To Flush or Not To Flush?
Think your toilet is a magical portal, capable of transporting anything you please off to Xanadu? Turns out, there are surprisingly few things you should flush – even those that advertise otherwise.
There are truly only two things that should go down the toilet bowl, and that’s human waste, and toilet paper. Those aren’t free passes, however. A half a roll of toilet paper at once is not a wise idea, nor is “getting your money’s worth” out of that bowlful of water. (You know who you are.) The buildup of solids increases the likelihood of clogs. When in doubt, opt for the premature flush to avoid the complications and costs associated with plumbing clogs.
They’re not toilet paper, and despite their packaging claims (or your sound reasoning), bathroom wipes should never go down the toilet bowl. These thick wipes stay intact long after flushing, causing problems in plumbing, sewer, and septic systems nationwide, and are currently the subject of a multi-city federal lawsuit resulting from millions in system damages.
You should know better
These things should never go down the toilet bowl. But in case you don’t understand why, we’ll explain…
- Facial tissue, napkins & paper towels
Facial tissue and paper towels are constructed to hold up during use. Flushing them is like playing Russian roulette with an extra-large plumbing bill.
- Cotton balls & swabs
Like the tee your shirt is constructed of, cotton does not break down, is a magnet for other materials, and causes massive blockages.
Also a magnet for clogs, floss is not biodegradable.
- Baby wipes
Like paper towels, these are constructed to hold-up while wiping baby’s bottom, and are a no-go.
Non-biodegradable and covered in your germs and DNA, these are terrible for plumbing, septic, sewer systems, and the environment.
- Feminine hygiene products
Often composed of cotton and other synthetics, tampons, applicators, pads and liners should NEVER be flushed.
Seemingly thin, these latex wonders are kryptonite for septic tanks and sewer treatment centers, filling with air, expanding, and sticking in surfaces.
Prescription or otherwise, it’s never safe to flush expired or unwanted medication. Medications contaminate groundwater, destroy beneficial bacteria, and have terrible consequences for wildlife. To dispose of without unwanted side effects, check out these online resources from the FDA and DEA for med-specific disposal information.
- Cigarette butts
Why would you put one tiny, toxic chemical laden butt in all that water to contaminate the water supply?
Diapers are composed of plastics designed to expand with contact with water. If you beat the lottery-like odds of getting it down the toilet, it’ll immediately get jammed in the u-bend, causing a terrible backup.
- Kitty litter
Kitty litter (and pet poop in general) contains bacteria and parasites that may be toxic to marine life. And litter itself is made of clay and sand – 2 things that should never go through your pipes.
- Fat, oil and grease
It may be liquid when it hits the bowl, but as soon as it congeals, it becomes a pipe-clogging wax. Jar it and trash it instead.
Overdo it? We can get you out of a jam (toilet paper, or otherwise). Go with the flow. Contact Mr. Rooter® Plumbing today.