What Not To Flush Down The Toilet: A Comprehensive Guide

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Plumbing Guide

In 2020, there was a surprising report that Americans flushed an estimated 1.7 million tons of material down their toilets annually – from clothes and food to paper towels, diapers, and other non-biodegradable items. Numerous news articles reported the staggering amount of material clogging up our sewer systems and creating huge backups. Unfortunately, this isn’t just an American problem; it’s a worldwide issue. So what should you not flush down your toilet? To help avoid plumbing problems and keep our sewers running smoothly, here is a comprehensive guide to items that aren’t meant to be flushed:

Paper Towels: You might be thinking, if paper towels can’t be flushed, what are they doing in every bathroom? Well, we don’t know what to tell you. To avoid clogging your toilet, throw paper towels in the trash.

Diapers: Disposable diapers are meant to be thrown away after use. These items take a long time to break down and can cause serious blockages if you flush them.

Clothes: Even if it’s just an old sock that fell off during laundry, never flush clothes down the toilet. It will most likely get stuck in the pipes and cause a huge backup. Plus, it’s not good for the environment!

Tampons & Sanitary Pads: While tampons are made of cotton, they also come with plastic applicators that don’t break down easily. The same goes for sanitary pads – no matter how small they may seem, they can cause a big obstruction.

Baby Wipes: Most baby wipes have plastic and are designed to withstand moisture. So even if you think it’s flushable, the truth is that it won’t break down easily and could end up causing a backup.

Cat Litter: Although cat litter is biodegradable, it shouldn’t be flushed due to its absorbent nature. When kitty litter absorbs liquid or waste, it clumps together and can get stuck in the pipes.

Cigarette Butts: Cigarette butts contain harmful toxins that can pollute our waterways when you flush them down the toilet. The same goes for other cigarette products like cigar tips, rolling papers, and filters.

Dental Floss: Floss may seem small, but it can take a long time to break down and could get stuck in the pipes. If you must dispose of it, throw it in the trash instead.

Cotton Swabs: Cotton swabs are also very difficult to break down and can cause many problems if flushed. Like dental floss, these should be disposed of in the garbage bin instead.

Food Scraps: Anything from vegetable peelings to cooked rice shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet as they will attract pests (like rats or cockroaches) into your drains and create clogs.

Condoms: Condoms are made of a combination of rubber and plastic. This means they will not break down easily and can create blockages if you flush them.

Medication: Never flush any medication down the toilet. This includes prescription drugs, over-the-counter pills, and vitamins, which can contaminate our water supply.

Hair: Hair seems perfectly fine to flush down the toilet. Unfortunately, it tends to clump together and create clogs in your pipes – so don’t do it!

Chewing Gums: These are bad. Chewing gums are made of a complex mix of plastics and artificial ingredients. When flushed down the toilet, these materials take a long time to break down and can result in clogs.

Cooking Grease And Oil: Cooking grease and oil may seem harmless when it’s liquid, but once it cools off, it can solidify and create a clog in your pipes. So don’t flush these down the toilet!

Bleach: Pouring bleach into your toilet bowl doesn’t seem like a bad idea. It is often used as a substitute for cleaners and is liquid. But bleach can cause massive problems in your pipes and septic system, so it’s best to keep bleach away from the toilet.

Band-Aids: Band-Aids are typically made of plastic, which won’t break down easily. So don’t flush these down the toilet – put them in the garbage instead!

Paint: Paint is one of the worst things you can flush down the toilet. It contains heavy metals that can contaminate our water supply and lead to health problems.

Nail Polish: The same goes for nail polish. Not only does it take a long time to break down, but it also contains toxic chemicals that can pollute our waterways if flushed down the toilet.

Contact Lenses: Contact lenses are made of plastic and can take over 500 years to break down. Plus, they can create blockages in the pipes.

These are just some items that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. When deciding what can and cannot be flushed, consider what the item is made of. For example, if it’s made of plastic or rubber, then chances are it shouldn’t go down the drain. In addition, be sure to check with your local plumber if you have any questions about what can and cannot be flushed. These simple steps will help ensure that our sewers remain clean and free from obstruction.

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Jinally Shah is a co-editor at MyDecorative.Com. She is a role model, especially in Social media Optimization in business and primary tasks, with an understanding of communicating and executing all activities related to referral searches. She works closely with the team and looks after the quality and growth of off-site factors like Social Media Marketing that drive referral growth. In addition, she analyses and creates strategic recommendations for social media promotions.

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