No, paper towels do not dissolve in toilets. Paper towels are made from cellulose, which is a type of plant matter. Toilets use a small amount of water and mechanical force to move waste and paper products through their plumbing pipes.
When paper towels enter the plumbing, they become stuck and can clog pipes. Additionally, paper towels are not designed to be broken down by the same bacteria and enzymes that break down toilet paper.
As a result, it is important to avoid flushing paper towels and other household products like facial tissue and baby wipes down the toilet.
How long does it take paper towels to decompose in toilet?
Paper towels can take an extended amount of time to decompose in a toilet, ranging from several months to years. Depending on the characteristics of the paper towel and the environment in the toilet, the decomposition rate can vary drastically.
The number of layers in the paper towel, and the chemicals and other materials it is made from, will affect its decomposition time. When placed in a toilet, the paper towel will be exposed to moisture, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can break it down.
However, paper towels are often dense and thick, which makes them harder to biodegrade than other materials. The amount of oxygen and other nutrients available to the microorganisms in the toilet will also affect the rate of decomposition.
In addition, the temperature, pH level, and other atmospheric conditions in the toilet can also have an impact on the breakdown process.
What to do if toilet is clogged with paper towels?
If your toilet is clogged with paper towels, the first step is to try to unclog it by using a plunger. Make sure to thoroughly seal the plunger over the drain and vigorously pump it up and down. After several strokes, remove the plunger and see if the paper towel has moved.
If it has, flush the toilet and the problem should be solved. If the plunger doesn’t do the trick, then use a kitchen coat hanger to fish the paper towels out of the toilet. Unbend the coat hanger and create a hook shape at one end.
Stick it in the toilet and try to hook any towels that are clogging the drain and pull them out. Once you have removed all the towels, flush the toilet to see if the clog is gone. If it is not, you may need to use a drain snake, as the paper towels may be too far down in the drain and out of reach of your coat hanger.
To use a drain snake, insert it into the toilet and push it down the pipe. Continue pushing it until the paper towels are pushed through and flushed away. If the clog still will not clear, you may need to call a professional plumber.
What will dissolve paper towels in pipes?
Most paper towels are composed of cellulose and therefore are not very soluble in water, meaning they will not dissolve in pipes. However, some paper towels contain polymers or other materials that can degrade when in contact with water, allowing them to break down.
If a buildup of paper towels is clogging a pipe, then it is recommended to use an enzyme-based pipe cleaner, rather than chemical pipes cleaners which can only partially break down the paper towels. Enzyme-based cleaners work by breaking down the molecular bonds found in polymers, and will effectively dissolve paper towels in pipes.
How do you unclog toilet paper towels?
The first thing to do when attempting to unclog a toilet clogged with toilet paper towels is to try plunging it. Begin by filling the toilet with water, then put the plunger over the drain opening and plunge vigorously for a few minutes.
If that still doesn’t get the clog out, you can try using a toilet auger. Insert the auger into the drain, turn the crank handle, and push down as you turn until the clog is dislodged.
If these methods are not successful, you may need to remove the toilet to be able to access and remove the clog. To do this, turn off the water supply valve and flush the toilet to empty it. If it is still not draining, you need to remove the toilet completely.
Disconnect the supply line, then disconnect the nuts and bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. Once the toilet is removed, you can reach in and remove the clog.
If all else fails, you can consider using chemical cleaners meant to break down the clog. These are powerful and potentially damaging products, so use them with caution.
How long do paper towels take to dissolve?
It depends on the type of paper towel and the environment in which it is placed. Paper towels are generally designed to be more durable than ordinary paper and may not dissolve as quickly if larger amounts are used.
For example, if placed in a standard washing machine with a regular cycle, most paper towels will not dissolve at all. However, if placed in hot boiling water or a biodegradable solution, such as vinegar and baking soda, paper towels can break down and dissolve in about 10 to 15 minutes.
Additionally, paper towels may not dissolve as fast in cold water, and it could take up to several hours for them to break down completely.