If you have a septic tank, you know that maintaining it properly is important for avoiding expensive repairs down the road. One key maintenance task is using the right products, like septic safe toilet paper, that won’t disrupt your septic system. So is Charmin toilet paper septic safe?
The short answer is yes, Charmin toilet paper is generally considered septic safe when used as intended in a properly functioning plumbing system. However, there are some important factors to understand about using Charmin or any toilet paper with a septic tank.
In this article, we will cover:
- How septic systems work
- Why septic safe toilet paper matters
- Key features of septic safe toilet paper
- Is Charmin specifically designed for septic systems?
- Testing done by Charmin
- Best practices for using Charmin with septic
- Signs of septic system problems
- When to call in a professional
- Top septic safe toilet paper picks
How Do Septic Systems Work?
To understand the impact of toilet paper, let’s first look at what happens inside a septic tank.
A septic tank is an underground chamber that receives all wastewater from your home’s plumbing system. Inside the tank, solids settle out on the bottom forming a sludge layer while fats and oils float to the top as scum.
Bacteria naturally present in the tank help break down and decompose the settled solids. The clarified liquid between the sludge and scum layers then flows out of the tank into the drain field.
Why Using Septic Safe Toilet Paper Matters
With a septic tank, any solids that go down the drain end up in the system. Toilet paper makes up a significant portion of septic tank solids.
While toilet paper will eventually decompose, those with more durable paper or stronger fibers will break down slower. This can:
- Accelerate the buildup of sludge in the tank
- Require more frequent septic pumping
- Increase the chance of clogs or blockages
That’s why using a septic safe, biodegradable toilet paper is recommended if you have a septic system.
What Makes Toilet Paper Septic Safe?
When choosing toilet paper for a septic system, look for these key features:
Biodegradable – Breaks down easily and quickly by bacteria.
Free of dyes and fragrances – Harsh chemicals can disrupt helpful bacteria.
1-ply or 2-ply – More plies mean slower dissolution.
Unscented – Scents often contain chemicals.
Undyed – Dyes may have chemicals unsuitable for septic tanks.
No aloe or lotions – These can be harder to break down.
Repulpable – Made from recycled paper fibers.
Certified septic safe – Confirmed as quickly biodegradable.
Using toilet paper with these properties minimizes the impact on your septic system.
Is Charmin Designed for Septic Systems?
Charmin toilet paper is not specially formulated for septic systems. However, it is designed to be septic safe when used properly.
Here is what Charmin says about using their toilet paper with septic tanks:
Extensive testing shows it is safe for septic systems when used as intended.
It breaks down and settles after flushing instead of remaining suspended.
It undergoes biodegradation once settled in the tank.
More plumbers use Charmin with septic systems than any other brand.
So while not specially designed for septic systems, Charmin is considered generally compatible and safe to use. But it’s still important to follow septic best practices.
Testing Conducted by Charmin
To confirm their products are septic safe, Charmin conducts extensive testing at their research facilities. Some key tests include:
Flushability – Evaluates toilet paper’s breakdown during flushing and within sewer and septic lines.
Settleability – Tests how toilet paper settles out in water for septic tank compatibility.
Disintegration – Analyzes structural breakdown of tissue in water over time.
Biodisintegration – Confirms biodegradation of toilet paper waste in a simulated septic tank.
This battery of tests gives Charmin data on exactly how their products will behave in home plumbing systems, including septic tanks.
Best Practices When Using Charmin with Septic Systems
Charmin toilet paper may be considered septic safe, but there are still best practices to follow when using any toilet paper with a septic tank.
- Use only as much as needed.
- Follow any load limits for your system.
- Avoid flushing when tank is nearing capacity.
- Fix any leaky faucets or toilets.
- Install low-flow fixtures.
- Don’t leave water running unnecessarily.
- Pump tank regularly, such as every 2-3 years.
- Use tank additives to help break down waste.
Dispose of Excess Properly
- Use a wastebasket for used tissues or extra paper.
- Do not flush wipes, napkins, or other non-toilet paper items.
Following these guidelines allows Charmin toilet paper to work well within your specific septic system parameters.
Signs You Have a Septic Problem
Even with septic safe toilet paper, issues can arise. Watch for these signs:
- Slow draining fixtures
- Gurgling sounds from drains
- Plumbing backups
- Surface ponding around tank or leach field
- Ground dampness around tank
- Sewage odors
- Need to pump tank excessively often
If you notice any of these, call a septic pro right away to inspect your system and fix any problems. Leaving septic issues unchecked can lead to very costly repairs.
When to Call in a Professional for Septic Help
Only a trained septic contractor has the expertise to accurately diagnose and fix septic system problems. Call right away if you suspect an issue or for:
- Regular septic tank pumping
- Inspections for selling a home
- System repairs or replacements
- Installation of new septic systems
- Answers to septic system questions
Don’t wait until you have an emergency. Reach out at the first signs of trouble so a professional can resolve it quickly before it gets worse or more expensive.
Top Recommended Septic Safe Toilet Papers
If you’re looking for a new septic safe toilet paper, these highly rated options are good choices to consider:
- Chlorine-free and whitened without harsh chemicals
- Contains recycled paper
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
- Designed for RVs and boats
- Unscented and dissolves rapidly
- Septic safe and RV friendly
- Septic and sewer safe
- Scent only on cardboard roll, not paper
- Provides more rolls per package
- Clog-free guarantee
- 4x stronger when wet
- Certified by Rainforest Alliance
Cottonelle Ultra ComfortCare
- 3x stronger and more absorbent
- Free of harsh ingredients
- Septic and sewer safe certification
Be sure to compare options and read labels to find the best fit toilet paper for your household and septic system. Consult a septic pro if you have any questions.
Key Takeaways on Charmin and Septic Systems
Charmin toilet paper is considered generally septic safe with responsible use.
It is not specially designed for septic systems but is compatible.
Charmin conducts extensive testing to confirm toilet papers are septic safe.
Always follow usage best practices and pump your tank regularly.
Watch for signs of septic system trouble and call a pro if needed.
Compare top septic safe toilet paper picks to find your best match.
With proper maintenance and care, Charmin toilet paper and septic systems can work well together. But it’s essential to monitor your system and call in experts at any sign of problems. Contact your local septic service company for maintenance, repairs, or answers to your septic questions.