7 Best Toilet Paper for Septic Tanks | Sustainability Check
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Good TP can make a difference for your skin and the environment! If you rely on a septic system for all of your household plumbing needs, however, you can’t just reach for the thickest, plushest option available.
Septic-safe toilet paper needs to dissolve quickly and easily — no clogs welcome! Fortunately, many of the qualities we look for in eco-friendly TP (e.g., biodegradability) are also great for septic systems.
By the way, this definitely isn’t the first time we’ve delved into the world of sustainable toilet paper! If you’re not concerned about finding the safest option for septic tanks, be sure to also check out our list of the best eco-friendly toilet paper overall (you may notice a few familiar brands while you’re at it!).
Best Toilet Paper for Septic Tanks in 2023
Best Overall — Caboo Bamboo Bath Tissue
Caboo Bamboo Bath Tissue
Save the trees by switching to this economical bathroom tissue made of septic-safe bamboo.
Bamboo toilet paper is becoming more accessible and affordable for consumers as a whole — not just those committed to greener living. Caboo Bamboo Bath Tissue is just one example of an economical alternative to tree-based paper.
This TP is made entirely from bamboo, making it 100% biodegradable, and is packaged without any plastic. Caboo toilet paper is bleached but does not utilize chlorine in the manufacturing process.
This 2-ply toilet paper still dissolves quickly in water. However, the paper itself seems to be thinner than other 2-ply products out there.
Best Subscription Service — Cloud Paper
This subscription-based TP brand utilizes soft bamboo fibers instead of traditional paper.
If you’re on the hunt for septic-safe toilet paper that you can “set and forget,” why not try a subscription service like that offered by Cloud Paper?
While Cloud Paper boasts a 3-ply construction, this bamboo paper is thin enough that it won’t cause problems in the average septic system. (Of course, you should opt for something even thinner if your system tends to be finicky!)
As we mentioned, this eco-friendly TP is available via automatic subscription. So you can sign up to receive new rolls — packaged without plastic — on a regular schedule and never run out.
Learn more about this bamboo toilet paper by checking out our recent Cloud Paper review!
Best Budget Option — Scott 1000 Toilet Paper
Scott 1000 Toilet Paper
This tried-and-true toilet paper is septic-safe and backed by sustainable practices.
Shopping for septic-safe toilet paper is one of the few scenarios where some of the cheapest options are also the best. Using Scott 1000 Toilet Paper is an effective, budget-friendly way to protect your septic system.
While not the most luxurious option on the market, this TP dissolves incredibly quickly once flushed. There’s almost no risk of clogging when used correctly. It’s even deemed safe for RVs and marine toilets!
This toilet paper is 100% biodegradable, made with sustainably sourced paper, and packaged on recycled cardboard rolls. Scott also offsets 100% of its US manufacturing with wind-powered electricity.
Best 3-Ply Paper — Reel Toilet Paper
Reel Toilet Paper
Enjoy the strength and absorbency of 3-ply TP without risking your septic tank.
Septic users are generally advised to use 2-ply toilet paper at most. If you just can’t let go of that third ply, however, Reel Toilet Paper is one of the safest options.
This tree-free toilet paper is made with 100% bamboo and packaged with zero plastic. It’s never treated with chlorine bleach, fragrances, or dyes.
Again, this 3-ply toilet paper is fairly thick. While it is certified as readily biodegradable, it’s not recommended for clog-prone septic systems.
Septic or not, Reel Toilet Paper is one of our favorite brands in terms of sustainability. Check out our in-depth review to learn more!
Best TP for RVs — Nature’s Call Bamboo Toilet Paper
Nature’s Call Bamboo Toilet Paper
Wipe responsibly at home or on the go with this biodegradable bamboo toilet paper.
Nature’s Call Bamboo Toilet Paper isn’t just safe for home septic systems. It can also be used with RV and marine toilets when you’re on the go.
While it’s easy to overlook this unassuming brand of biodegradable, 2-ply TP, it’s regularly lauded as one of the best dissolvable toilet papers out there. The paper is surprisingly strong for how thin it is. The fact it’s made without tree pulp is just the sustainable cherry on top!
Perhaps the only downside of this septic-safe toilet paper is that it comes packaged in plastic.
Best Roll-Less TP — Plushi Paper
This roll-free toilet paper is accessible, reduces waste, and won’t clog your septic system.
It’s hard to imagine modern toilet paper sold in any form but a roll. However, Plushi Paper does just that.
Plushi Paper is toilet paper packaged in a box a la traditional facial tissues. This packaging reduces waste and improves accessibility — a great option for young kids who don’t know how much toilet paper to use.
While Plushi Paper is advertised as 4-ply, it is 100% safe for septic tanks. In fact, the thickness is more comparable to regular 2-ply TP rolls. This toilet paper is also safe for use in RVs, on boats, and with composting toilet systems.
Best Recycled TP — Seventh Generation Bath Tissue
Seventh Generation Bath Tissue
Help slow deforestation by switching to a recycled bathroom tissue like this one.
Recycled toilet paper isn’t just better for the environment. Products like Seventh Generation Bath Tissue are also safer for your septic system.
This toilet paper is made solely from recycled fibers — 50% of that material comes from post-consumer sources. It’s free of common additives like dyes and fragrances but is whitened without bleach.
Despite its 2-ply construction, this paper breaks down easily and won’t clog even low-flow toilets. However, it does sacrifice some strength and absorbency in the process.
How To Choose Septic-Safe Toilet Paper
Selecting a septic-safe toilet paper is ultimately about how easily the material disintegrates in water. But our goal is to find a toilet paper that is simultaneously good for septic tanks and good for the environment.
A few key phrases to watch out for include recycled and biodegradable. Toilet paper made from these types of materials tend to break down much faster than “regular” TP.
Tree-free alternatives like bamboo and hemp toilet paper are also sustainable and septic-safe options.
Thickness plays an important role in how quickly a piece of toilet paper will dissolve in water. The easiest way to determine the thickness of a given TP brand — unless you want to physically compare different bathroom tissues side-by-side — is to look at the number of plies.
Each ply is a layer of paper. Most toilet paper is made with one, two, or three layers.
Multi-ply toilet paper tends to be stronger and more absorbent. It is also slower to dissolve. Because of this, the typical rule of thumb is to only use 1- or 2-ply toilet paper with a septic system.
Bleached vs Unbleached
Toilet paper is often bleached to achieve a consistent color. This process also softens the paper fibers slightly, improving the dissolvability of the TP.
Chlorine bleach is harmful to septic tanks, so some septic owners opt to avoid bleached paper products. However, there’s no solid evidence that any chlorine remaining in bleached TP is significant enough to affect septic health. In fact, some plumbers prefer bleached paper because the fibers are already partially broken down.
On the other hand, many consumers choose unbleached toilet paper because it is better for the environment or less irritating to sensitive skin. As long as the TP is deemed septic-safe, the lack of bleaching shouldn’t be an issue!
Anyone using a septic tank should know what makes a toilet paper septic-friendly. But nearly all TP that can be used with such systems will be clearly labeled as septic-safe.
For maximum peace of mind, look for certified septic-safe toilet paper. The most trusted certification is given out by the National Sanitation Foundation and shows that the paper has been tested for dissolvability by a third party (not just labeled as septic-safe by the manufacturer).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is septic-safe toilet paper okay for an RV?
Yes, many RV enthusiasts recommend using septic-safe toilet paper in place of more expensive specialty bathroom tissue. If you spend a lot of time in your family’s RV, it’s a good idea to reach out to other campers and ask what type of toilet paper they personally use.
With that said, keep in mind that RV plumbing is not the same as a septic system. Always err on the side of caution by choosing single-ply toilet paper that will dissolve quickly.
What is the worst toilet paper for septic systems?
As a general rule, the worst TP for septic systems is quilted or multi-ply paper. Avoid toilet paper that is 3-ply or thicker. Also, be wary of toilet paper marketed as “ultra-strong” and similar.
How do you test the dissolvability of toilet paper?
You can test your favorite TP’s dissolvability with a super simple test:
- Fill a clean glass with water.
- Place 2 to 3 unused pieces of toilet paper in the water.
- Set a timer to determine how long it takes for the paper to completely dissolve.
For septic systems, toilet paper should dissolve within 20 minutes at most. But the best toilet paper for septic tanks will be completely dissolved within 10 minutes!
Is lotion-infused toilet paper safe for septic tanks?
If the toilet paper itself is labeled as septic-safe, yes. But it’s generally not recommended.
The thickness and dissolvability of the paper are more important than the inclusion of moisturizing ingredients. Since these products tend to be made with ultra-thick paper, you may have trouble finding a septic-safe version of lotion-infused TP in the first place!
Last update on 2023-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API