Some people strangely think a toilet is some magical device you can use to get rid of virtually anything. While that’s understandable for a toddler just learning the ins and outs of bathroom plumbing fixtures, adults should know better. But plumbers find the strangest items flushed down toilets, which cause significant plumbing problems.
There are other things you technically can flush without ruining your plumbing, but they hurt the environment. After all, the water from your toilet goes somewhere. As the saying goes, we all live downstream, so you should care how what you flush affects the environment.
Never flush any of the following items:
Paper Towels: Sure, they may seem a lot like toilet paper, but they’re not. The same thing goes for tissues. Toilet paper is made to automatically break up and dissolve once it hits the water. Just try using toilet paper to mop up a spill, and you’ll see it’s nothing like a paper towel.
Kitty Litter: Some brands claim to be flushable, but you shouldn’t take the chance. The stuff is persistent, sitting in your waste pipes where it can help create clogs. Kitty litter also doesn’t work well with sewer systems.
Diapers: Believe it or not, some people try to flush entire diapers, not just the contents. Sure, a diaper blowout means the diaper itself is covered in waste, but the worst thing you can do is try to flush it. Such a large, solid mass will clog your pipes, so find another way to deal with a messy diaper.
Tampons: Like diapers, tampons will create serious pipe clogs. Getting rid of these can be messy business, but the trash is where tampons belong.
Condoms: Just like tampons, these don’t dissolve in water. A condom can stick in the pipes, contributing to a clog, no matter material it’s made of. The lubricants on condoms also can be hard on your plumbing.
Prescription Medicine: With the abuse of legitimate narcotics, it’s understandable why you might want to dispose of your old medications in a way that nobody can use them. Flushing drugs mean they dissolve and pollute waterways, which can be fatal for fish, plants, and other living creatures. Some narcotics are difficult to filter out of the water, creating problems for water treatment facilities.
Food: Your toilet isn’t a disposal, which has spinning blades to chop up waste food, so it doesn’t create clogs in the pipes. Just throw food you don’t want into the garbage, or take up composting.
Grease or Cooking Oil: They might be liquid when you pour them into the toilet, but as they cool these will solidify, creating some nasty clogs in your pipes. Use a sealed container to collect oil and grease, then wrap it up well and throw it away in the garbage.
Other Bathroom Waste: Bandages, floss, hair, cotton swabs, Q-tips, and other garbage should go into the wastebasket. These items will contribute to clogs if you flush them.
If you do have a clog in your toilet and can’t get rid of it, call us at Plumbwell Services. We’d love to help!