Sometimes the convenience of flushing things down the toilet gets the better of us. A toilet is not, however, a general waste disposal system. It’s intended for human waste, toilet paper and very little else. Most people know better than to try to flush diapers, sanitary pads and other large, bulky items down the toilet. Here’s a list of more insidious things that shouldn’t be flushed for the sake of your plumbing:
- Grease This is one that should be obvious, but not everyone is that plumbing-savvy. After cooking that Thanksgiving turkey or frying off a batch of meatballs, let the grease cool and pour it into the trash or save it in a dish for culinary applications. Don’t flush it down the toilet. Ever. This will lead to grease buildup in your pipes which lead to all kinds of clogs.
- FoodAgain, your toilet is not a general waste disposal system! Food will break down in pipes eventually, but until then you’ll have a clogged toilet at best. If the clog happens further along in the plumbing, you might be shelling out money to your friendly neighborhood plumber to fix it.
- Dental Floss A long, non-biodegradable strand of durable material should be a no-brainer. Sadly, lots of people flush at least the occasional length of dental floss down the john. Floss can tangle and get stuck to other assorted crud in your pipes, giving further crud something to hold on to.
- Hair Another long, essentially non-biodegradable strand that loves to tangle up in things. Hair is remarkably resilient and won’t break down quickly in your pipes (or anywhere else for that matter). Most toilets are positioned close to the sink and sinks tend to have mirrors mounted above them. So when someone with long hair brushes it, hair tends to end up in the toilet. The simple fix is to close the toilet lid. Think about how gross a wad of hair is in your shower drain. Now imagine that in your toilet pipes!
- Tissues/Paper Towels These are paper, and so is toilet paper which is supposed to be flushed. So what’s the problem? Toilet paper is designed to quickly break down. Paper towels and tissues are designed to be more durable. The more of them you flush, the greater the chances of them hanging up in your pipes.
- Mop Water The problem with flushing this isn’t the water per se, although that can cause septic issues due to chemicals. The culprit is rags and sponges that might be left in the mop bucket. Dump one of those down your toilet along with the mop water and the syphon effect will suck it in. Even if your toilet doesn’t clog you certainly don’t want a sponge or rag in your pipes.
Stick to only flushing human waste and toilet paper and you’ll be fine. Otherwise, contact us for assistance.