13 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

Jun 11, 2021

Have you ever wondered “Can I flush this?” Or perhaps you deal with unruly toddlers and the more apt. question is “Will this clog my toilet? Knowing what not to flush down the toilet can prevent clogs, wastewater backups, and prevent thousands of dollars in plumbing damage. You can even increase its longevity. Here is an evergreen list of things that you should never flush:


1. Large Clumps of Toilet Paper

While toilet paper is designed to break down when wet, so it can pass through small pipes, too much can cause a clog. The best way to avoid trouble is to use just what you need.

2. Tissues/Paper Towels

While similar, tissues and paper towels are made of different very materials that don’t dissolve the same way toilet paper does. Even if flushed, these items can cause problems in a septic tank or at the local water treatment facility.

3. Cotton Products

Small items such as cotton balls, rounds, and swabs build up inside pipes rather than break down. As innocent as they might seem, these can cause blockages that can lead to pipe damage and breakage.

4. Dental Floss

The nylon or Teflon material doesn’t break down easily in water. It can tangle with other items flushed and create larger clogs in your plumbing and sewer lines. All floss should be thrown in the regular household trash.

5. Hair

Flushing hair down the toilet is a bad idea. Hair has a nasty tendency of adhering to the inside walls of pipes. In addition to keeping hair out of your toilet, you should protect your sink and shower drains with drain covers to prevent clogs.

6. Feminine Products:

This information is not as commonly known as one might thing. To avoid a toilet clog, never flush tampons, sanitary pads, and other items that absorb liquid. Due to their absorption qualities, they will expand further as they absorb more water after flushed. This can create blocked pipes and causing water to back up and possibly overflow.

7. Bandages

Often made of non-biodegradable plastic, bandages can stick to other items in your plumbing , creating bigger clogs, and can cause water pollution.

8. Diapers

If you flush baby diapers down the toilet, a clog is imminent. Diapers are made of water-absorbing materials that expand, which can make the situation worse.

9. Bleach

While it won’t clog your toilet, bleach is highly corrosive to pipe materials. Additionally, bleach can react with other septic and plumbing substances, releasing toxic fumes and creating both a plumbing and health hazard.

10. Condoms

Latex is not biodegradable and can cause major sewer problems. Condoms should be thrown in the garbage instead.

11. Chewing Gum

Gum is made of cohesive materials, similar to glue, and can thus stick to the inside of pipes and block wastewater from flowing away from your home.

12. Oils, Fats, and Grease

Food or associated oils, fats, and grease can quickly solidify and coat the inside of pipes, blocking the flow of water.

13. Cat Litter

Can linger in pipes and negatively impact the sewer system. It also doesn’t dissolve readily in water, so don’t flush cat litter even if it’s labeled as flushable.

What to Do With a Clogged Toilet

The best tool to unclog a toilet is a plunger. Simply constructed, the rubber cup creates suction when pushed down, especially under water. Air is forced into the pipes, and the pressure can break up the clog or loosen it up. A drain auger is your next option; with a twisted wire hood and auger attached to a steel spring coil, you can physically remove a clog when inserted into the pipe. To ensure the snake engages with the blockage, turn the crank in a clockwise direction.

Call Elmer’s Home Services

If you have a stubborn clogged toilet or any other plumbing problem, Elmer’s Home Services can help. We use many tools and techniques to fix toilets in the San Antonio area. Request service today for prompt assistance.

If you are experiencing any of the signs that your water heater needs repair or replacement, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

Elmer’s Home Services in San Antonio TX can help you assess the situation and make the best decision for your needs. We have experienced plumbers and quality service, so you can get back to enjoying hot showers and baths in no time. 

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San Antonio, TX 78233

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