Most of us can say with confidence what objects we should flush down the toilet–toilet paper and human waste. But, where things get a little foggy is when we stop and think about what CANNOT be flushed down. While there are some clear no-no’s, such as children’s toys or jewelry, the list is actually much more extensive than that. In fact, some of the things may even surprise you. Make sure to read this list before the next time you think about tossing anything into the commode.
Even if they say “flushable,” do not flush the baby wipes down the toilet. Instead, toss them with the diaper into the diaper pail.
Diapers are designed to absorb liquid, and they do a very good job of it. Not only are diapers fairly large items to fit down the toilet plumbing, but, as they absorb the water in the bowl and the pipes, they will expand, resulting in clogs.
You may have cleared a hairbrush by throwing the hair into the toilet, or maybe you’ve even flushed down hair that you wiped up from the shower. It may seem harmless, but that hair will stick to pipes and lead to clogs. Next time, just throw it in the garbage can.
Like diapers, feminine products are made to absorb liquid, which means they also should not be flushed.
Similar to hair, floss can also build up in the pipes and then trap other yucky stuff–creating an even bigger problem.
It’s a common practice to flush that dead goldfish down the toilet, but it is a practice that needs to stop. Not only is flushing pet fish down the toilet potentially bad for the pipes, it can also cause harm to the ecosystem.
Unlike toilet paper, cotton balls and q tips aren’t designed to break down as easily in water, which means they can easily lead to clogged pipes.
Never flush any unused medications down the toilet as the chemicals can pollute the water in lakes and streams. Instead, try to find a “take back” program near you or follow the FDA’s instructions on safely throwing unused medication in the garbage. (Please note–there are some exceptions to flushing medications, and check out the FDA’s Flush List for more information)
So, if you are in the habit of treating your toilet like an extra garbage can, think again. Your actions could cause you big plumbing problems and could create major issues for the surrounding environment. If you would like to learn more about our residential plumbing services, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical.