How To Fix A Toilet Clogged With Paper Towels

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There’s nothing worse than when you flush your toilet after doing your business, only to discover that it’s clogged.

How To Fix A Toilet Clogged With Paper Towels

A sense of panic overcomes you, and we know how frustrating it can be to discover that the source of your clogged toilet is paper towels.

But how can you fix and unclog your toilet? The good news is that unclogging your toilet is simple, and we can teach you how to with this simple guide.

How To Unclog Your Toilet

The good news is that fixing a toilet clogged with paper towels is a pretty simple task. You only need three tools: rubber gloves, a plunger, and a toilet auger.

However, you may not need the toilet auger if you have a small blockage, but it’s good to have one on hand when you need it.

Once you have your tools, remove any rugs under your toilet because you will be splashed with water. Remember to prop your toilet seat up to move around a little easier too. 

First, Try To Use A Plunger

The plunger is the first thing you must try when your toilet is clogged. If you’ve not used a plunger before, we suggest you first check there’s enough water in your toilet bowl before you use it.

If there isn’t enough, you only need to fill a jug with water and fill your toilet with more. 

Once you’re satisfied with enough water in your toilet bowl, you should jam your plunger in there. Don’t be alarmed by the rigid placement of your plunger, as it should be secure in your bowl.

Then, keep pulling and pushing at your plunger. While it might seem challenging at first, keep going. 

Using your plunger, you should be able to create some suction to draw the paper towels to you from the inside of your pipes.

It’s all about physics, but if there are too many paper towels in there, it’s time to move onto the toilet auger.

When All Else Fails, Use A Toilet Auger

If you’ve been using your plunger and have been achieving no results, you may need to move on to using a toilet auger. While a plunger can help with smaller clogs, it won’t be able to dissolve anything that’s already in your pipes. 

A toilet auger is a great tool because it has a barbed head and is tall and flexible. Using this, you can reach into tight spaces and break through anything clogging your toilet.

All you need to do is place the barbed head into your toilet and control where it goes using the long handle.

Once the barbed end of your toilet auger is inside your toilet, you’re more likely to feel the block on the other end.

Then, you can activate the auger by spinning your handle, allowing you to dissolve the paper towels clogging your toilet and pull them out of the way.

The great thing about toilet augers is that they can extend pretty deeply into your pipes. So if you don’t have a toilet auger, I recommend you get one to say goodbye to all your future clogging problems.

How To Carefully Remove Your Toilet Auger

Now that your pipe is cleared, it’s time to remove the toilet auger. You must do this carefully; if you move it wrong, the auger may rotate on itself and become stuck.

Plus, if there’s any waste clinging to the head of it, you don’t want that on the floor.

Using the handle, carefully pull your auger back up. It’s best not to do this quickly, as you don’t want any of the above scenarios to happen to you.

Remember, slow and steady is definitely the way to go when you’re removing your auger.

Why Do Paper Towels Clog Your Toilet?

How To Fix A Toilet Clogged With Paper Towels 1

Now, you might think that your toilet can flush anything; after all, aren’t paper towels essentially the same thing?

The answer to that is no. While paper towels and toilet paper are made from the same materials, paper towels are designed to absorb a large amount of water.

Toilet paper is designed to disintegrate, so you can flush toilet paper and your body waste.

You can see how different paper towels and toilet paper are by looking at the design. The inner linings of a paper towel aren’t knitted together as tightly, so there are more empty spaces to absorb liquid.

They’re made harder to disintegrate, as paper towels are typically used to clean any spills in your kitchen.

Are Paper Towels Made Differently From Toilet Paper?

Despite being the same materials, both have different functions. The entire process of making a paper towel differs from how you would make toilet paper.

When producing a paper towel, there are two key processes: creping and embossing.

Creping will break any fitted bonds woven in the paper using blades, creating more voided areas inside the paper towel. It also means there are more folds, so it can absorb as much liquid as possible.

The second process is embossing, which is when the paper towel manufacturers embed them so they have a bumpy texture.

Not only is this done to engrave a brand design, but it also allows more room for water to be absorbed into the paper towel.

Due to how the paper towel is made, it’s not as easy to dissolve as toilet paper, and instead, it will absorb more water in your toilet. This is why you mustn’t flush any paper towels down your toilet. 

How To Make A DIY Toilet Auger

If you don’t have your own auger, you can also make your own DIY version. All you need to make your own is a wire hanger, which you can straighten. Once you straighten it, you can insert it into your toilet bowl.

As you go further into your pipe, you can keep pushing the DIY auger when you feel resistance. You can then keep pushing it and should be able to push at the blockage until it’s unclogged.

Once it’s unclogged, you can remove your DIY toilet auger and flush it. Everything should then return to normal.

How To Stop Your Toilet From Clogging

No one wants their toilet to get clogged, but you might wonder how to prevent this from happening again. The best way to stop your toilet from clogging is by correctly disposing of paper towels and sanitary products. 

The only things that should be flushed down your toilet are toilet paper and body waste. Toilet paper is specifically designed so that it will disintegrate in water. In contrast, paper towels are built to absorb large amounts of water. 

Instead of flushing your paper towels and other products, you should dispose of them in the trash or compost them. That way, you won’t have to deal with a toilet clogged with paper towels again.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide has helped you with fixing your clogged toilet. You can always make a DIY version with a wire coat hanger if you don’t have a toilet auger.

While it may seem daunting at first, fixing a clogged toilet is a simple process as long as you have the right tools at your disposal. 

If you have any other questions about fixing your plumbing needs, check out our other posts to learn more. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Dispose Of My Paper Towels?

We recommend you throw them in the trash, or you can compost them if you prefer a more eco-friendly solution.

Will A Toilet Unclog Itself?

Sometimes, a toilet can unclog itself. However, it depends on what is clogging your toilet. If it’s organic such as toilet paper, then it may be able to unclog itself, but paper towels will need manual unclogging.

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