THE ONLY TOILET PAPER YOU SHOULD EVER BUY.

The great toilet paper search is over. I have found the only toilet paper you should ever buy.  At least it’s the only toilet paper I should ever buy.   If you’ve been following along with my toilet troubles, you know I went on a rampage, searching for the most dissolvable toilet paper on the planet.  I also installed a new toilet that has such suctioning power that if you flush while sitting on it, it could turn your outie into an innie.

My goal was to find a toilet paper that becomes nothing once it mixes with water, but doesn’t fall apart before then.  And of course is a half decent toilet paper that doesn’t leave you with a scabby rash because it’s so rough on your lady parts. Or man parts.  Or both. Because you might be a hermaphrodite. And if you are I’d love to interview you for my blog.

If you haven’t read my first post on the great toilet paper search of 2016, read that now.

Toilet-paper-test

 

After testing two more common toilet papers in addition to the original three (Charmin, Cottonelle & a cheapo brand), I’ve found the winner.  The only toilet paper I will ever buy from now on.

 

toilet-paper-test-2

The next two I tested were Costco’s Kirkland brand toilet paper and the lesser known (but still available at Costco in Canada) Cascades.

Cascades is also available in the States but you might not be as familiar with it.

In the left container I placed 2 squares of Costco’s Kirkland brand toilet paper and on the right, 2 squares of Cascades.

toilet-paper-test-apple-watch

Then I walked away for 20 minutes.

toilet-paper-3

20 minutes later, after no agitating, the toilet papers looked like this.  Remember it’s Kirkland on the left and Cascades on the right.

toilet-paper

After 20 minutes of sitting, the Kirkland brand toilet paper was still intact, looking just like toilet paper.

 

toilet-paper-6

 

The Cascades had started to break down just sitting in the water.

 

toilet-paper-5

Then I gave both jars a vigorous stir to replicate the toilet paper flying through your plumbing pipes.

toilet-paper-spoon

 

The Kirkland brand broke down surprisingly well for a toilet paper that stayed in one chunk for 20 minutes.

But the Cascades toilet paper dissolved to almost nothing after a few stirs.

Because it’s made from 100% recycled fibres, those fibres are very short and they break apart into short little pieces as the toilet paper dissolves.  This is a good thing.  The tinier the pieces are the less likely they are to get caught on the edges or rough spots or corners in your plumbing making clogs almost impossible.

Also, obviously it’s a great toilet paper if you happen to be on a septic system because it … just goes away. It disappears.

Nope. I’m not being paid by Cascades for this.  It’s just information that those of us who have lived through the horrors of a plugged toilet or sewer line know is important.  The kind of information that can save lives.  Or at least wallets and bathroom floors.

And maybe lives.  I’m sure there’s a person out there that’s had a heart attack after seeing the $10,000 estimate for replacing their sewer lines.  When really … all you needed to do was buy better, dissolvable toilet paper.

 


91 Comments

  1. Paula says:

    Perfect as we have a septic; a very old septic. Thanks!

  2. Kathy Hartzell says:

    Your column is making my day, maybe my week, my year, my life? I’m president of a public sanitation agency so I know about what happens in those pipes. And, I happen to have one house with a septic tank.
    So, now, I’ve got to find Cascades here in California. Good luck with that, she says!!!

    P.S. if you want to do yourself and the planet another favor – tell you readers never, ever, ever to flush “wipes” down the loo – not even those that say flushable. They lie. The wipes and the manufacturers…the wipes lie in the pipes, they clog the pipes. They cause huge sewer overflows and worse. The companies lie when they say they are flushable. Yeah, they flush. But then they don’t go where they are supposed to…..and don’t break down. So, enjoy my little homonymous humor, oh, I mean humour, and NEVER flush a wipe!!!

    • Mary W says:

      YEA! I told my daughter-in-law to stop using them in my toilet but she insisted the ad said flushable. Yeah, flushable for one foot of plumbing. Then not so much. She finally relented but my two grandsons think I’m a moron now. (Maybe that was her ultimate goal.) Anyway, she does the same with feminine products that say they are flushable. Ask the school janitors – they all say they clean clogs ALL THE TIME and post notices on each stall but no one pays any attention and they continue to unclog toilets with tampons in them. Someone aught to sue the manufacturers that advertise this under consumer truth in advertising. Maybe that would teach them a lesson. Class action – the lawyer could retire off it. Or go into the plumbing business which probably pays more since no one pays attention to stuff like that – only presidential candidate moronishness. Maybe we could get one of the loosing candidates to make a little skit for You Tube showing what happens when you flush unflushables. Priceless.

    • Karen says:

      This is true Kathy. 🙂 It’s like flushing a piece of a tee shirt. It flushes but … that’s about it. ~ karen!

    • Carolyn Cowan says:

      We are renting out our home to a young couple who will purchase it next year.Her first month there, she clogged our septic with “flushable” wipes.We had to dish out the cashola for the septic guy who had to come and suction it out.We have a compost toilet where we are living off grid(not as gross as it sounds).I am going to drive to Canada if I have to to find this brand because someday, in my wildest dreams, I will have a leach field again.Compost toilets are simply too much work(although I am proud of the water we are saving).BTW Karen, you owe me new sheets because I was reading this post in bed, enjoying a cup of coffee and you are so funny that coffee came out my nose from laughing so hard.

  3. Bobbles says:

    I though the entire theory was that the higher percentage of recycled fibers, the less absorbent and soft it would be. When I was doing purchasing for a janitorial service, I could tell the TP with more recycled fibers because it felt like waxed paper. Cottonelle has been my favorite because it’s soft on my bum. Also my poor nether regions had an issue with Kirkland TP. It gave me a rash. I have an autoimmune disease so I am careful (and sensitive). I didn’t explore possible Kirkland potential after the single outbreak because…well, just because.

    • Dagmar says:

      Oh Bobbles. I certainly hope you understand that each one of us is different, and had I had a rash or a bad experience-I would never had suggested the brand. ? It has worked for our family for as long as I can remember.

      • Bobbles says:

        Oh, absolutely! But last night I really rethought my use of Cottonelle. I’m going to get some other tissue and try them. Both solubility and rash-ability! I’d hate to be clogging up pipes when there’s another option.

  4. tracie says:

    Well, it may just be me, but I’m thinking it’s been too long between diy/craft posts…:)

    • whitequeen96 says:

      LOL! I remember the days when I thought about what mascara to wear or talked about international politics. And now it’s come to this! 🙂

      • Karen says:

        Oh! If that’s what you want to know ,L’Oreal Voluminous. 😉 ~ karen!

      • nancy says:

        What ever mascara you use, I discovered a fabulous and important thing. Tweezerman ilash folding mascara comb. Just when you decide you really do love and trust your mascara, it globs all up. So, you comb your globs and life is ok again.

  5. Kathleen says:

    Since I read your first post on the toilet paper debate, my bathroom experiences have not been the same! I count blocks of toilet paper, check whether I am “rolling or folding”, read the ‘ingredients’ on packs of toilet paper in the supermarket (made from recycled paper / number of sheets per roll etc.), and so on, and so on… All I need is a purple hat and people will then KNOW I have gone crazy! 🙂

    • Teresa J says:

      You are not the only one, I have been doing the same thing!!!! And now it is Cascades for me! I am from BC and the commercials are on tv for it so I will definitely make a point of picking it up. Maybe Cascades could send Karen a thank you royalty!!! hint hint Cascades mgt!!!

  6. Lynn says:

    Your post came hours late for me. I went to Costco this morning and bought Kirkland brand….. I’ll look for Cascade next time I’m there.

  7. Dana says:

    My husband is sick to death of me monitoring his tp usage. As I suspected, we (he) use more than the national average for a family of 3. We buy the cheapest generic Great Value brand.

  8. Nicole says:

    So what is to become of the other 47.99 rolls of Kirkland toilet paper?

  9. Lindy says:

    Can I come to the Awards Ceremony with you? Special award for public service to plumbing. It’s marvy. And not only the results (no such products here in la France Profonde, helas) but the photography. I want to buy some of those fab jars, set up the tripod and position my loo paper in bright natural light and see if I can get such luminosity.

  10. Holly says:

    Karen is doing a great service by pushing so hard on this subject. My house is 18 years old. The plumbing contractor put two 90 degree angles in the sewer service line from the house to the street. (Instead of running it straight out!) Plus it has a dip in the line. I found this out when I had a sewer backup. On top of that, I had tree roots that had infiltrated the joints where the angles are. When he TV’d the line, he showed me, and there was toilet paper hung up in all the roots. I have to have it TV’d yearly, rotor-rootered out, and then a foam application that seeps into the tips of roots and keeps them from coming back as thick. $500 pop each time. He has warned me that if the joints go, I’m looking at ten grand. I am considering renting my house out and was just talking to my sister saying “how in hell am I going to mandate that the renters use a certain type of toilet paper?!.” Listen up, you don’t want it to happen to you.

  11. Sharon says:

    My farmer husband retired, we bought an old house in town to renovate for a project. Rented out the farm ( 20 miles from town, it’s a septic system.) So the renters came to us and said they were moving out. Fine. We go out to the farm to see what’s what and find that we are now going to pay $5500 for a whole new system, something called a “lift station”…not to mention no water to the house. The basement floor has been stripped of it’s carpet over tile, too. We think it backed up on them – never thought about telling them what tp to use – and in an effort for us to not know…they just disappeared. 🙁 I will say in the 30+ years he lived there, and the 5 I lived there after our marriage, we never had a problem – but of course we were careful with the tp useage and pumped the system regularly. Grrr! Next time I’m putting something in the rental contract!!

  12. Anne says:

    Cascades it is for me! Waiting for the final verdict, thank you. Not sure how blogs work, but would like you to know that I have bought the Netfear Router, several Blue Q items and a Rough Linen Valentine Pinnafore because of you. Not once was I asked who referred me.
    Love all I got, have to say, when the Pinnafore was all said and done, it was close to $200!! An expensive apron. Good thing is that I love it and will justify the decision.

    • Karen says:

      Why did the pinafore end up being so much Anne?! Was it because of the exchange (stupid, stupid exchange) or were you hit with some crazy broker fees? ~ karen!

      • Anne says:

        It was the exchange and a $25 broker fee to get it across the border to BC! Like I said, I love it, so I’ve justified it completely. Just couldn’t do that on a regular basis. Still drooling over the comforter covers, maybe when our dollar gets a bit better.

  13. Mandy says:

    More importantly I am relived that your roll is hanging the right way!

  14. Mandy says:

    Relieved!!!stupid iPad!

  15. Carla says:

    I don’t have a septic system but my 1956 fixer upper had the original sewer pipe and I think they were made of clay. . .anyway by 2013 it had managed to collapse, maybe due to age or material or tree roots. Yes it was close to $10,000 plus they absolutely ruined a big chunk of my front yard digging a whole so big it looked like I was installing a swimming pool. During the time of the great back up I was told to use Scott’s one ply tissue.

  16. MichelleR says:

    I’ve been using Cascades for a few years because it was a recycled product.

  17. ronda says:

    my local movie theatre even has Cascades in the washrooms!

  18. Maureen Locke says:

    No Cascades in NS, or none that I’ve ever seen. I even had to google it to see what it looked like. Nope, never seen it. Second choice??

  19. Suzanne R says:

    Bravo!

  20. Wyldecent says:

    Good to know but I wonder what is the best for those of us who use toliet paper with recycled content? There’s a new project for you 🙂

    • Karen says:

      You’re a skimmer aren’t you Wyldecent? 🙂 …. “But the Cascades toilet paper dissolved to almost nothing after a few stirs.

      Because it’s made from 100% recycled fibres, those fibres are very short and they break apart into short little pieces as the toilet paper dissolves. This is a good thing. The tinier the pieces are the less likely they are to get caught on the edges or rough spots or corners in your plumbing making clogs almost impossible.” ~ karen!

  21. Mary Robinsin says:

    What good news. We have always used Cascades because it is a recycled product, but also because they are a very responsible company and very generous to the community.

  22. Catherine Vosper says:

    And which one leaves the least amount of little “toilet paper pills” in yur bits?

  23. Jan says:

    Holy horses……..where did you get that timer/watch!? I have been looking everywhere for one that would remind me,while in the garden, that something is cooking in the kitchen. Really don’t want to burn down my house….hate when that happens. Oh, and I am testing the tp right now.

  24. Catherine says:

    You have inspired me to put one square of my toilet paper in a wine glass. It broke down only after stirring. So Cascade it is on the next trip to the grocery store.

    • Karen says:

      As long as it completely breaks down you’re O.K. Catherine. (without going crazy with the stirring) You just want to make sure once it flushes that it dissolves to the point where it can’t get caught on things like tree roots or rough spots in the pipes. Cause that’s what causes clogging. ~ karen!

  25. Ev Wilcox says:

    Just found Cascades on Amazon for $31.00 for 48 rolls, Prime shipping. So those of us in America can get it. The problem with some tissue is if it is thin you use a lot more to accomplish your objective! Yes, it may dissolve better, but you will pay for that feature. I will contemplate trying the Cascade brand, but I don’t think the others in this house will be too accepting.
    On another note-how is your cat that had all the dental work doing? My friend also had to have most of her cat’s teeth extracted. Thanks Karen. Oh, and indeed your TP is hanging correctly! Yay!

    • Shannon says:

      We have been using it for a few years and no one complains. I don’t find that I use any more than thicker, non-recycled TP

  26. terri says:

    They sell Cascades on Amazon! Yay……… in 80 packs even!

  27. Chris says:

    This week a certain drugstore has Cascades on for 9.99 for 24 double rolls (London Drugs) in B.C. They also have the paper towels and tissues on. I live in B.C. so not sure about the rest of the country. Thanks for the research!

  28. Jody says:

    I have been, late, very late to the Costco membership bus. I think that is the pickle jar you mentioned earlier this week. I had a membership for a year , but have been debating whether to renew my Costco membership or not. Well I think the scales have been tipped.

  29. vicki says:

    what is this “cascades” you speak of??? we’re on the west coast (canada) here and i don’t think i’ve seen it before… will have to seek it out next time i’m out TP shopping!

    • Muff Hackett says:

      I can get Cascades at Overwaitea/Save-on Foods/Nesters stores and at Loblaws based stores as well as London Drugs here in Squamish BC so it should be available somewhere where you are.

      • vicki says:

        Thanks for this Muff Hackett! I must have never looked, but I was at the local grocery store today and saw it. I guess I never paid much attention to TP. 🙂

  30. Debbie says:

    Thank you.

    After having plumbing problems the choice has shifted to best dollar value to best dissolving value.

    Thank you for doing the research for me ☺

    I swear these new toilets are also the worst at actually flushing anything down the first time… I hope this changes with the change in TP.

  31. Shannon says:

    We have a 50+ year old home with (previous) homeowner bathroom addition…aka not installed properly…and when we use anything but Cascades we have plumbing issues. I just pray that Costco doesn’t stop carrying it!

  32. Sarah says:

    I don’t have a Costco membership, but we use the Target Up & Up brand. I’ll have to complete the same scientific test and report back for fellow US readers who don’t shop at Costco.

    • emma says:

      can you please tell me the results of your test?

      • Sarah says:

        Hi! The Target Up & Up brand performed very well! I don’t remember how long I left it in the glass, but it didn’t take very long at all for it to fall apart. However, they’ve recently changed their product to something that’s a little thicker, and I haven’t redone the test.

  33. Donna Boo says:

    So I find it humorous that the pop up ad for this post is a coupon for Charmin.

  34. Dagmar says:

    Hmmm toilet paper debate (the return,)
    I wonder whether the great tp debate might have other factors involved. I know that: hard water, soft water, well water, filtered water or even boiled water will have a completely different effect on the way that tp breaks down. And of course, the pressure of the water flowing through the pipes will also change things.
    …I had a friend who lived on an island on Lake Michigan and every time it rained the water level in the lake went up, and boy the flushing in the toilet was much easier.

  35. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Great…If I can find that brand…Thanks!

  36. Karen P says:

    Oh man. Thank you for giving us the name of the brand in this post. I went on my own scientific adventure after you “weren’t in a hurry” (LOL) to reveal the name of the toilet paper brand you had success with in your earlier testing. After comparing several brands myself I determined that the Sobey’s house brand called Signal obliterates upon flushing. Just like you said, super cheap and super easy on the plumbing. Win win.

  37. Deb says:

    Too funny, I was just thinking the last time I was in Costco that I would switch to the Cascades from Kirkland the next time we need toilet paper. Now you’ve given me a good reason to switch! About 5 or 6 years ago we had a plumber in for an (unrelated) water leak, and he gave us good information, like the plush brands of toilet paper create most of the pipe back ups he sees. He told us then to stick to less cuddly paper!

  38. Stefanie Barrett says:

    For the first time I am proud to say I can see the Cascade toilet paper factory from home on Mud Island, Memphis TN. I have driven by it everyday for 12 years and never tried their product. Your research has changed that.

  39. Jennifer Noble says:

    Great story and a very important one too! I think an even bigger problem is those wet ones (so- called disposable wipes) that are clogging up everything big time. Thought you might like to read another great toilet paper story, Who Gives A Crap: Toilet paper that builds toilets. You might have to google Who Gives a Crap, I can’t seem to paste the link here. Haven’t done your test on their paper, but I like the philosophy behind their business.

  40. Better yet, Bamboo toilet paper. I buy caboo. Takes even less time to break down than Cascades. And is a sustainable product. Can’t get any better than that.

  41. I buy bamboo toilet paper – brand Caboo. Breaks down faster than Cascades. And is a sustainable product!

  42. Cherry Bee says:

    Did the 20-minute glass test on Trader Joe’s tp and it passed nicely. What a relief: hadn’t heard of Cascades & no Costco membership. Thanks for the methodology, Karen.

  43. Karen says:

    Ahh ..what a shame this ‘Cascades’ isn’t available to buy in the UK, where I live. Unless…. I wonder if it’s available under a different brand name….or does anyone know of a good / as near as alternative out there?? Any?

  44. tina says:

    When you did your test did you use cascades standards or the cascade ultra?

  45. Kurt says:

    I understand this article is about TP issues in clog prone plumbing, but septic system advice was erroneous. I recently attended a septic system workshop by Snohomish County, Washington. We were shown the dissolving test but were given opposite results.
    No toilet paper fiber disappears or digests in the tank. The bacteria won’t work on wood fiber fast enough. It must be pumped out of a septic tank every 3 to 5 years. Bigger fibers are better so they form sludge that won’t get out of the tank and clog the drain tiles. All solids accumulate from both the bottom and the top of the tank. Both floating and sinking sludge must be pumped out before they reach the drain which is located between the layers or they will clog the drain field. All septic owners should get literature/web info from a government source, not a web maven, as there are potential fines for breaking rules. This was a shock to me.

    • Karen says:

      Um. A web maven? First of all my post is not about septic tanks. It’s about toilet paper and the resulting effects of different types on sewer lines. So if you want to hurl mini-sized insults, at least insult my actual post, not your perception of my post. ~ karen!

  46. Larry says:

    Is this Cascades at Costco rated as single or 2 ply?

  47. Suz says:

    YES! Thank you so much for posting this. We are moving into a home that has a septic system. I’ve never had one before and was concerned. Thanks again for this informative post. Now I get to research all of the other features that will affect the septic, low flow toilets, washers etc.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Well good luck with that. 🙂 I’ve actually found (in Canada) the VERY best brand to be Cascades and in the States have heard only good things about Scotts. ~ karen!

  48. Ilo says:

    We are about to begin building our new home which will be on a septic system. Our current 70 year old house has the old style, lots of water type of toilet. Can you recommend a toilet brand or type that will work well with our new septic?

  49. Hi,
    I’m about to purchase Cascades, thanks to this great blog, and wasn’t sure if I should buy the single ply or if the 2 ply Cascades is good at breaking down. Thanks for the help!

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