The Best Toilet Paper for Septic Tanks

Toilet paper roll on holder.

We all want to keep our plumbing in working order. Finding the right toilet paper goes a long way toward helping this happen. Good toilet paper dissolves easily and doesn’t clog up plumbing. Unfortunately, the same things that make a toilet paper good for your plumbing can make it pretty bad at its primary function.

Thankfully, modern toilet paper brands have managed to find a way to balance the needs of both people and septic systems. In this article, we’ll explore some of the factors that make a toilet paper good for septic tanks and highlight some toilet paper alternatives that can help your septic system even more.

What Makes a Toilet Paper Good for Septic Tanks

As you might imagine, a good toilet for septic tanks doesn’t always line up with exactly what you’d want in a toilet paper. The best toilet paper for septic tanks tends to be thinner and more dissolvable, which helps prevent clogs and other issues. Conversely, the best toilet paper for practical use is multi-ply, absorbent, and durable. Striking a balance between these two competing needs is the primary goal of any toilet paper manufacturer.

That said, if you’re looking for the best toilet paper for septic tanks, these are the factors you should keep in mind.


For toilet paper to keep a septic tank clear, it needs to dissolve readily. Some brands of toilet paper bear a “septic safe” label, which indicates that it dissolves fast enough for modern septic systems. Some other toilet papers, such as biodegradable, recycled, and bamboo toilet paper, tend to dissolve well even if they lack a septic safe label.


Highly absorbent toilet paper tends to be thicker and therefore less likely to dissolve. If you have an older septic system, then plushy, absorbent paper may not be the right call. This type of toilet paper delivers comfort for day-to-day use but tends to clump up in sensitive septic systems.


No one wants to use toilet paper that breaks and tears at the slightest use. At the same time, toilet paper that is too durable can break your septic system. Ideally, you want to find a toilet paper with a good wet strength (how well the paper holds up to tearing when wet) so that it can hold up while in use and a high decomposition rate so that it breaks down quickly when flushed.

Chlorine Free

Septic tanks, as you might imagine, are filled with bacteria. That’s actually a good thing. Anaerobic bacteria in septic tanks help to break down waste. When toilet paper contains chlorine, it can upset the balance inside the septic tank and kill the bacteria that break down waste. If enough of this kind of toilet paper is used, it can lead to waste not breaking down in a timely manner.

Ply Amount

When you go shopping for toilet paper, you probably look for the cheapest type with the highest ply count. A high ply is undeniably plusher, more absorbent, and more durable. All the things that make it great for use make it pretty terrible for your septic tank. Try and find a more durable paper with a lower ply count if possible.

Alternatives to Toilet Paper

Today, toilet paper isn’t the only option for keeping clean in your bathroom. New devices and toilet paper alternatives can both help keep you cleaner and prevent clogs in your septic tanks.

Here are two of the best alternatives to toilet paper along with a brief explanation of how they can keep your septic tank clear:

  • Bidet

A bidet, historically, was a device that sat separate from the toilet and sprayed a jet of water to clean. Today, many places use the same style of bidet, but now there are also devices that hook onto your existing toilet to perform the same function. While these devices do tend to cost more than buying a package of toilet paper, the cost is offset by a reduced need to buy toilet paper in general. Additionally, because you won’t be using as much toilet paper once you have a bidet, you put less stress on your septic tank system.

  • Sanitary Wipes

Sanitary wipes are terrible for your septic system, even those labeled flushable (according to a study). So you might wonder why we’re even talking about them. It’s because you can use them without flushing them down your toilet. Sanitary wipes are designed for cleaning, and many are gentle enough to use on your skin without causing irritation. This leads to a more effective clean, and because they go in the trash, they’re actually easier on your septic system at the end of the day. Just make sure you don’t flush them or you could be stuck with an unfortunate clog.

Keep Your Septic System Healthy with Help from Mr. Rooter Plumbing

Buying the right toilet paper can go a long way toward keeping your septic system healthy, but it’s not the only thing you can do to maintain your plumbing. At Mr. Rooter, we offer services like septic tank pumping and general septic tank service that can help you keep your plumbing system running perfectly. We can even help you find out when it’s time to have your septic tank pumped.

If you want to keep your septic system in great shape, but buying the right toilet paper isn’t cutting it, give us a call to request a service today!