Do cheap toilet rolls = Blocked toilets?

by Ken Buckley on 09-1-2017



Blocked toilets are a pain to everyone, not least FM staff. Who gets the first call when someone reports the toilets are backing up?

Is there any way you can reduce the chances of toilet blockages?

This obviously depends on a few things. Some old buildings have an inherent problem with their Victoria era drains, that only replacement drains will fully solve.

However, one thing that doesn't help any drains is cheap (or really expensive) toilet paper.

Toilet paper should break down quickly in moving water. If it doesn't you will have problems.

Very cheap toilet paper, from non-reputable manufacturers and suppliers, sometimes won't break down in water. Also expensive three ply toilet paper can sometimes give the same issue, if too much is put down the pan at a time.

There is a simple test you can do with toilet paper, to see how well it break down or to compare one against another. We call it the "Jam Jar Test"

And, yes, you guessed it, it involves a Jam Jar or similar.

Jam Jar Test.jpg

Fill the jar with cold water and pop in one sheet of the toilet paper you want to test. Screw up the lid nice and tight and shake the jar with three sharp movements.

Now have a look at the contents of the jar.

A good toilet paper will be broken down and in suspense in the water, if you pour it out, it should be like mush in you hand.

Good Paper.jpg

If the paper is not good, it will not be broken down and will still be together in a single piece in the water. If you pour it out, it will be in one big lump in your hand. This is often the problem with cheap toilet rolls.

Bad Paper.jpg

These examples are the extremes and you may well find that yours is somewhere between the two. But bear in mind that if the paper is not breaking down with just three quick shakes, it will not be breaking down in your toilets and drains.

The best insurance against poor quality toilet paper is to use a branded paper from reputable manufacturers like Northwood, Mesta, Tork or Kimberly Clarke and/or to use a reputable supplier like A+D that only sells good quality toilet paper.


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