Until recently, I thought all toilet paper was the same - like, it all breaks down eventually. But, as I discovered on TikTok over the weekend, this isn't the case. A septic company out of Guthrie, Oklahoma, recently did several in-office studies on various brands of toilet paper, and the results were shocking.

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Last week, Cyclone Septics posted a TikTok about one of their most frequently asked questions: "What toilet paper is best for your septic system?"

Honestly, that's a great question because there are so many different brands of toilet paper. And there are several different types of septic systems, but they almost all have a septic tank which is where waste and toilet paper sit to break down before moving through the rest of the system.

This question can also be beneficial for those on a sewer system because you can't flush just anything down the toilet no matter what system you have. For a municipal sewer system, gravity plays the biggest role in taking your waste and toilet paper from your toilet, through the pipes and eventually the municipality's waste water treatment plant.

Either way, no matter what type of septic or sewer system homeowners have, it's important that their toilet paper breaks down efficiently so it doesn't cause any backups. (And if you're like me and live in Lawton, Oklahoma, you know our sewer system is... delicate and decrepit so what we flush down the toilet can either pass through or end up back in our homes.)

Why what type of toilet paper you flush down the toilet matters.

So That Septic Girl from the Cyclone Septics TikTok says she usually tells customers that the brand Angel Soft is best for septic systems because it breaks down efficiently and doesn't cause backups, which is what you want whether you're using a septic or sewer. But she recently decided to test that recommendation.

@cycloneseptics Any guesses what the best/worst will be? #septic #septiclife #septictank ♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys (Remastered 2020) - Bepo

So she goes to the store and gets just about every popular brand of toilet paper, along with some knock off brand and, of course, wipes, which she said are "the worst," and I'm assuming that's because that even though they say they're "biodegradable" or "flushable" that isn't always the case. She also grabs a box of facial tissues because often times people do flush these down the toilet.

Let's break it down.

In part two, she takes a few pieces from each different brand of toilet paper, wipe and tissues, and shakes them around in their own mason jar of water. She then judges how well they break down immediately after being in the water for one hour and then a second time after 24 hours. Immediately after, the wipe hasn't broken down at all, of course. She then goes through all the toilet paper. The only one that had already started breaking down was the Scott brand.


After an hour had passed, the wipe, again, still hasn't broken down. As for the toilet paper brands, The Septic Girl was shocked at some of the results. Her go-to, Angel Soft, had barely started breaking down. Others, like Quilted Northern and Charmin, hadn't started breaking down at all. The frontrunner, Scott, was fully broken down. The most shocking was the generic brand from Walmart, which was just clumping up on the bottom of the jar, not disintegrating at all. And the facial tissue had yet to break down either.

@cycloneseptics Only one hour in and already a few surprises #septic #septiclife #septictank #toiletpaper #toiletpaperchallenge ♬ Goal!!! - Official Sound Studio

So after 24 hours, which toilet paper broke down the most?

I think we all know the answer to this one: Scott. And what we've known all along, the wipe didn't break down AT ALL. The Septic Girl said these do not need to be flushed down, no matter if you're using a septic or sewer. As for the other toilet papers, Angel Soft had only broken down a little bit, which left The Septic Girl shook because it's what she usually recommends to her septic customers.

Besides Scott, all the other toilet paper brands still hadn't broken down after 24 hours. The Septic Girl said the most concerning one was the generic brand from Walmart because it continued to clump up at the bottom of the jar. She said this could easily and quickly cause backups for septic and sewer. And, of course, the facial tissue still hadn't broken down.

@cycloneseptics 24 hr results for test group 1! #toiletpaper #septic #septiclife #septictank #septicqueen #oklahoma #kirkland #membersmark ♬ original sound - That Septic Girl

If you didn't already know, there are A LOT of toilet paper brands.

After these initial videos, The Septic Girl had several requests from commenters to test their preferred brand of toilet paper. So she did.

She has a found a few that are perfect for septic and sewer, and, of course, several that are not. And she's still going! If you didn't see your preferred brand of toilet paper in the previous videos, check her out on TikTok as she now has several videos all dedicated to testing different types of toilet paper.

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