There are some things you know shouldn’t go down the toilet – like the toys and jewelry your kids are occasionally guilty of throwing in – but some no-nos aren’t as obvious. Here’s an incomplete list of the items you should never flush down the toilet.
Even if the packaging says they’re “flushable,” it’s best to toss baby wipes in the trash. Some manufacturers claim their products are safe to flush, but all this means is that the item will disappear when you depress the handle – it doesn’t mean the wipes will disintegrate the way toilet paper does.
Facial Tissues and Paper Towels
These products may seem very similar to toilet paper, but a different manufacturing process makes them hold up better in water. If you ever use tissues or paper towels in place of toilet paper, toss them in the trash when you’re done.
Cotton Balls and Swabs
These fluffy products may seem harmless, but when dunked in water, they enlarge and clump together. This could spell disaster for your pipes, especially if you flush several at once.
Feminine Hygiene Products
You should never flush tampons or pads down the toilet. After all, these are designed to absorb liquid, not break down in it. The need to sift out feminine hygiene products at the sewer treatment plant increases water sanitation costs for everyone.
They may be designed to collect numbers one and two, but diapers belong in the trash once they have done their duty. As with feminine hygiene products, diapers absorb liquids, so they won’t break down in your plumbing. In fact, they’re so large that they may not even be flushable.
The stringy nature of dental floss makes it a genuine hazard for your pipes. If it catches on something in your plumbing, other debris can latch onto it, gradually increasing the size of the blockage until you have a major clog to deal with.
When you find bottles of expired pills in your medicine cabinet, don’t flush them. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends pursuing a medicine take-back program if available. A suitable backup plan is to dispose of expired medicine in the household trash.
Mix medicines with unpleasant substances, such as dirt, used coffee grounds or kitty litter, and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Then, throw the bag in the trash. Also, scratch out all personal information on prescription pill bottles before disposing of them.
The toilet may seem like a tidy way to get rid of grease, but it congeals in the plumbing just like it does when you pour it down the sink. To prevent a nasty clog, always discard cooking grease in the trash.
As you might have gathered, the toilet should be off-limits to everything except toilet paper and human waste. If someone in your family didn’t get the memo, and now you have a clogged toilet on your hands, contact Bob Hoegler Plumbing at 732-521-0133 for help.