Saturday, March 30, 2013

Toilet Paper Folding and Clogged Toilets

My house is not all that old (25 years or so), but we seem to have a phenomenon with my step-children clogging our toilets.  They live with their mom most of the time, and tell us it happens to them there too.

Clogged toilets are certainly not something I typically give too much consideration or discussion to, but I finally got curious and had conversations with other moms I know.

My investigation started with what habits my husband and I both have. WE then moved on to what might be different about the kids. We all eat the same food, so we decided early on that wasn't the problem.

The obvious difference most parents come up with is that kids use too much toilet paper. So, we implemented a "number of squares" rule for the kids. If they need more paper than that, they were allowed to flush first then again if needed.

We still had clogging problems, but I am going to guess they were not following the number of squares then flush rule. So, a little more thought went into the problem and I THINK I finally figured out why the kids clog the toilet and no one else does. It all comes down to folding!

Think about it-and you might have to. This is something that is so second nature to us that we don't really pay attention, but there are two basic ways to get your toilet paper ready for the wipe: a fold or a wad.

Without getting into specifics that are not necessary, folding the paper will give you a more dense section of toilet tissue. If you have to wipe with several new folded sets of paper, you are going to have all that toilet paper folded densely trying to get down your toilet.

If you wad your toilet paper, it will be three dimensional for the wipe, but then sort of "unspring" back apart once it is in water. The toilet paper in the "wad" style will not be as dense at any one point going down the hole.

I stumbled upon a very funny chart of different toilet paper wiping methods made my blogadilla:

So, if you are having issues with your kids clogging the toilets (assuming they aren't flushing items they shouldn't be) perhaps a good inquiry would be on how they hold their toilet paper!

If you have other theories or insight PLEASE share below. It is one of the wonders of the world to a parent (or step parent) who can not figure out why 10, 12, and 14 year old children still clog the toilet!


  1. People should really put this practical advise in their hearts and minds. Clogs are no laughing matter; however, they are easy to cause and create. Thanks for the share.

    Athens Plumbing

  2. When you said kids, I thought you were pertaining to 4 – 7 year old children clogging the toilets, which is not surprising if you ask me. But 12 and 14 years old? Now that’s odd. I think you should talk to these kids, regardless if your theory about toilet paper is correct or not.

    James Warren @ Capital Care Plumbing

  3. I hope you already sorted this problem out with your step-children. I think they’re old enough to understand some ground rules about the toilet and tissue usage – that is if your theory is correct. Anyway, I think you should consider having your piping and plumbing system checked, as that could be another culprit for those toilet clogging problems.

    Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing


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