Modern toilets are designed to handle toilet paper and natural waste, but contrary to popular belief, they’re not designed to flush any other materials. For some reason though, a lot of people see things differently.
For some reason, people tend to view toilets as magic trashcans of sorts, that by all appearances seems ideal for flushing dirt, trash, cat litter, diapers, baby wipes, and dental floss…but they are not. We repeat toilets are not meant to flush anything but toilet paper and human waste.
The List of Unflushables
Okay, “unflushable” may not be a real word but we think you get the picture. An “unflushable” in plumber’s terms is something that should never, ever be flushed down the toilet because it can create a stubborn clog. Here is a list of the top 8 things we see flushed down the toilet that should never be deposited in a toilet and flushed down.
1. Tissues, Flushable Wipes, and Paper Towels
Tissues, paper napkins, and paper towels may seem a lot like toilet paper, but they are quite different we assure you. These products are not designed to dissolve the same way toilet paper does, so they are a lot more likely to cause a clog. We even advise against using “flushable wipes” because they don’t break down as well as toilet paper.
2. Disposable Diapers
Disposable diapers may be made out of cotton fibers and filled with human waste, but they do not break down like toilet paper. One of the most common causes of serious toilet clogs is people trying to flush disposable diapers down the toilet.
3. Feminine Hygiene Products
The packaging for tampons may say to flush them down the toilet, but ask any plumber and they’ll say it’s a bad idea. Even though it can be very tempting to flush them for sanitary reasons, doing so can lead to clogs deep in the pipes.
4. Cat Litter
Much like “flushable wipes,” flushable cat litter should not be flushed. All cat litter brands are harmful to toilets and plumbing pipes.
5. Cotton Products
We’re talking about tissues, napkins, paper towels, baby wipes, Q-tips, cotton bandages – all cotton products should be avoided. Cotton can definitely absorb water, but it does not break down well in plumbing pipes.
6. Plastic Products
Whether it’s a plastic bag, a Band-Aid, tape, or anything else made of plastic, it should never be flushed down the toilet because plastic does not dissolve and it does not break down like toilet paper.
Since people use the toilet when they are sick and have to throw up, a lot of them believe that it must be safe to flush food down the toilet since it’s practically the same thing, but it’s not digested. All food, including mashed potatoes and mushy cereal, are off-limits, even if they are as soft as pudding. Food is not meant to be in plumbing pipes.
8. Dental Floss & Hair
If you’re digging hairballs out of your shower or bathroom sink drain, don’t flush them down the toilet. Same goes for dental floss, new or used. They are both stringy, they do not dissolve, and they can get tangled around other objects, forming bigger clogs.