Having a toilet may seem like having a convenient garbage disposal in your home, but there are many items and products you should never flush down your toilet.

Toilet paper gets a pass on this rule because it is specifically designed to breakdown and move easily through your septic system. Anything else, because of the materials it is made from, can pose the risk of clogging and causing a backup. At worst, it could cause significant damage to the entire septic system.

When it doubt, throw it out – in a garbage can. In order to keep your toilet and pipes working properly, avoid flushing these things down the toilet:

1. Baby Wipes

Even if the baby wipes package says they are flushable, it’s still not a good idea to flush them down the toilet. Baby wipes don’t disintegrate the same as toilet paper and can cause clogs and backups.

2. Paper Towel and Facial Tissue

Even though these products seem very toilet paper-like, they are not made of the same degradable materials. Therefore, like baby wipes, they won’t disintegrate and can create a clogging issue in your pipes.

3. Menstrual Products

It may go without saying that menstrual pads, due to their size, should not be flushed down the toilet but neither should tampons. These products are designed to absorb liquid and will expand. They will also not break down when wet.

4. Condoms

Condoms are made from materials not designed to break down in sewage systems. It’s best to throw them in the trash instead of risking a clogged pipe.

5. Dental Floss and Hair

Even those these items are small, hair and dental floss will turn into a net when flushed and catch and hold debris. They could also wrap around components of the septic system and burn out the motor.

6. Medication

Although this item may not cause damage to your septic system, they also do not break down properly and can have toxic environmental effects. Medication should be properly disposed at through a pharmacy.

7. Kitty Litter

Just like baby wipes, labels that boast this product as “flushable” should be ignored. While it may technically break down in the water, there is not enough water in your sewage system to move it along.

8. Food

You would think that food would flush the same as its digested counterpart does but, even though it is biodegradable, it won’t break down fast enough in the septic system and may lead to clogs.

9. Cooking Grease

Even if you flush it in a liquid state, warm cooking grease will run down the drain and cool. When it cools, it congeals and can clog your pipes as well as become a glue for other debris to get stuck to.

10. Goldfish

You may think that you’re doing Goldie a favor by flushing her down the toilet – because all drains lead to the ocean, right? Unfortunately, with modern-day treatment systems for sewage waste, your fish will likely never make it to open waters alive. Even if Goldie is expired, the body may cause a clogging issue.

Dealing with Clogs

When your toilet does get clogged up, the best way to deal with it is to avoid chemical drain cleaners and opt for plunging or snaking. If that doesn’t work, it’s best to have a professional assess the cause of the issue.

Tired of clogs and backups? Give us a call today!