7 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

There’s nothing much worse than a slowly draining toilet that constantly regurgitates backup sludge. A clogged toilet is one of the most common problems for any sewage system, and it’s usually caused by insoluble objects getting stuck and blocking water flow. That’s when you call a plumber to save the day!

Sometimes your plumbing system is old or there are factors outside of your control that lead to clogs. But there are some steps you can take to protect your sewer system.

Let’s take a look at 7 things you should never flush down your toilet.

1. Fats and Grease

These leftover liquids from your latest cooking session can easily be flushed down the toilet because they’re … well, liquids, right?

Wrong. When leftover fat and oil travel down the drain, they quickly cool down and congeal into wax-like substances that can build up inside the pipeline. Repeat this process, and your drain system could look like a clogged artery with fatty build-ups constricting the pathway.

2. Wet Wipes

The fabrics that make up baby wipes and hand wipes don’t easily dissolve or degrade in contact with water. Don’t trust those “flushable” bathroom wipes or moist towelettes, either — often times they aren’t flushable at all. In fact, “flushable” wet wipes are such nuisances to plumbing health that the city of Wyoming sued wet wipes manufacturers in 2015 for causing thousands of dollars in damages to the city’s sewage system.

3. Tampons

Can you flush tampons down the toilet? The answer is a definite no. Tampons are designed to absorb large amounts of liquid, and as they soak up moisture, they expand. Bloated tampons can block pipelines and sewers, preventing your toilet from properly flushing.

4. Cotton Balls

The same goes for cotton balls. These tiny cosmetic aids might seem easily flushable, but don’t be fooled. Cotton balls can cause severe blockages in your sewage system if they absorb water and clump together into a big soggy mess.

5. Paper Towels

Paper towels are just like normal toilet paper, just triple in size, right? Think again. Contrary to popular belief, paper towels aren’t designed to degrade in water. Huge sheets of paper towels can soak up water without breaking down, creating a lump of unflushable material that can cause serious backups.

6. Hair and Dental Floss

You’ve probably experienced standing in a tub full of water up to your ankles because a clunky mess of hair was blocking the drain. Well, it turns out toilets aren’t much better at flushing down strands of hair, either. Bits of hair can get tangled up with each other and form huge hairballs that trap foul stench and cause a severe blockage.

Similarly, non-biodegradable dental floss can tangle up in an unruly mess and lock onto all kinds of other junk flushed down the pipeline.

7. Disposable Diapers

We know it can be tempting to flush a dirty diaper down the toilet. Hold on, not so fast. Unlike easily soluble toilet paper, disposable diapers are usually made of plastic material that does not degrade in water. If you want to avoid sewage backups and slow drainage, dispose of diapers by throwing them in the bin.

Have you already clogged up your toilet with one of these seven deadly pipe blockers?

No need to worry. Flatley’s Plumbing Express provides 24-hour emergency plumbing service to the Chicagoland area. With decades of excellent service under our belts, we’re ready to help.

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