How To Flush The Toilet In Airplanes( Detailed Guide)

Flushing the toilet on an airplane can be a confusing experience. It’s not like you can just go to the toilet in the airport, stand at the sink and flush it.

As a frequent flier, I thought I’d write this article to explain how you should go about flushing the one place you would never want to be messy — an airplane bathroom.

Well, yes it sounds challenging but relax it’s not as big a deal as you thought. Flushing the toilet in airplanes is quite simple.

But, yes you have to know the correct way to do that to avoid any kind of embarrassment or mishap. 

The following steps should be followed when using the lavatory aboard an airplane: Swing open the bathroom door and hunt for the “Toilet” tag. Find that sneaky flush contraption close to the seat. Give the lever or handle a tug to unleash the whirlpool! Give the “Toilet Paper/Flush” button a friendly nudge to wrap it all up.

If you still don’t get it then no worries, because we are going to talk about it in detail below. So for better understanding continue to read.

How Does An Airplane Toilet Work 

How To Flush The Toilet In Airplanes

In order to understand how do automatic toilets work, you need to know that there are two different kinds of toilets on airplanes.

The first kind is called a “conventional” toilet and is the type you would find in any other public restroom. This type of toilet has its own water supply, which is why it can flush itself without having to be connected to an electrical outlet or external source of water.

The second kind of airplane toilet is known as a “vacuum” toilet. This type is not designed to have its own water supply.

Instead, it relies on suction from a vacuum pump to remove waste from the bowl into a holding tank below the floorboard in your cabin.

The tanks are cleaned before each flight using chemicals and disinfectants, which are stored onboard for this purpose.

Now move on to how does it works? So an airplane toilet works by using a vacuum system that sucks the dirty water into a holding tank. The water is then drained and the tank is cleaned before the next use.

The flush button in an airplane toilet does not actually flush anything but instead activates a pump that sucks air from outside of the plane into the toilet bowl, which causes the contents to be pushed out.

How To Flush The Toilet In Airplanes

How To Flush The Toilet In Airplanes

Flushing the toilet on an airplane is simple but needs a little bit of knowledge and guidance. You can flush the toilet in an airplane by simply following these steps.

Step 1: First, turn off the sink faucet. Then, open the lid to the toilet and check to make sure it’s empty. If it isn’t empty, don’t flush—just close the lid and wait until it is.

Step 2: Next, take out your soap or toilet paper (if there is any) from under your seat and place it in a plastic bag or trash bin nearby.

You’ll want to do this because when you flush the toilet, some of what you’re flushing will go into the air and get on everything around you—including your soap or toilet paper!

Step 3: Now that you’ve done all that, it’s time to flush! There are two ways to do this: one option is that when you press down on the handle for flushing, you will hear two clicks (one from each side). 

The second method involves lifting up on both sides of the handle at once before pressing down on it. Both methods work equally well—it just depends on what kind of experience you’d like!

Step 4: Afterward, put any leftover toilet paper back into its holder under your seat if possible (but not before washing your hands with soap).

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Tips For Flushing The Toilet In An Airplane

Flushing the toilet in an airplane is a little different than flushing an automatic toilet at home. Here are some tips for making sure you get the job done right:

  • Be sure to flush as soon as possible after using the bathroom. You don’t want to be stuck sitting on a full toilet for hours, and you don’t want to cause any issues with overflowing toilets or causing other people around you to get sick from odors.
  • Use small amounts of water at first, then flush more if necessary. This will help prevent clogging without wasting tons of water at once in case you need to repeat the process later on down the road! What if there is no water? No need to worry our guide how to flush toilet if water is off can surely help in this case.
  • Make sure your seatbelt is securely fastened before flushing so that no one gets hurt by flying accessories falling out unexpectedly during turbulence or other disturbances while they’re trying to clean up after themselves inside their own cubicle (which is actually just another kind of “cubicle,” right?).
  • Wear shoes when entering the bathroom. This helps prevent your feet from getting dirty and spreading germs to the rest of the plane.
  • Use hand sanitizer before using the bathroom. This will help ensure that you don’t spread any germs or viruses to other passengers.
  • Don’t flush paper towels down the toilet—just throw them in the trash. If you do flush paper towels down the toilet, it can clog up plumbing lines, which can cause water damage to your house when you get home. To know more about this clog up process you can read our detailed guide on How Does The Inside Of The Toilet Works.

Precautions When You Are Flushing An Airplane Toilet 

You may think that flushing an airplane toilet is a simple task, but there are actually a number of precautions you should take to make sure it gets done right—and safely. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Don’t flush your own toilet paper. Airlines use different kinds of toilet paper than most households do, and it’s not meant to be flushed down your own toilet at home. If you bring your own toilet paper onto the plane with you and then flush it down the plane’s toilet, it can clog up the pipes and cause problems for both your flight crew and other passengers.
  • Wait until everyone has left the bathroom before flushing. Flush as soon as everyone has vacated the bathroom so that any excess liquid doesn’t accidentally splash on someone else in their rush out of the room.
  • Don’t flush anything besides human waste or toilet paper—not even if it’s biodegradable! When a plane lands, it often isn’t connected to a sewage system yet—so any other items flushed down the toilet will just end up sitting in there until someone comes to clean out the tank manually (which can be pretty gross).
  • Remember that airplane toilets are designed to be used once by each person who takes a flight on an airplane. They’re not designed for repeated use throughout multiple flights by different people over a long period of time (like what happens at airports). So if you see someone else hovering over an airplane toilet while they’re taking care of business… well… just don’t do that yourself.


In conclusion, knowing how to flush the toilet in airplanes is very important for both your comfort and the safety of all on board.

Be sure to read and follow all instructions carefully, and don’t hesitate to ask a fellow passenger for help if you’re not sure.


Do airplane toilets flush automatically?

Surprisingly, they don’t use a typical flushing mechanism. Instead, they work with an air vacuum system that sucks the waste down into a storage container.

Why do airplane toilets flush so hard?

Turns out they whoosh away our “business” using the pressure difference between the airplane’s inside and outside.

Do Aeroplan’s have cameras in the toilet?

A few airplanes actually have cameras installed near the front food area! But before you panic, they haven’t invaded the sacred space of the loo.

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