You probably know that you shouldn’t flush baby wipes down the toilet, but you may not know why. It’s actually because they don’t break down like toilet paper or even other types of paper products do. Baby wipes are made of very thin plastic and will clog your pipes if you flush them. The same goes for feminine hygiene products—you should never flush tampons, pads, or applicators down the toilet, because they’re made of cotton and will leave behind cotton fibers that can clog your pipes too.
But what else shouldn’t be flushed down your toilet? Here are 8 things that should never go down the drain:
Some things really shouldn’t go down the toilet. As you may have guessed, some items are better kept out of the toilet bowl. While some things that can go down your drain or toilet are harmless, others will cause damage to pipes and sewer lines. Here’s a list of things you should never flush down your toilet:
If you have a grease trap, like the ones in restaurants, cooking oil might be okay to dump down your drain. But if not, it can cause nasty blockages in your pipes. Instead of pouring it down the drain, consider using it for something else. Use it to clean your oven instead of scrubbing with harsh chemicals. Just pour about 2 cups of hot water over some paper towels and let them soak for a few minutes before wiping the surface down with them. Leave overnight (or longer) if there are stubborn stains that need more attention.
Paper towels are not a good idea to flush down your toilet. Most paper products, including tissues and paper towels, will clog drains and sewer lines. Do not use these items in your toilets unless you want to end up paying for a hefty plumbing bill. If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to use one of these items, throw it away instead of flushing it down the toilet.
If you don’t have any other options available at the time and need to use something non-porous (like paper or plastic) as an emergency item while traveling abroad—for example, if there’s no toilet paper use as little as possible (do not wipe your butt with a sponge), wrap up what remains into small balls (not too tight) and put them in a bag before throwing them away outside of your hotel room or house so they don’t get smeared everywhere else!
It’s a common misconception that cat litter is flushable. Truth be told, it’s not. Cat litter can damage your toilet, pipes and septic system by causing clogs and backups. It can also cause your toilet to overflow from too much water entering the bowl at once. Cat litter can be harmful to the environment if it makes its way into aquatic habitats via sewage systems or storm drains—especially if there are fish nearby! If you have clogged plumbing due to cat litter in your home, it’s important that you contact a professional plumber immediately so they can remove it before any more damage is done!
Wet wipes are a big no-no for your toilet, even when they’re labeled “flushable.” It’s not that you should never use them. They’re great for wiping up spills and cleaning surfaces in the bathroom, especially near the toilet. But if they get flushed down the drain, they can clog your pipes and septic system.
The problem with wet wipes is that manufacturers don’t really know how to make one that will break down quickly enough in water (and there’s also the fact that it takes forever for anything to break down in wastewater treatment plants). As a result, they often don’t break down at all — which means these products cause major problems when they end up being flushed away instead of going through a waste treatment facility first.
Hair can also become tangled around other objects like clumps of other hair, and it can wrap around the pipe itself. This can cause a blockage that could lead to a flood or leakage through the pipes. There’s no reason to risk building up your own personal crisis by flushing away your hair!
Food scraps can clog your pipes and sewage system. Put food scraps in the trash or compost bin. Don’t put large amounts of food scraps down the garbage disposal; they will cause it to get stuck and corrode, which requires professional replacement of the unit.
While it may seem convenient to flush unused medicines down the toilet, this is actually one of the worst things you can do. When you flush something down your toilet, it doesn’t just go away—it goes into the sewage system and eventually ends up in our lakes and rivers. This means that if you have medicine in your home, keep it in its original container and throw it out with household garbage (or if possible, take it to a local drug disposal location). This includes prescription medications as well as over-the-counter pills like ibuprofen or acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol).
If you have any needles or syringes (like those used with insulin), don’t flush them down your toilet either! If they’re going to be disposed of properly anyway (and they should!), simply put them through a needle/syringe collection program that accepts sharps waste for disposal.
If you’re a woman, you know that feminine hygiene products are not the same as toilet paper. They should be disposed of in a specific way. If they’re flushed down the toilet and get stuck in your pipes, it could cause serious problems for your home’s plumbing. You don’t want to have to deal with burst pipes or clogged drains at all—let alone after using them!
To avoid these issues, always use the wastebasket next to your bathroom sink if you need somewhere else besides the toilet bowl itself and don’t flush any kind of feminine hygiene product down into the sewer system; instead, wrap it up tightly and throw it away in trash bags outside before going back inside again (make sure only one person does this so one person doesn’t touch multiple things).