Can You Compost Paper Towels? Here Are Some Further Information For Your Answer

Can you compost paper towels? You may be surprised to learn that the answer is YES! Composting paper towels can help divert waste from landfills and keep plastic bags out of the environment.

The production of paper products like napkins, toilet tissue, and paper towels creates a lot of waste-especially when they end up in landfills or as litter along roadsides and waterways.

One way to reduce this problem is by composting them with your food scraps at home! Composting will allow you to turn your kitchen waste into rich fertilizer. To learn more about this, please read this guideline for composting paper towels.

1. Are Paper Towels Compostable?

Of course, you can manure the used paper towels if you want, but it depends on the types of towels and the time.

Typically, paper towels are produced from entirely recycled materials which are the most efficient factor in your recycling process. As you can see, any kind will decompose in a composting system working as a carbon component.

Moreover, the decomposition of paper towels is safe for our environment or even in the discoloration process. However, you need chlorine dioxide to kill the virus and dirt within the used towel.

>>> Readmore: Best Bamboo Reusable Paper Towels

The paper towel for households
The paper towel for households

1.1. When Should You Not Compost Paper Towels?

You should avoid applying some types of paper towels since they may contribute detrimental ingredients or oily things that might disturb the equilibrium within your composter.

Thus, you should give up the compost paper towels if they are :

  • Sold with rolls that are infused with disinfectants or fragrances to increase sales.
  • Utilized with chemical cleaners.
  • Used to clean butter or grease substances.
  • Contaminated with animal or human excrement or body’s liquid from a transmittable illness.

The reason for these are:

  • Fragrant or antibacterial paper towels introduce toxic chemicals to the compost that disrupt the balance and health of the beneficial bacteria that decompose the material and help it decompose.
  • Even those marketed as “all-natural” products include chemicals that might destroy the beneficial bacteria needed for composting to operate correctly.
  • Oils, butter, and fats are harmful to the compost because they prevent air from circulating in the compost pile. If there is no air, bacteria can’t survive, compost stops digesting, and it starts to smell!
Steps for compost paper towels
Steps for compost paper towels

1.2. Pros Of Composting Paper Towels

Composting paper towels have advantages for households such as:

  • Reducing domestic waste to protect our environment.
  • Balancing the nitrogen in a pile is considered a carbon ingredient.
  • Keeping the pile in balance by absorbing the moisture.
  • Using a waste domestic product to create a compelling and beneficial garden addition.

1.3. Cons Of Composting Paper Towels

However, composting paper towels doesn’t always bring you benefits. We will show some of their cons:

  • You should separate the paper towel from unavailable ingredients before being added to the compost pile.
  • When using a large number of paper towels, the compost might get excessively wet.
  • The towels having chemicals that may disturb the microorganisms in the compost
  • You should tear paper towels into tiny pieces so that you can mix them evenly in compost.

2. Which Products Are Compostable?

The required product for the compost paper towel
The required product for the compost paper towel

Almost all used paper towels are compostable. It’s okay to compost paper towels that you have used for washing your hands or wiping off dishes or surfaces that don’t contain chemicals.

For example, the paper towels in business restrooms are excellent for composting. Therefore schools and airports with a program to collect used paper towels are usually the best methods to do so.

3. How Long Does It Take For Paper Towels To Break Down?

It takes time for paper towels to disintegrate, even if they’re manufactured from tree fibers. Thickness is a determining factor for decomposing time. Standard paper towels degrade 2-6 weeks in a busy compost pile because they are designed to replace the cleaning cloth.

To speed up the breakdown process, you should tear paper towels into tiny pieces, place them in water, and then allow worms to do their magic. Composting is a bacterial process that accelerates by mixing the pieces with some components like nitrogen and oxygen, which prompt bacterial working.

4. How To Compost Paper Towels?

It takes four steps to compost paper towels, and it should become a tool of your domestic trash disposal regimen.

  1. Distribute your paper towels that are compostable safely into your box with other garbage containing carbon, like cardboard and other organic wastes.
  2. Before adding paper towels, shred or tear them up.
  3. You should place the paper towels in the compost with other carbon components to balance out the nitrogen ingredient or green materials you’ve added.
  4. You should thoroughly blend the paper towels into the compost by turning the box or using the tool in the garden. Compost needs turning every 2 or 3 days in order to make it warm enough and aerated so that the bacteria may destroy your paper towels and other components properly.

Interestingly, some people add paper towels to a separate bin, and using the compost in landfills instead of at home is not only an easy way to reduce waste but also aids in soil fertility. When commercialized, it saves money while helping our planet!

Almost all paper towels are compostable.
Almost all paper towels are compostable.


We hope now you no longer wonder about the question of “Can You Compost Paper Towels?” after reading, as well as how to reduce domestic waste and help your garden grow. Thank you for reading this blog; see you in the next one!

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Kent Bio

Kent Bio cares about people’s health, experiences, and the planet we live on. Bamboo products are comfortable for you and sustainable for the environment. Bamboo products are much more environmentally friendly because growing bamboo does not require chemical fertilizers, developing ecosystems, greening bare land, bare hills, and social security in developing countries. + Contact US