. This then leads to an environment in which solids build-up and the septic system backs up. The trick is to look for unbleached toilet paper so it doesn’t leech into the water in the cistern.
Whether the toilet paper is made of bamboo, recycled paper, or tree pulp, it needs to be unbleached and without any chlorine type of chemicals used in the production. One of the problems people have with unbleached toilet paper is that it is rough. This is because the bleaching process is what softens the fibers so it feels comfortable when you use it.
This is why we recommend bamboo toilet paper that is unbleached since it is naturally soft without chemicals added. There are some bamboo toilet brands that do use bleach or chlorine so be sure to check the label before buying.
Fewer layers is better
Toilet paper with multiple layers is harder to break down quickly and can lead to a backed up system. The key is to get toilet paper that breaks down quickly so it doesn’t cause the cistern to get over full. This means that you need to look for toilet paper that doesn’t have too many layers and isn’t too thick.
For many people with septic systems, most ordinary toilet paper is going to be fine. If you are having problems with your septic system and believe toilet paper is the culprit then you need to change the brand and type that you’re using. Look for biodegradable toilet paper that is not made with more than two layers. If it has more than two layers, it should be rapid dissolving.
Or, you can use a trash bin especially for toilet paper, and throw your used TP away in that form when you’ve used it for a number one. Or, number two depending on your tolerance for an extreme system.
No matter how many layers your preferred toilet paper has, make sure to use less of it. There is little need to use a big ball of toilet paper and then flush that. Even one ply is going to take longer to break down if you use too much of it.
The 5 Best Toilet Paper For Septic Systems
1 – Cloud Bamboo Toilet Paper
- 100% Unbleached (TCF system)
- Dissolves as fast as leading TP brands
- 100% Plastic and BPA Free
- No inks, dyes or scents
- Ultra soft
Bamboo toilet paper is becoming increasingly popular for its softness as well as its sustainability. The problem is that some of them are so strong that they take a while to break down in a septic system. An exception to that is Cloud Paper as it dissolves as quickly as regular toilet paper.
Cloud Paper is very soft and even has a quilted texture so it doesn’t need thick layers to get the job done. It is triple-ply but the individual layers are not very thick. It gives it plenty of strength without making it overly bulky. This makes it ideal since you get strength, softness, and septic-safe toilet paper without really compromising.
It’s plastic and BPA free so there will be less plastic and chemicals getting into the environment. This is in addition to the sustainable nature of bamboo since it grows quickly and isn’t a resource hog like trees. We also love it for the fact that it is hypoallergenic for those that have allergies or are sensitive to most toilet paper.
It is sold as a subscription so it costs the same as a brand like Quilted Northern and you don’t have to worry about hoarding. They give frequent discounts for ordering as a subscription so the price drops even further.Use code CLOUD10 for 10% Off your first order or subscription!
2 – Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper for RV
- Contains 48 double rolls (6 packs of 8) = 96 regular rolls, 231 sheets per...
- Specially made for use in RVs, boats, buses and similar applications
- Soft, absorbent sheets are gentle on skin
- Sewer-safe and septic-safe unscented bath tissue
- Packaging may vary from images shown
Scott toilet paper is a trusted brand known for being cheap, but also a bit thin. In this case, being thin is a positive since we want it to dissolve quickly in the septic system, Which is why the ideal kind to get is formulated for RVs.
An RV has a very sensitive system and is also very small. It is very important that toilet paper not take long to break down and dissolve. This toilet paper is specifically formulated for RV owners but can be used by anybody with a septic system.
Be warned of a couple of things, however. One is that the toilet paper is really one ply and not double. This may be too thin for some. Another thing to understand is that the rolls don’t last very long. There are only 231 sheets per roll. You may find yourself running out quickly. The fact that this one provides dozens of rolls per order at a very low price means you’re still getting your money’s worth.
3 – Reel Bamboo Toilet Paper
- Fully dissolves in water
- Unbleached (TCF system)
- Zero plastic (not even plastic tape)
- No Inks, Dyes or Scents
- 3-ply luxurious feel
- Ultra soft
Reel toilet paper is made of bamboo and is completely biodegradable. It fully dissolves in water and that makes it great for your septic tank. Besides that, Reel doesn’t use any dyes, scents, or inks on their product, so it works well for people with sensitive skin. And you know you are not polluting the environment with anything that doesn’t belong there.
The toilet paper breaks apart easily in water but still is surprisingly soft. The 3-ply sheets give you a satisfying experience of both strength and softness.
Another thing we love about this toilet paper is that the company is supplying African people in need with single-use biodegradable toilets for each roll of their toilet paper sold. So when you buy a 24-pack box of Reel toilet paper you make sure somewhere out there people’s lives are made a little bit better thanks to the choice you made.
You can choose between a subscription and a one-time purchase to try their toilet paper out. The shipping is free for the subscription and they offer 25% off your first subscription order with a FIRST25 code.
4 – Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Toilet paper
- 2 ply bathroom tissue designed for softness and strength
- Made with 100 percent recycled paper, no added dyes, inks, or fragrances
- Compatible with low flow toilets in RVS and campers
- Septic safe; Rainforest alliance certified paper
- Shipment includes 2 packs of 24 roll packs, 240 sheets per roll
Recycled toilet paper is a great option for septic tanks. This type of toilet paper is made of recycled paper, which makes it easy to dissolve because the fibers in the recycled paper are already broken down well.
In addition to being 100% recycled, Seventh generation toilet paper is also unbleached – no chlorine was used in the process, so it won’t harm the bacteria in your septic tank.
The only downside of recycled toilet paper is that it is generally not as soft as toilet paper made of virgin tree pulp. But Seventh Generation did a pretty good job creating toilet paper that is soft but sturdy at the same time.
This toilet paper is also FSC certified making it a sustainable choice as well.
5 – Presto! Amazon Brand Toilet paper
- Includes 24 Mega Rolls (4 Packs of 6 Mega Rolls) with 308 2-ply sheets per...
- 24 Mega Rolls = 112 Regular Rolls (based on a regular roll with 66 sheets)
- Leaves less lint behind (versus the leading Ultra-Premium Soft Brand, based...
- RV/Septic-safe bath tissue
- If you like Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper, we invite you to try Presto...
Produced by Amazon this product is sold at a very competitive price. The toilet paper is soft and being 2-ply dissolves well in a septic tank. The rolls are huge making the paper last a while. The product is PEFC certified meaning the tree pulp is sourced from sustainably managed forests.
The toilet paper doesn’t leave any lint behind which is a nice touch.
The bottom line
Toilet paper choice is definitely an important choice to make when it comes to the septic tank. Unbleached toilet paper with fewer layers is best due to its quick disintegration and lack of chemicals. Keep in mind that all septic systems are a bit different so what works for some may not work for yours. So we encourage you to try out a few recommended brands of toilet paper to see what works best for your particular septic tank.
If you have any questions, let us know, we’ll be happy to help.