Five Tips to Stop Toilet Users Flushing Paper Towels

Bathroom sweetheart

It is oneof the most common tasks for public toilet cleaners and maintenance staff: a toilet is unusable because there is a paper clog caused by paper towels or an excessive amount of toilet paper.

A significant part of a facilities budget goes down the drain for the purpose of unblocking toilets.

There are two main reasons why users do this:

One - the visitor cannot find suitable toilet paper to use in the toilet

Two - once hands have been dried, they are unable to throw the paper towels away, as there are no bins.

Architects, interior designers and facility managers must ensure that people are not compelled to any or both.


Here are our five tips to stop paper towel blocks


1) Make sure there is always toilet paper in the dispenser

The first step to avoid running out of consumables is to study the daily uses and provide the right number of staff shifts.

When choosing a toilet roll holder, consider if you want additional features, such as: a level toilet paper viewer, fast servicing or paper saving spindles.

That way you don’t need to have your staff constantly replenishing toilet paper.


2) Place bins in a visible location – and empty them regularly

We recommend placing bins in a visible location, near the paper towel dispenser – not under the sink. This will help keep bathrooms tidy and reduce the chance of toilet blockages.

The question to ask, is what sort of bin opening would encourage users to use the bin?

In reality, some people will not bother to use a pedal bin - either because of carelessness or having numerous failed attempts.

We have found that for highest accessibility a half-dome or open top is ideal.

Finally, make sure the bins are emptied regularly. There is no excuse here.


3) Offer an air hand drying solution


An electric hand dryer can be an effective drying method for bathrooms where power is available, and noise is acceptable for both users and people in the building.

There are many to choose from, including energy efficient, automatic hand dryers that fully dry hands in 12 seconds… eliminate the need for paper or bins.

Some low maintenance models do not result in splashed walls or require drip trays to be emptied regularly because their systems evaporate the water. This saves costs long-term.


4) Do not offer so many paper towels

Often paper towels clog toilets not only because that paper is made of a material that is more difficult to dissolve than usual toilet paper, but also because visitors grab a generous handful of paper towels.

When selecting the paper towel dispenser, choose a model that dispenses just one sheet at a time.


5) Use technology

New to the market are wireless and Bluetooth devices that monitor accessories to give real-time information on the quantity of bathroom consumables - like soap or tissue.

And there are other technical solutions that can be used to quickly notify staff that a block has occurred – such as feedback buttons in airports.

These use short questions or a few words with a pictogram to ask about the cleanliness of the area.

The simple quiz can be placed on a stand when leaving the bathroom or can be built into a panel on every toilet partition.

This way users just press a button to inform staff about a blocked toilet. There are no awkward interactions or time invested looking for a cleaner.


All these suggestions could be made when designing or refurbishing your building.

As a last resource, every toilet can have a toilet brush and plunger set.



For more information or for help in finding your ideal hand dryer, please call us on 1300 HANDRY or (+61) 1300 426 379, use our contact us page or email us at

You can also use our Intelligent Search Tool that helps you identify the perfect dryer for your location by clicking here.

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