Best Toilet Paper For Septic Tanks – Complete 2021 Round-up

| Last Updated: December 10, 2021

Many toilet paper brands say “septic-safe” on the packaging, but it is difficult to know what toilet paper is best for your septic system.

When toilet paper travels to the septic tank, it either dissolves or contributes to the sludge that rests at the bottom of the tank. The build-up of sludge is the reason septic tanks need pumping every few months.

Sticking with toilet paper that dissolves easily in the tank will mean having to pump out the system less frequently saving time, money, and effort.

Here is the breakdown of the top toilet papers for septic tanks with a list of their pros and cons.

Comparison of the Best Toilet Paper For Septic Tanks

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Breaks down four times faster than average tissue
  • Ply Rating: 1-Ply
  • Certifications: The Forest Stewardship Council
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  • Ripple design for more effective use
  • Ply Rating: 1-Ply
  • Certifications: The Forest Stewardship Council
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  • Best for the Money
  • Ply Rating: 2-Ply
  • Certifications: Rainforest Alliance and The Forest Stewardship Council
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  • Made from 100% recycled materials
  • Ply Rating: 2-Ply
  • Certifications: Rainforest Alliance and The Forest Stewardship Council
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  • Eco-friendly and free of chemical additives
  • Ply Rating: 2-Ply
  • Certifications: BRC Global Standards, FSC, ISO 14000
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What To Look For in Toilet Paper For a Septic Tank

It is important to keep the septic tank in good condition, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort and effectiveness. When looking for the right paper for a septic tank, consider aspects like texture, dissolvability, and chemicals used in the product.

Why Are These Important?

Septic tanks act as a balanced ecosystem. Certain aspects of the toilet paper used can throw off this ecosystem, causing issues with the tank. That is why it is necessary to consider these factors when choosing the best toilet paper for a septic tank.

Texture

A toilet paper should be soft to the touch yet firm and pliable. A scratchy toilet paper or one that breaks too easily makes for an uncomfortable bathroom experience.

For this factor, it is best to find a happy medium between the ultra-plush, super luxurious toilet papers and the scratchy, recycled papers that will be unpleasant to use.

Those extra plush toilet papers are comfortable but can wreak havoc on your septic tank in the long run. The long, strong fibers of luxury toilet paper will not break down quickly enough and causes problems with the tank.

Dissolvability

The best toilet paper for septic tanks dissolves easily and won’t linger in the tank too long. A paper that won’t dissolve will add to the sludge at the bottom of the tank.

Biodegradable and recycled toilet papers break down much quicker than other toilet papers, making them the obvious choice for those with septic tanks.

Technically, all toilet paper is biodegradable, but some will break down significantly better. Thicker, non-recycled toilet paper will not only take longer to break down in the tank, but they will also take up more space.

Chemicals

It may surprise some, but most toilet papers contain chemicals like bleach and chlorine. Septic tanks have anaerobic bacteria that help break down waste and keep the tank running.

Many toilet papers contain a lot of bleach which is how they get their bright, white color. These chemicals disrupt the bacterial process in the tank, halting decomposition. To avoid this, opt for toilet papers treated with little chemicals. Biodegradable and recycled toilet papers typically contain fewer of these chemicals.

Key Terms to Know

To help compare products in this review, we have included a few key specifications for each. Here is a quick summary of what they mean.

  • Ply Rating: The number of layers per sheet of toilet paper.

  • Certifications: Any independent certifications the toilet paper obtained.

  • Other Special Features: This can refer to how the paper is sourced, what it is made from, or any other notable features.  

  • Type: The category the toilet paper falls into. This includes biodegradable, recycled, and septic-safe types.

Review of the Best Toilet Paper For Septic Tanks

These are the top septic-safe toilet papers on the market for those that need to care for their septic system.

Best Overall

Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper

Scott Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper, 48 Double Rolls (6 Packs of 8) = 96 Regular Rolls, 231 Sheets Per Rolls, Made for RVs and Boats

Specifications

Ply Rating: 1-Ply

Certifications: The Forest Stewardship Council

Other Special Features: made with 100% wind power

Type: Biodegradable; Sewer-safe and septic-safe

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Review

Scott’s Rapid-Dissolving Tissue Paper is one of the most popular septic-safe papers on the market because it has a few downsides. The toilet paper is soft and slightly cushioned, so it is a significant step up from the scratchy newspaper.

RV and boat owners rave about this paper in their reviews, stating it is far better than any other toilet paper they have tried. If this paper works for boat and RV use, it is more than safe for a septic tank that can handle more.

The toilet paper comes from sustainably managed forests that give buyers peace of mind. Because it is only 1-ply, it dissolves four times faster than traditional toilet paper. Customers love that it feels closer to a soft, plush brand but won’t clog their septic tank!

Bottom Line

This is the number one toilet paper because it is soft but 1-ply toilet paper. It is not only safe for septic tanks but also safe for boats and RVs. This quick-dissolving toilet paper comes in a pack of 32 rolls, so you don’t need to worry about running out too quickly.

Pros

Soft and absorbent

Sustainably sourced

Good for boats and RVs

Comes in 32 roll bulk package

Breaks down four times faster than standard tissue

Cons

Only 1-ply

Not the strongest when using

Is somewhat chemically-treated

Runner-up

Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare

Cottonelle Ultra CleanCare Soft Toilet Paper with Active Cleaning Ripples, 24 Family Mega Rolls, Strong Bath Tissue (24 Family Mega Rolls = 128 Regular Rolls)

Specifications

Ply Rating: 1-Ply

Certifications: The Forest Stewardship Council

Other Special Features: Made with water & renewable plant-based fibers

Type: Biodegradable; Clog, sewer, and septic safe

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Review

This bio-friendly toilet paper is made from plant fibers and utilizes a unique ripple effect for extra comfort. Using plant fibers instead of cutting down trees is better for the environment and offers an excellent alternative to chopping down trees.

The ripple design makes the paper thicker, even though it is only 2-ply, and helps it clean better than standard toilet papers. This design makes the toilet paper feel three times and thicker and twice as absorbent than the average tissue on the market.

Customers love that this paper feels like a cushioned tissue without risking the well-being of their septic system. And people love how eco-friendly it is!

Bottom Line

A toilet paper that uses a ripple design to make it thicker and more absorbent than most brands is the runner-up because it provides all the comfort and safety you want while also being eco-friendly. The 2-ply design is safe on septic tanks but comfortable on the skin.

Pros

2-ply sheets

Derived from plant fibers

Cushioned for comfortable use

Ripple design for comfort and effective use

Cleans better than many non-septic toilet papers

Cons

Tears easily

Scratchy fibers

Thicker than most septic-safe papers

Best for the Money

Charmin Ultra Soft Cushiony Touch

Charmin Ultra Soft Cushiony Touch Toilet Paper, 18 Family Mega Rolls = 90 Regular Rolls

Specifications

Ply Rating: 2-Ply

Certifications: Rainforest Alliance and The Forest Stewardship Council

Other Special Features: made of 100% pulp from responsibly managed forests

Type: Clog-safe and septic-safe

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Review

Everyone who uses this toilet paper raves about how strong it is and how comfortable it is to use. The softness combined with the durability makes this tissue great for use in the bathroom. Because it absorbs more, you can use less on every trip to the bathroom.

In the long run, this can be good for your septic system because using less toilet paper in the bathroom means less paper ends up in the tank. But experts state this toilet paper has poor dissolvability, which can be cancer for a septic system. 

These rolls are extra-large to last a long time giving you the most bang for your buck. Charmin claims that one roll of this toilet paper is equivalent to five rolls of another brand, which is a massive increase in thickness.

Purchasing these larger rolls will save money on toilet paper if used sparingly. But it can wind up costing you more in septic tank pumps throughout the year.

Bottom Line

The biggest benefit of this toilet paper is its absorbency. It is still strong when wet and won’t fall apart in your hands. However, because of its strong fibers, it does not dissolve quickly in the septic tank. It is septic-safe, but where you save some money, you lose some of the technology that is best for septic tanks.

Pros

Strong when wet

Extremely absorbent

Comes in 24 roll pack

Clog-safe and septic-safe

Very soft and gentle on skin

Cons

Thick rolls

Does not dissolve well

Editors Pick

Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper

Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper 2-Ply 100% Recycled Paper, 24 Count of 240 Sheets Per Roll, Pack of 2

Specifications

Ply Rating: 2-Ply

Certifications: Rainforest Alliance and The Forest Stewardship Council

Type: 100% recycled paper, septic safe

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Review

Seventh Generation’s recycled white toilet paper is one of the most popular recycled brands on the market. It comes from 100% recycled materials, is 100% biodegradable, and is certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Customers can feel good about their purchase and its impact on the environment.

This tissue is so compostable it is ideal for camping because it can be disposed of in nature without causing litter. The manufacturer ensures buyers it will dissolve, making it a great option for those with septic systems.

While this toilet paper did not top our list of best tissues for septic systems, it is at the top of many lists that rate recycled toilet papers. It is recommended for septic systems, RVs, and boats because it is clog-safe for these systems.

Its dissolvability is excellent for sensitive systems but not great for bathroom use. Customers complain it falls apart during use and does not absorb well. This characteristic means it is good for septic tanks but at the cost of bathroom effectiveness.

Most people that reviewed the product describe the material as soft and comfortable to use. They do admit to using more to increase absorbency. However, some buyers complained it was a dry material that didn’t feel wonderful on their skin.

Bottom Line

Seventh Generation is dominating the recycled toilet paper space at the moment. This tissue is the answer for environmentally-friendly folks that need a septic-safe toilet paper that doesn’t feel like a newspaper. This is the best toilet paper for those that don’t want to leave a negative footprint on nature.

Pros

Soft on the skin

Completely biodegradable

From 100% recycled materials

No added dyes, inks, or fragrances

Certified by the Rainforest Alliance

Cons

Low absorbency

A dry feeling when using

Slightly expensive compared to other brands

Honorable Mention

Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper

Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper, Plastic Free, Eco Friendly, Septic Safe, Biodegradable Bath Tissue with Soft, Quick Dissolving 2 Ply Sheets (300 Sheets Per Roll, 9 Double Rolls)

Specifications

Ply Rating: 2-Ply

Certifications: BRC Global Standards, FSC, ISO 14000

Other Special Features: 100% Bamboo, Proudly panda friendly

Type: Eco-Friendly, Biodegradable, Sustainable, Renewable

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Review

Customers report that the paper is very soft but does not sacrifice any absorbency. Many customers claim that bamboo toilet paper is soft on the skin than the standard types of toilet paper. Therefore, this is a great tissue option for those with extra sensitive skin.

A benefit of bamboo toilet paper is buyers report it is super absorbent and does not fall apart the way recycled tissues do. Recycled materials can have weak fibers that tear easily, but Caboo’s bamboo toilet paper is strong and sustainable.

Lately, some buyers complain the two layers come apart when you try to use them. Others also lament about the deceptive size of the rolls. They seem large but do not contain very much product.

Bottom Line

Buyers declare that bamboo toilet paper is the future of bathroom hygiene. Customers, as well as their septic tanks, love Caboo’s bamboo toilet paper. This paper is soft and comfortable yet absorbent and effective in cleaning so you can feel good in the bathroom while caring for your septic system.

Pros

Soft and still absorbent

100% biodegradable and recyclable

No parabens, chemicals, or fragrances

Sustainably and responsibly manufactured

Hypoallergenic and free of chemical additives

Cons

Layers easily separate

Inconsistency in batches

Deceptively large rolls, but little tissue

What is Septic Safe Toilet Paper?

Septic-safe toilet paper will dissolve easily in the tank and not throw off the chemical balance in the tank.

Extremely plush toilet paper, like 3-ply, will be too tough to dissolve in the water of the septic tank. Paper with fewer layers will dissolve easier, making them a better option for those with septic tanks.

The chemicals in toilet paper will prevent your septic tank from efficiently breaking down waste and other substances. Bleach, chlorine, and other harsh solvents stop the bacteria from doing their job resulting in a full tank.

How Can You Tell If Toilet Paper is Septic Safe?

Toilet paper brands are usually labeled as septic-safe to make it easy for buyers. But there are other things to look for like “biodegradable”, “recycled”, or “chemical-free” labels on packaging that indicate the paper would perform well in a septic tank.

An easy trick for telling if toilet paper contains chemicals is the color. Recycled and biodegradable options are usually a soft beige or off-white color. Papers with many chemicals in them are the ones that are pure white.

To test the dissolvability of tissue, take a square or two of the paper and mix it in a large cup of water. If it has dissolved into smaller pieces, it is likely fine for a septic tank. But if the sheet is still intact, it is probably too strong for your septic tank to break down.

Top Brands in the Septic-Safe Toilet Paper Space

Many brands produce toilet paper they deem septic-safe, but that doesn’t mean all these brands create equally septic-safe toilet paper. Some brands stand apart as being particularly great for those with septic systems.

Scott

Founded in 1879, Scott Paper Company has, at times, been the largest manufacturer of toilet paper in the world. They are no longer top-dog, but they still provide millions of homes with their bathroom tissue.

Scott has been a trusted brand for decades and works to evolve its brand to fit consumer priorities and reduce waste to contribute to sustainable business practices. They own brands such as Cottonelle, helping them dominate more of the market.

Charmin

The brand began in 1928 with the mission to offer the softest toilet paper at a great value. Their goal has always been the comfort of their customers and regularly releases super, extra plush tissues for maximum comfort.

Despite their focus on comfort and softness, they make septic-safe, clog-safe toilet paper recommended by plumbers. Their patented diamond-quilt pattern increases comfort and absorbency, making it a staple of all their products.

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is the top choice for those looking for toilet paper made from recycled materials. Seventh Generation delivers septic-safe, eco-friendly toilet paper that is still comfortable and effective in the bathroom.

Seventh Generation began through Renew America, a non-profit focused on pushing energy- and water-conserving products to help reduce waste and be kind to the planet. Eventually, Seventh Generation branched off into their own business, but they began with the fight to help Earth and work towards a healthier, more sustainable world.

They also donate 1% of all sales to finding solutions for serious environmental issues. This exemplifies their commitment to helping the Earth that other companies don’t show.

Seventh Generation White Toilet Paper

Conclusion

All of these toilet papers are good options for those looking to take care of their septic tank responsibly. While some sacrifice comfort in the bathroom for dissolvability in the tank, these options strike a balance between both worlds so you don’t need to compromise.

Considering all factors, Scott’s Rapid-Dissolving Toilet Paper doesn’t sacrifice anything and is still septic-safe, making it the number one option for people with septic systems.

People Also Ask

Choosing toilet paper for a septic tank comes with many questions. Especially today, the options for toilet paper seem to grow and grow, making it difficult to know which is best. The answers to these frequently asked questions can help put you on the right roll.

Does It Matter What Toilet Paper You Use For Septic?

Yes, you need a septic-safe toilet paper or it will clog your pipes and overload your septic tank with sludge. If you do not use the proper toilet paper, you will spend more time and effort pumping out your tank more often.

How Long Does It Take For Toilet Paper To Decompose In a Septic Tank?

A good septic-safe tissue will dissolve within 20 minutes or faster. The best tissues dissolve by the time they reach the tank. The worst can sit in the tank for hours and possibly days, creating a sticky sludge.

Is Recycled Toilet Paper Better For Septic Systems?

Recycled toilet paper is better for septic tanks than other toilet paper. Recycled toilet paper is usually free of added chemicals, so it won’t throw off the tank’s bacteria.

Recycled paper is typically thinner and has shorter fibers in it. This means it will break down much faster in the septic tank than other toilet paper.

Is Bamboo Toilet Paper Septic Safe?

Bamboo toilet paper is great for septic systems because it comes from grass that dissolves easily in water.

Is Charmin Toilet Paper Septic Safe?

Charmin claims all of its toilet paper is septic-safe, but they also make rapid dissolve paper that is even better. To be safe, always opt for tissue designed for a septic system.

Is Hemp Toilet Paper Septic Safe?

Hemp toilet paper is super dissolvable, making it a great choice for septic tank users. It also doesn’t require any chemicals or bacteria to break it down.

Can I Use Two-Ply Toilet Paper With a Septic Tank?

Yes, two-ply is fine for septics as long as the paper can dissolve quickly. Some two-ply papers are much thicker than others, and this should be taken into consideration when buying

Welcome! We hope you’ll find the job costs of home improvement projects useful when you’re deciding whether to do a job yourself vs. hire a contractor. We’re the authors of 20 home improvement books, most notably Home Improvement for Dummies©, Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies©, Carpentry for Dummies©, Plumbing for Dummies©, and Painting and Wallpapering for Dummies©. Our most recent book Fix It and Flip It is in its second edition. We’ve appeared as home improvement experts on television programs such as CNN, Dateline, the Today Show, HGTV and many others.