Aside from the obvious, most people don’t think twice about what gets flushed down the toilet. It’s fair to say no one likes to think about this topic. But our plumbers have stories of the many items they’ve discovered causing a clogged toilet.
Flushing the wrong items can cause all sorts of problems. From the inconvenience of a clog to more severe plumbing issues and even environmental hazards. Keep your pipes open and protect our environment by taking a look at this list of 20 items you should never flush down the toilet.
- Baby Wipes
They might be promoted as being flushable, but baby wipes do not disintegrate in the same way as toilet paper. They will thicken and eventually clog your pipes.
- Wet Wipes
Like baby wipes, even the wet wipes considered flushable can cause clogs and sewer backups.
Q-tips are handy items but not when they’re flushed down your toilet. They will accumulate in your pipes and you’ll soon have a blockage.
Whether they’re made from latex or another material, condoms are not biodegradable. Latex condoms especially can get stuck to the sides of pipes quite quickly, leading to a clog.
Diapers are far too bulky to be flushed into the sewer system. Attempting to flush a diaper will likely cause an immediate blockage in your plumbing.
- Dental Floss
You might think dental floss is such a small item that it wouldn’t be an issue. The thing is, it’s non-biodegradable and can wrap around other non-flushable items in the sewage system, leading to larger blockages.
Hair is similar to dental floss when flushed. It can entangle with other items and create massive clogs in your plumbing, especially as it builds up over time.
- Paper Towels
Paper towels are much thicker than toilet paper and don’t break down as quickly, making it harder to move through your pipes.
Flushing medication down the toilet won’t necessarily cause a clog, but it is dangerous. The next stop for a flushed medication is into our water supply and even the most modern sewage treatment plants can’t remove all drug residues.
- Cigarette Butts
Sure, it’s convenient to flick your finished cigarette butt into the toilet. But their filters aren’t biodegradable and just like medications, cigarettes contain harmful chemicals that can leach into the water supply.
- Cat Litter
This is another item that might be marketed as “flushable” but don’t believe it. Any type of cat litter can still clump up and block pipes. Cat litter also contains harmful pathogens that you don’t want in our waterways.
Gum is probably one of the worst things you can try to flush. It doesn’t dissolve in water and, as you might guess, can easily stick to pipes, causing blockages.
Even the smallest of food particles can accumulate in your pipes, leading to an eventual blockage.
- Cooking Grease
Flushing cooking grease is definitely a bad idea. It turns solid as it cools, creating the most stubborn clogs in your plumbing.
When applied in large quantities, bleach can cause damage to your plumbing and septic system, not to mention the environment.
- Feminine Hygiene Products
Tampons and pads absorb water and expand by design. Think about what that can do to your pipes.
- Cotton Balls/Pads
Similar to feminine hygiene products, cotton balls or pads don’t break down in water and cause a clog pretty fast.
- Plastic Wrappers
Here’s another item where it’s best to aim for your bathroom’s waste basket, not the toilet. Plastic wrappers are non-biodegradable, causing significant blockages and environmental damage.
Band-Aids are made from plastic and other non-biodegradable materials, easily contributing to blockages.
- Contact Lenses
Contact lenses are small and thin, so why do they make the Do Not Flush list? First, they aren’t easily biodegradable. But most importantly, flushing them contributes to the ever-growing problem of microplastic pollution in our waterways.
The perfect rule of thumb is to remember that your toilet is not a trash can. Use each for their intended purposes, protect our waterways and keep your bathroom clog-free.
Already Flushed Something You Should Not Have?
Don’t let a clogged drain disrupt your day! At Moyer, we understand the inconvenience and mess caused by unexpected plumbing issues. Our expert team is ready to tackle any clog, big or small. Whether it’s baby wipes, Q-tips, or even those “flushable” items causing trouble, we’ve got you covered. We’re just a call away for speedy, reliable drain clearing services. Reach out to us now and say goodbye to clogged drains!