The Hidden Dangers of Flushing Facial Tissues

The Problem with Flushing Facial Tissues

Facial tissues are a staple in many households, often used for wiping noses, cleaning up small spills, and removing makeup. While they seem harmless, flushing them down the toilet can lead to significant plumbing issues. Unlike toilet paper, which is designed to break down quickly in water even flushable facial tissues are more resilient. They are designed to hold together when wet, making them a poor choice for flushing.

The Difference Between Toilet Paper and Facial Tissues

Toilet paper is specifically engineered to dissolve quickly in water, minimizing the risk of clogs in plumbing systems. Facial tissues, on the other hand, are designed for durability and moisture resistance. This fundamental difference means that even if a facial tissue is labeled as “flushable,” it doesn’t disintegrate as easily as toilet paper. When flushed, these tissues can contribute to blockages in pipes and septic systems.

The Environmental Impact of Flushing Tissues

Flushing facial tissues not only affects your plumbing but also has environmental repercussions. When these tissues enter the sewage system, they can contribute to the formation of fatbergs – large, solid masses formed from a combination of non-biodegradable materials and fats. Fatbergs can block sewer systems, leading to overflows and pollution in local waterways. Additionally, the energy and resources required to clear these blockages have a considerable environmental cost.

The Myth of Flushable Tissues

Many products on the market are labeled as “flushable,” giving consumers a false sense of security. However, the term don’t flush facial tissues often means that the product will physically go down the toilet, not that it will break down like toilet paper. Studies have shown that even flushable wipes and tissues can cause blockages and damage to sewage systems. It’s crucial to be skeptical of these labels and avoid flushing any products other than toilet paper.

The Financial Costs of Plumbing Issues

Flushing facial tissues can lead to costly plumbing repairs. Blockages in your home’s plumbing can cause backups, resulting in water damage and the need for professional repairs. In severe cases, these blockages can affect municipal sewer systems, leading to widespread issues and expensive repair bills. By avoiding flushing facial tissues, you can save yourself from unnecessary expenses and headaches.

Alternatives to Flushing Tissues

There are simple and effective alternatives to flushing facial tissues. Dispose of used tissues in the trash, where they can be managed appropriately. For those concerned about hygiene, consider using small, sealable bags to contain used tissues until they can be thrown away. Additionally, compostable options are available for those looking to reduce their environmental impact. By making these small changes, you can protect your plumbing and the environment.

Educating Others on Proper Disposal

One of the most effective ways to prevent plumbing issues caused by flushing facial tissues is through education. Share information with family and friends about the importance of proper disposal methods. Encourage others to throw tissues in the trash rather than flushing them. Schools and community organizations can also play a role by providing education on waste management and the impact of improper disposal on local infrastructure.


In conclusion, while facial tissues may seem harmless, their durability makes them unsuitable for flushing. Even flushable tissues do not break down easily, leading to potential plumbing and environmental issues. By understanding the differences between toilet paper and facial tissues, recognizing the environmental impact, and educating others, we can all contribute to a healthier plumbing system and a cleaner environment. Dispose of facial tissues properly in the trash, and encourage others to do the same. These small actions can prevent significant problems and ensure our plumbing systems remain efficient and functional.

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