To Flush or Not to Flush

Curious Abyssinian Cat uses a toilet bowl

Out of sight out of mind, right? We come across so many gross garbage items in day to day life that it just seems so easy to flush it down the toilet. I mean, that’s where all the gross things of the world belong. Even items that seem so harmless can be detrimental to your pipes and sewer lines. Here is a quick list of items that are mistakenly flushed down toilets.

  1. Feminine Products: We can all read, ladies. Every public bathroom has that sign warning us about what we already know. But still, all too often we get in a hurry and think ‘what could a quick flush really hurt’. I’m sorry to say, but it could hurt a lot. The mess of clogged toilets or worse- clogged pipes is definitely worth the extra time to properly dispose of our sanitary products.
  2. Baby Wipes: This also includes adult bathroom wipes and cleaning wipes- even those ones that claim to be ‘flushable’. These wipes don’t break down like toilet paper does in water.
  3. Cotton Balls and Swabs: Cotton balls might tear apart and seem as though they’d break apart enough to flush without consequence. They will break apart but they won’t break down. This material will swell up with water, collect together and create a nasty blockage.
  4. Medications: Way too many people believe that the safest way to dispose of unwanted or unused medications is to simply flush them. This couldn’t be more false. Flushing medications is very dangerous because it can contaminate groundwater supply. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper, and safe way to dispose of medications.
  5. Paper Towels/Kleenex/Tissue Paper: This one surprises a lot of people. We just assume that paper products are broken down in water, especially something so harmless as a tissue. However, these products are built to stick together and to absorb moisture. This makes them excellent clogging weapons.
  6. Band-aids: Your typical band-aid is made of non-biodegradable plastic. This material is simply not safe to flush.
  7. Dental Floss: Such a small item seems so harmless. It’s just a piece of string, right? The biggest problem with flushing floss is what it does inside those pipes. It will wrap itself around other small items and create a big ball of blockage. Don’t be fooled by those small items, they can be just as dangerous.
  8. Fats/Oils/Grease: These items are the biggest reason sinks get clogged, but they can do just as much damage to your toilet. Dispose of your cooking greases properly by collecting them in jars or containers until you are ready to through them in the trash.
  9. Cat Litter: Just because the litter is essentially the cat’s toilet, doesn’t mean that is where it belongs. The litter is made up of clay and sand. Think about how the litter clings to your cat’s mess…that is exactly what would happen in your pipes. The litter would cling together and expand as it soaked up water creating a terrible clog.
  10. Cigarette Butts: Similar to the medications, cigarette butts are harmful to the water supply and should never be flushed down a toilet.

It may seem as though no matter how careful we are, we still have to deal with clogged toilets. Let us at A Pro Plumbing help you with the mess! Request an appointment online or call us with any questions – and don’t worry we aren’t afraid of toilet talk!