The Best Toilet Paper for Septic Tanks in 2021

The best toilet paper for septic tanks is comfortable to use and readily dissolvable to keep you and your septic system happy.

By Jasmine Harding | Updated Oct 5, 2021 3:08 PM

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Best Toilet Paper For Septic

Photo: depositphotos.com

If you have a septic tank, using the right toilet paper is important for maintaining your septic system. Toilet paper that doesn’t break down can accumulate and cause clogs, leading to a dreaded messy or expensive repair. Septic-safe toilet paper dissolves quickly and completely to prevent plumbing problems.

Beyond being safe for the septic system, you also want the toilet paper to be soft, strong, and pleasant to use. Read on for the qualities to look for in the best toilet paper for septic tanks and learn more about the top picks for keeping your system clog-free.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare Soft Toilet Paper
  2. RUNNER UP: Angel Soft Toilet Paper
  3. AFFORDABLE FAVORITE: Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll Toilet Paper
  4. BEST BIODEGRADABLE: Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper
  5. BEST RECYCLED: Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper 100% Recycled
  6. BEST BAMBOO: Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper
  7. BEST LARGE ROLL: Presto! 308-Sheet Mega Roll Toilet Paper
  8. BEST DISSOLVING: Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue – Paper for RV and marine
  9. BEST SCENTED: Angel Soft Toilet Paper with Fresh Lavender Scent
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Freedom Living RV Toilet Paper
Best Toilet Paper For Septic Tanks

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Toilet Paper for Septic Tanks

Ultra-plush toilet paper may feel luxurious and soft, but it often isn’t the best pick for septic tanks since it takes longer to break down. One of the most important features to look for is easy dissolvability, which will prevent the toilet paper from accumulating and causing clogs in the system. Ahead are the features to look for in a septic-safe toilet paper.

Dissolves Quickly

Dissolvability is one of the key features to look for in a septic-safe toilet paper. Septic-safe toilet paper is often labeled as such since it dissolves quickly enough for most septic systems to handle. To be sure, you can also test the toilet paper yourself by mixing a few sheets into a large cup of water and observing how readily it dissolves.

Even if not labeled as such, recycled and biodegradable toilet papers also tend to be septic safe because of how they are made. Recycled toilet paper has a better chance of dissolving completely because it is usually made of shorter, recycled fibers that break up more readily than long, strong fibers used in new toilet paper.

While all toilet paper is technically biodegradable, biodegradable toilet paper breaks down faster than standard rolls. This toilet paper type also requires less water to break down and tends to take up less space in a septic tank once it’s dissolved.

Chlorine-Free

Septic tanks contain anaerobic bacteria that break down waste. Many common chemicals, like bleach, solvents, and some cleaning products, can disturb the delicate balance in the septic tank and affect waste breakdown.

For this reason, it’s best to avoid highly chemically treated toilet papers. Since too much bleach can affect the decomposition process, and toilet paper is frequently bleached to get its white color, chlorine-free toilet paper is a better choice.

Again, consider opting for biodegradable or recycled toilet paper. Another benefit of biodegradable and recycled toilet paper is that it tends to require fewer chemicals to process, so it’s less likely to leach substances into your system.

Strength

Toilet paper that punctures and tears is annoying and unpleasant to use. Make sure to consider the toilet paper wet strength, which is how well the paper holds up to tearing when wet. The ideal toilet paper for septic tanks has a high enough wet strength to finish the job without tearing, but a lower wet strength than standard toilet paper to break down quickly once it’s flushed.

One-ply and two-ply toilet paper are the most common picks for septic system use, and both are suitable. One-ply tends to be less strong, but it is safer for septic tanks since it’s thinner and dissolves the fastest. Two-ply papers tend to be stronger, more comfortable to use, and can still be septic-safe. For many users, two-ply toilet paper is the ideal in-between for both comfort and dissolvability.

Absorbency

Thicker toilet papers tend to be more absorbent, but they can do a number on a sensitive septic system. It’s best to avoid ultra-plush papers that resemble a paper towel more than a toilet paper—these toilet paper types can have trouble dissolving.

Although ultra-thick toilet paper is often more porous and pleasant to use, it can clump up instead of breaking down once flushed. When toilet paper starts to collect and clump, that’s when the problems start, and it can create excessive buildup or start blocking drainage. Instead, opt for a septic-safe toilet paper that is thick enough to be absorbent but designed to dissolve soon after flushing.

Roll Size

Toilet paper comes in a variety of roll sizes and with a variety of different labels, from regular to mega rolls. However, there is no standard sizing when it comes to toilet paper, so it’s important to consider other ways to calculate cost-effectiveness and figure out the best size for you.

Looking at the sheets per roll can help determine whether a brand of toilet paper is worth the cost or not. But also keep in mind the quality of the toilet paper; sheet size and thickness will affect how many sheets are needed for each wipe.

Also consider your intended use and available space when choosing roll size. If you have a smaller toilet paper roll holder, limited storage space, or if the toilet paper is going in an RV or a boat bathroom, a smaller roll size is better. If you’re stocking up a high-traffic bathroom, a larger roll size may be more convenient.

Softness

No one enjoys using rough or abrasive toilet paper, especially on a daily basis. For your comfort, choose a septic-safe toilet paper that is soft and pleasant to use.

Keep in mind that many ultra-soft toilet papers are not suitable for septic systems. While they feel luxurious to use, their plush surface is usually made from thick and long fibers that tend to break down slower than other toilet paper types. Instead, look for a septic-safe toilet paper that is soft enough for daily use, but not so plush that it won’t break down. Two-ply toilet paper may offer more comfort than one-ply versions for day-to-day use.

Our Top Picks

The best toilet paper for septic tanks strike a balance between comfort and dissolvability. It  breaks down easily to prevent plumbing problems down the line, but it’s also soft, absorbent, and strong. Ahead are the top toilet paper picks for septic tanks that are pleasant to use, affordable, and easily dissolvable to maintain a clog-free system.

Best Overall

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare Soft Toilet Paper
Photo: amazon.com

Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare is septic safe without sacrificing comfort. This one-ply toilet paper is thin enough to break down quickly, but it has a soft and absorbent texture for a plusher feel. The sheets are biodegradable for a clog-free, sewer-safe, and septic-safe flush.

Although single ply, this toilet paper still offers a strong and effective clean. It features Cottonelle’s Active Cleaning Ripples, a textured surface design that helps better absorb and clean. Plus, each roll is made from plant-based fibers sourced from responsibly managed forests.

Runner Up

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Angel Soft Toilet Paper
Photo: amazon.com

When it comes to toilet paper, many households try to balance cost, comfort, and effectiveness. Get a soft, effective, and affordable clean with Angel Soft Toilet Paper. Angel Soft aims to strike an ideal balance between softness and strength without breaking the bank. Each two-ply sheet features their “Softshield” layers for a comfier feel.

This toilet paper is thicker than some one-ply options, which gives it a softer and stronger feel. It’s also flushable and septic-safe in well-maintained septic systems. This package includes 36 mega rolls with 425 sheets per roll, which are four times larger than Angel Soft’s regular rolls to last longer between changes.

Affordable Favorite

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll Toilet Paper
Photo: amazon.com

Toilet paper is an unavoidable household expense. For those looking for a budget-friendly option, consider Scott 1000 Sheets Per Roll toilet paper, which features an impressive 1,000 sheets of toilet paper per roll.

This one-ply toilet paper may feel less thick and luxurious than plusher options, but its texture makes it an excellent clog-free option. The toilet paper breaks down quickly once it hits the water and is also 100 percent biodegradable. It’s safe for use in standard sewers, septic systems, RVs, boats, and campers. This package includes 32 rolls, which equals an affordable 32,000 sheets of toilet paper to keep your bathroom well-stocked for less.

Best Biodegradable

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper
Photo: amazon.com

Made to dissolve quickly, Scott’s dissolving toilet paper is a great pick for finicky septic systems, RVs, buses, and boats. This clog-free paper is specially made to prevent costly blockages and clumps by breaking down as soon as it’s flushed. According to Scott, this specially designed toilet paper breaks down up to four times faster than the average leading brand.

Each one-ply sheet is soft, absorbent, and gentle on both the skin and septic systems. With how fast these sheets break down, it’s no surprise that they’re 100 percent biodegradable to fully decompose over time and contribute less muck to your septic tank.

Best Recycled

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper 100% Recycled
Photo: amazon.com

Beyond being better for the environment, recycled toilet paper is also a great pick for septic systems. This type of toilet paper tends to break down easier to prevent septic problems.

Seventh Generation’s toilet paper is made with 100 percent recycled paper, encased in a 100 percent recyclable wrapper. And with no added dyes, inks, fragrances, or chlorine bleach processing, this pick leaves a more eco-friendly impact.

Each two-ply sheet is soft and strong for effective cleaning. The rolls are safe to use in low-flow toilets, RVs, campers, and home septic systems.

Best Bamboo

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper
Photo: amazon.com

Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper is made from fast-growing bamboo and sugarcane instead of trees. Another environmentally conscious option, this toilet paper is completely free of wood fiber. Instead, it uses fibers from sustainably grown bamboo and sugarcane, which grows at a much faster rate than trees.

To add to the eco-friendliness of this product, it’s also free from chlorine bleach processing, fragrances, and BPA. Although soft and strong, this two-ply toilet paper is biodegradable and quick dissolving, making it safe for septic systems, RVs, camping, and boating. This package includes 24 rolls, with 300 sheets per roll.

Best Large Roll

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Presto! 308-Sheet Mega Roll Toilet Paper
Photo: amazon.com

Sick of always changing out the toilet paper roll? For high-traffic bathrooms, consider these two-ply mega rolls that are soft, strong, and thick, lasting up to four times longer than an average regular roll.

Made from pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests, this toilet paper is strong but dissolves easily, making it safe for RVs and septic systems. Plus, it’s designed to leave less annoying lint behind for a cleaner wipe and a neater bathroom.

Best Dissolving

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue - Paper for RV and marine
Photo: amazon.com

RVs and boats have smaller waste-collection systems that tend to be more sensitive, making it all the more important to use the right toilet paper. The last thing you want to happen is a toilet blockage while you’re out on a trip. Aqua-Soft Toilet Tissue is specifically designed for RV and marine sanitation systems to give you peace of mind while on the road or at home.

This easily flushable and rapid-dissolving toilet paper is 100 percent biodegradable. Although it breaks down easily, the two-ply sheets are still soft and absorbent. This pack includes four rolls with 396 sheets per roll, ideal for a weekend trip away.

Best Scented

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Angel Soft Toilet Paper with Fresh Lavender Scent
Photo: amazon.com

Make your bathroom smell pleasant and fresh with this scented toilet paper from Angel Soft. Although scented paper isn’t the best pick for septic systems (fragrances can disturb the balance inside the septic tank), this toilet paper includes a scented inner tube rather than scented paper. Since the paper itself isn’t fragranced, it’s safe for standard sewers and well-maintained septic systems.

The tube has a fresh lavender scent, wrapped with Angel Soft’s classic soft and strong toilet paper. The toilet paper breaks down easily after flushing. This pack includes six mega rolls with 390 two-ply sheets per roll.

Also Consider

Best Toilet Paper For Septic Option: Freedom Living RV Toilet Paper
Photo: amazon.com

Sensitive septic systems will do well with Freedom Living TV Toilet Paper. This 100 percent biodegradable toilet paper is designed for RVs, marine sanitation systems, portable toilets, tiny houses, composting toilets, chemical toilets, or for off-grid living—which means it will dissolve easily in a larger home septic system. The clog-free design means this toilet paper is suitable for pretty much every septic tank setting.

This pack includes eight rolls with 500 sheets each. A lightly textured design makes the toilet paper effective without being abrasive. Each two-ply sheet is gentle and durable, but dissolves completely in just minutes once it is flushed.

FAQs About Toilet Paper for Septic Systems

When you have a septic tank, you need to be careful of what you put down the drain—including what you flush down the toilet. By using a suitable toilet paper for septic systems, you can avoid possible plumbing issues like clogs and blocked systems. If you have more questions about choosing the right septic-safe toilet paper for your home, consider the following frequently asked questions and answers below.

Q. Do I need special toilet paper for the septic system?

While you don’t need a special toilet paper for septic systems, it’s important to use a toilet paper that dissolves easily. When in doubt, look for a toilet paper labeled “septic safe.”

Q. What is wet strength?

Wet strength is a measure of how well paper holds up to tears and punctures when wet.

Q. Can I use two-ply toilet paper with a septic tank?

Yes, septic-safe two-ply toilet paper is available and is safe to use in septic systems.

Q. How long does it take for toilet paper to decompose in a septic tank?

Decomposition time will depend on the type, thickness, and ingredients in the toilet paper, as well as the conditions in the septic tank. Ideally, toilet paper should start dissolving within seconds once flushed, but it may take longer to decompose.

Q. What is the worst toilet paper for septic tanks?

The worst toilet paper for septic tanks is one that doesn’t break down easily; it will contribute to the scum at the bottom of the tank, which can result in a more frequent need to pump the septic tank or cause blockages.

Q. Are flushable wipes OK for septic tanks?

No, flushable wipes do not dissolve and should not be flushed down septic systems.

Final Thoughts

If you have a septic tank, using the right toilet paper is important for maintaining your septic system. Toilet paper that doesn’t break down can accumulate and cause clogs, leading to a dreaded messy or expensive repair. Septic-safe toilet paper dissolves quickly and completely to prevent plumbing problems.