5 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet


Even though it seems like the toilets in your home are a great way to dispose of just about anything, that just isn’t the case. In fact, flushing anything other than waste and toilet paper can end up causing damage to your plumbing system or serious clogs that will require professional attention and cost a lot of money.

We all know that kids trying to flush toys and other items just to see what will happen is a bad idea, but there are also many generally accepted items that people flush on a regular basis that should be avoided. Here are five that you should keep in mind and tell your family about.

1 – Food & Cooking Fat

Flushing leftover food scraps or cooking fat may be a common practice for many, but it is wreaking havoc inside your pipes. It’s important to note that any cooking fat that solidifies at room temperature will also solidify once it cools and is in your sewer system. And pieces of food will rot and decay in there, some taking an awfully long time to break down.

2 – Feminine Hygiene Products

Many women are raised flushing their hygiene products and carry the habit throughout their lives, but that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. These items won’t break down the same way toilet paper does and may eventually cause a blockage that requires a plumber to fix.

3 – Baby Products

Baby wipes and diapers are two more products that many people have no issue flushing down the toilet. Like feminine hygiene products, these items are not created to break down in your sewer system and can result in a clogged toilet that needs attention.

4 – Paper Towels

It’s easy to consider paper towels and toilet paper as being equal, but when it comes to flushing them down the toilet, they are entirely different. Toilet paper is specifically designed to work in conjunction with modern plumbing systems, while paper towels won’t break down the same way. It may take time, but if you flush enough paper towels, you may get a sludge buildup that narrows your pipes and causes problems.

5 – Cotton Balls and Swabs

Cotton is a natural material that you would assume is fine to flush down the toilet, but like the other items on this list, it just won’t break down the way you think. What will happen is the cotton will continue to accumulate until the pipes are so narrow that your toilet no longer works properly.

The main idea to keep in mind when it comes to flushing things down your toilet is that is not some magical device that takes anything you put in there away without issue. Your sewer system is designed to wash away waste, but that doesn’t mean you can flush anything with no consequences. Before you flush, consider if the item is something that is supposed to be flushed down the toilet and if it might cause problems down the road if it is still in your pipes.

If you’d like to know more about what you can and can’t flush down the toilet, or have a plumbing issue that needs expert attention, get in touch with us at Marco Plumbing today.