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Does Korea flush toilet paper?


Korean culture has been a topic of interest for many people around the world. One of the most common questions that foreigners ask is whether Koreans flush toilet paper or not. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question in detail.

Korean Toilet Culture

Korean toilets are unique and different from Western toilets. They have a squatting style toilet which requires the user to squat down to use it. Most Korean bathrooms have a hose or bidet, which is used to clean oneself after using the toilet.

The Issue with Flushing Toilet Paper

Flushing toilet paper can cause problems in the plumbing system. In Korea, most buildings have small pipes which are not capable of handling large amounts of paper. Flushing paper also increases the risk of clogged pipes and sewage backups.

Alternative Methods

To prevent plumbing problems, Koreans often use alternative methods of disposing of their toilet paper. One common method is to throw used toilet paper in a small bin next to the toilet. This bin is then emptied regularly by cleaning staff.

Public Restrooms

In public restrooms, Koreans are more likely to flush toilet paper as these restrooms are equipped with larger pipes and better plumbing systems. However, it is still recommended that users dispose of their toilet paper in the bin provided if they are unsure.

Cultural Differences

The practice of not flushing toilet paper is not unique to Korea. Many countries in Asia, Africa, and South America also do not flush toilet paper due to similar plumbing issues. It is important for travelers to be aware of these cultural differences and adjust their habits accordingly.

Environmental Impact

While throwing away used toilet paper may seem wasteful, it can actually have a positive impact on the environment. Flushing paper can lead to increased water usage and pollution, while properly disposing of it can reduce these negative effects.

Hygiene Concerns

Many people may be concerned about the hygiene of throwing away used toilet paper. However, as long as the bin is emptied regularly and kept clean, there should be no issues with hygiene.

Breaking the Taboo

For westerners, the idea of not flushing toilet paper may seem strange or even taboo. However, it is important to understand that this is a common practice in many parts of the world and is not something to be ashamed of.

Education and Awareness

To prevent plumbing problems and increase awareness, it is important for Koreans and foreigners alike to be educated on the proper disposal of toilet paper. Signs and instructions should be posted in public restrooms to help raise awareness.


In conclusion, Koreans do not typically flush toilet paper due to plumbing issues. Instead, they dispose of it in a small bin next to the toilet. While this may seem odd to some, it is important to respect cultural differences and adjust our habits accordingly when traveling or living in a foreign country.

Do Koreans still use squat toilets?

Before the Olympics in Seoul, a majority of public bathrooms had squat toilets without plumbing systems. These types of toilets can still be found in older buildings in modern cities. If you come across one, it is recommended to face the hooded end when using it.

Can you flush toilet paper in Japan?

In Japan, it is customary to leave toilet paper in the bowl and flush it after use. Only toilet paper and other flushable paper should be disposed of in the toilet. Sanitary napkins and tampons should be thrown in the wastebasket located beside the toilet.

Does Korean toilets use bidets?

Toilets in Korea are well-known for their distinctive characteristics, including bidets and air drying features. Although they may seem unusual and intriguing, these types of toilets are prevalent in South Korea, found in hotels and numerous homes.

Is it safe to drink tap water in Korea?

Yes, tap water in Korea is safe for consumption. However, if you were to drink it in front of many Koreans, you may receive some strange looks, even though the water is potable.

Do Korean men wear deodorant?

Why is there a shortage of good deodorant in Korea? The reason is that most Koreans do not require deodorant due to the discovery of the “ABCC11” gene by scientists a few years ago. This gene plays a role in determining whether a person produces dry or wet earwax, which is also linked to body odor.

Are Koreans heavy drinkers?

South Korea is a country known for its high consumption of alcoholic beverages, with an average of 13.7 shots of liquor consumed per person per week. This is followed by Russians who drink an average of 6.3 shots per week and Americans who consume an average of 3.3 shots per week.

It is also worth noting that flushing toilet paper is not the only concern when it comes to plumbing in Korea. In some older buildings, pipes may not even be equipped to handle water from showers or sinks, leading to separate drains for each source of water. This can also contribute to plumbing issues and clogging.

However, as Korea continues to modernize and update its infrastructure, newer buildings are being constructed with larger pipes and better plumbing systems. This means that flushing toilet paper may become more common in the future.

In addition, the use of bidets and hoses in Korean bathrooms is becoming increasingly popular. These devices not only help with cleaning oneself after using the toilet, but they also reduce the need for excessive toilet paper usage.

Overall, while the practice of not flushing toilet paper may seem strange or inconvenient to some, it is important to understand and respect cultural differences. By raising awareness and educating ourselves on proper disposal methods, we can help prevent plumbing issues and contribute to a more sustainable environment.

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