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What is Safe to Flush and What Isn’t?


flushing toilet

Toilets were only designed to dispose of human waste and toilet paper which was made to be safely flushed. These are the only 2 things that should be going down your toilets. However, many people use their toilets as another garbage can, unaware of the damage flushing other items can cause to their plumbing systems. Most pipes are only 4” in diameter so it doesn’t take much for them to get clogged with items that are not meant to be put down your toilet. Clogs from flushing items that are not supposed to be flushed instead of putting them in the trash can leave you with a costly plumbing bill.

So, what shouldn’t you flush?

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The simple answer is nothing but human waste and toilet paper, but here is a list of items that are commonly put down the toilet and why they shouldn’t be.

  1. Flushable wipes

Although these wipes are advertised as being flushable, we assure you that they are not! “Flushable” wipes do not break down the same way toilet paper does and can cause blockages.

  1. Wads of toilet paper

Yes, toilet paper is one of the two items that can be safely flushed but even putting large amounts down the toilet at once can create problems. Only use the amount that you need.

  1. Tissue and paper towel

These paper products have an entirely different purpose than toilet paper and do not belong down the toilet. Just like flushable wipes, they do not dissolve the same way as toilet paper does. Paper towels and tissues are made to absorb water and are much more likely to clog the pipes.

  1. Feminine hygiene products

Sanitary pads and tampons should always be disposed of in the trash and never should be flushed. These products are very absorbent, and some can expand to a much larger size making them easy to obstruct the pipes.

  1. Hair

Hair sticks to the inside of pipes and eventually will build up. Hair also will catch other pieces of waste in their tangle and cause a blockage.

  1. Cotton rounds, balls, and Q-tips

As these products are small, they may seem harmless to flush however they don’t break down and build up in the pipes.

  1. Diapers

Diapers are already quite big to begin with, but they are also extremely absorbent and can swell to much larger in size. Diapers are a huge risk to your plumbing system and should never be flushed down the toilet.

  1. Dental floss

Dental floss will cause the same issue as hair does. It isn’t degradable and will collect in the pipes, entangling other items.

  1. Cat litter

Always place cat litter in a bag and dispose of it in the garbage. Many cat litters are “clumping” and are designed to absorb liquid waste, creating harder chunks which can easily become lodged in the pipes.

  1. Grease, fat, and oils

It may seem convenient, but never flush grease, fat, and oil leftover from cooking. They will solidify and coat the inside of the pipes eventually leading to a blockage. Always wait for these substances to harden or soak them up with paper towel and dispose of them in the trash.

These are only a few of the most flushed items, keep in mind that unless it’s feces, urine, or toilet paper, it probably isn’t a good idea to put it down the toilet. If you have flushed something that shouldn’t have been and are now faced with a clog or an overflowing toilet, give us a call at Rooter-Man! Rooter-Man offers fast and reliable service so that your toilet is up and running in no time.

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