Everyday Items You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

February 5, 2021 Published by Leave your thoughts

As local emergency plumbing contractors in Las Vegas, NV, the experts at Orchard Plumbing have seen it all. An easy way to keep your pipes free of completely avoidable blockages is to be mindful of what goes into the toilet. Here are a few examples of some of the ordinary items you should never flush.

So-called flushable products

Even if a product claims to be “flushable,” it still doesn’t disintegrate in the same way that toilet paper does, which can lead to plumbing problems. Our piping systems were not designed to handle these other materials, no matter how much manufacturers may insist that they’re flushable.

Dispose of baby wipes in the trash can instead. Certain types of cat litter also claim to be flushable, but most toilets don’t use enough water to actually flush the litter through your pipes, and the litter unnecessarily pollutes the water. Cat waste should also not be flushed, since litter dehydrates waste and toilets are only supposed to handle water-soluble waste.

Paper towels and tissues might not seem to be that different from toilet paper, but they’ve been designed to be much more resistant to liquids. They’re much harder to break down than toilet paper, and therefore not suitable for flushing down the toilet.

Absorbent materials

Cotton products (e.g., cotton balls, cotton pads and Q-tips), tampons, pads and diapers should never be flushed down the toilet. They don’t break down in water because they absorb liquids, which could lead to them expanding in size if flushed. All of these should go in the trash when you’re done with them.

More items that won’t disintegrate in water

It should be clear by now that you should avoid flushing anything that doesn’t break down in water, such as condoms, dental floss, hair and gum. In the case of floss and hair, these thin strands can form a net that catches other debris, and they can even get tangled up in parts of your plumbing system.

Items that can cause toxic environmental effects

Not only can old pills and cigarette butts cause clogs, but they can also contaminate the water supply. Cigarette butts and ashes go in the garbage, double bagged and tied closed. Unused or expired medication, both prescription and over-the-counter, can be disposed of at drug take-back locations.

Organic wastes that aren’t produced by your body

Just like food waste and cooking grease shouldn’t go down the kitchen sink, they shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, either. Grease can congeal and cause clogs, while undigested food takes longer to break down than human waste, so it’s also more likely to cause clogs. Similarly, it’s not a good idea to flush a pet fish down the toilet, so consider an alternative sendoff that isn’t a clog risk.

Need a local emergency plumbing contractor in Las Vegas, NV? The team at Orchard Plumbing offers excellent service for all your plumbing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or get more tips on how to take good care of your plumbing system.

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