can you flush toilet seat covers
Kristina Davis

Can you flush toilet seat covers? Many people want to know more about it, especially when using public toilets.

It is quite common for people to protect themselves from potential germ exposure by using a toilet seat cover. Others would not mind using a few sheets of toilet paper when visiting a public restroom.

Whether or not it offers any real protection is one thing, but what to do with those covers is something that many people want to know.

So, are you supposed to flush toilet seat covers?

You can flush most toilet seat covers like the paper toilet seat covers in public restrooms, but you cannot do that with covers made of cotton or other materials. 

The Need for Toilet Seat Covers

toilet seat cover design

Some folks like to hover. Some people even make a nest out of it. Others seek seat covers prone to being splattered by the untimely flushing of the automatic toilet.

But if you use toilet seat covers, you have undoubtedly questioned whether all your extra precautions are actually saving you from harm.

In a word, yes, but probably not in the way you are thinking. The truth is that many individuals feel compelled to cover their toilet seats.

That is mainly because of historical beliefs that direct contact with an unprotected seat could spread diseases like hepatitis and syphilis.

Yet authorities believe there is not much proof to support that claim. Still, people continue to use these liners in public restrooms because they make them feel more at ease when using a shared space.

Fact: It is hardly likely that you will catch anything from a toilet seat unless it is visibly soiled with liquid or debris. 

Can You Flush Toilet Seat Covers?

toilet seat cover hanging

The phrase “toilet seat cover” is vague enough that there is not a single correct response to this question.

There are flushable paper toilet seat covers, but there are also others that would require a call to the plumber if flushed. 

When to Flush and When to Avoid Flushing Toilet Seat Covers?

toilet seat covers bunch of tissues

Many people use a disposable paper toilet seat cover to avoid contact with germs that previous users may have left on the seat.

There may be a supply in the restroom, but some individuals like to bring their own just in case.

The problem is that you can find various types of toilet seat coverings. Speaking of public toilets, you are more likely to see paper covers used for safety reasons.

It is possible to flush them in some cases, but forget about it in case seat covers are used merely to increase comfort. 

Fact: It is hard to say for sure who came up with the idea for the contemporary toilet, but in 1775, Englishman Alexander Cumming is considered to have the first patent for a flushing toilet. 

When to Avoid Flushing Seat Covers

flushing toilet paper rolls

Those who live in homes equipped with septic systems may find it more convenient to just dispose of them in the trash rather than risk contaminating their system.

One of the main reasons for this is to keep the septic tank from becoming clogged, but there are others.

Waste from a septic system is not simply flushed away like regular plumbing would. Instead, it distributes it exclusively in a limited area called a septic field.

The septic system has no specialized components to decompose the toilet seat cover, which is a major issue. Moreover, this holds true even if we consider the “flushable” variety. 

When Can You Flush Paper Seat Covers?

pink toilet paper on top of bowl

Use toilet paper that is made to break down quickly in water, as this is the only kind that can be used in a septic system.

To be usable, the paper must biodegrade in a septic system. 

An Important Consideration

Always consider the condition of your septic system before flushing, as many things might disrupt its normal operation.

Most homes, especially older ones, have problems with clogged drains and sewer lines because of the accumulation of debris.

The same goes for toilets that work off of gravity such as septic systems. 

Flushing Toilet Seat Covers in Public Toilets

toilet seat covers public restroom

A paper toilet seat cover is a rarity, but every once in a while you get lucky at a public lavatory and get one.

The problem is that using those covers is not always favorable. It is not just that they are ineffective at stopping germs from spreading; it is also because you are probably not using them properly.

Proper usage of a single sheet of paper will maximize the limited amount of protection it offers against the spread of germs.

When replacing the toilet paper cover on the seat, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Do not throw away the paper on the inside; it serves an essential function.
  • Remove the paper from one end and protrude it.
  • Do not discard if one side has some fraying or minor tears.
  • The flapper should not dangle from the back of the toilet.
  • If you flush the toilet, the flap will meet the water and be dragged down. 

When Should You Really Use a Seat Cover?

using toilet seat cover

There is no need to be very picky when it comes to using seat covers. But sometimes, it makes more sense. 

When Can You Do without Seat Covers?

You should take a look at the toilet condition as a whole. Choose a stall in the public restroom that appears to have a clean seat and bowl before using it.

No cover is necessary if the bowl is spotless and white. In the absence of extreme filth or wear, toilet seats pose no health risk.

If there are several available stalls at a public restroom, feel free to examine all of them before selecting the one you deem to be the cleanest.

You can make your choice based on how you feel about the general level of cleanliness. 

When Can You Benefit from a Toilet Seat Cover?

toilet seat cover benefits

If you have any injuries or wounds that are currently open, use a toilet seat cover. A toilet seat cover can act as an additional barrier between you and any germs lurking in the toilet.

Keep in mind that a toilet seat cover is not always necessary; in fact, many other common household items harbor far more germs.

Choosing throwaway options is usually not a good decision because of the damage it may do to the environment in the long run. 

Fact: The first stall in a public restroom is statistically proven to be the cleanest and least-used. 

Learning to Use a Toilet Seat Cover

about toiler seat cover

Quite a few public toilets provide toilet seat coverings for patrons to use in an effort to reduce the spread of germs.

Some people may choose not to use a cover if they see that the restroom has been kept in a clean and sanitary condition. Use the accompanying seat cover, however, if the toilet’s condition leaves much to be desired.

To use the cover, take it out of its storage space and set it on the bowl with the flap pointing down.

After using the restroom, you can either flush the cover down with the rest of your trash or put it in the appropriate trash can.

Here is how to do it properly:

  1. Locate the plastic bucket housing the spare covers once inside the stall.
  2. Pull one out by lifting it by its outside edge.
  3. To take off the lid should not require too much work.
  4. Find three tiny paper attachments running along the “bowl” of the cover.
  5. Hold the flap in place on the outer ring.
  6. Ensure the flap lands within the bowl when you place the lid down.
  7. Find Joints on the left and right sides, as well as the center.
  8. Carefully peel off the joints using your fingers.
  9. Pinch the paper in two places and the joints should separate easily.
  10. Keep the flap attached as you do this.
  11. Position on the seat and you are good to go.

While placing the cover on the toilet, make sure the flap is facing forward. When flushed, the toilet seat cover should be sucked down into the bowl if it is properly positioned on the seat.

Fact: The typical person uses a toilet roughly 2,500 times per year and spends three years of their life doing so. 


Can you flush toilet seat covers?  Yes, possibly. It is expected that the response to the question “do you flush toilet seat covers when they are made of paper?” will be yes.

However, this is not always the case; for example, when a septic system is installed in the home. Under these conditions, it is probably best to avoid flushing any toilet seat covers.

It is important to learn the correct way to install a cover for a flushable toilet seat, though.