Ten Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

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tiolet flushing

Maintaining a functional and clog-free plumbing system is crucial for any household. Flushing inappropriate items can cause severe blockages, and pollution, and may even damage the sewage treatment process. Here’s a comprehensive guide to items that should never find their way down your toilet, along with explanations for why they shouldn’t be flushed.

Common Items You Should Never Flush

Disposable Diapers: While it might seem convenient to flush away the mess, toilets are not designed to handle disposable diapers. Their materials are not only non-biodegradable but can also cause serious pipe clogs requiring professional attention​.

Tampons and Other Feminine Hygiene Products: These products do not dissolve like toilet paper and can create significant blockages in the plumbing system​.

Condoms: The materials (typically latex) and lubricants used in condoms do not break down in water and are harmful to plumbing systems​.

Cotton Products: This category includes cotton balls, swabs (Q-tips), and pads. Cotton’s absorbent nature means it swells but doesn’t break down, leading to potential clogs​.

Plastics: Any form of plastic, including packaging or Band-Aids, is non-biodegradable and can cause numerous problems in pipes​.

Dental Floss: Its stringy, non-dissolvable nature means dental floss can wrap around other objects in the plumbing, forming larger clogs​.

Food: Contrary to some beliefs, food should not be flushed. It doesn’t break down in the same way human waste and toilet paper do, leading to potential blockages and issues for water treatment​.

Gum: Water does nothing to gum except move it around, where it will stick to pipes and cause blockages​.

Hair: Flushing hair is like relocating a potential clog from one part of your plumbing to another. Always throw it in the trash instead​.

Medications: Flushing pills can introduce harmful chemicals into the sewer system and eventually into groundwater, posing a significant environmental hazard​.

Cat Litter: It’s not just about the waste but also the litter material, which can clog pipes and septic systems​.

Dryer Sheets: Though seemingly harmless, the synthetic fabric from which dryer sheets are made will not break down in the septic system​.

Chemicals: This includes a broad range of harmful substances such as paints, oils, and pesticides, which should never enter the wastewater system due to their potential to cause environmental damage​.

Cigarette Butts: Non-biodegradable and capable of clogging or damaging septic pumps, cigarette butts should always be disposed of properly in the trash​.

The key takeaway is that the only things that should be flushed down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Everything else belongs in the trash or recycling bin to ensure the health of your plumbing system. Making conscious decisions about what to flush can save you from costly plumbing repairs.

Contact Five Star Service Pros today if you’ve flushed anything on this list. 


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