The things you should NEVER flush down the toilet
There are many things you should never flush down the toilet.
In fact, if you’re looking for a basic rule, there are really only two things that should be flushed down the toilet (with some accompanying toilet paper).
If you want to avoid blockages in your wastewater system and not cause problems for your neighbours too, here are some things that should never be flushed.
What should never be flushed down the toilet?
1) Baby and personal hygiene wipes
Toilet paper dissolves in water. Baby and personal hygiene wipes – even “flushable” ones – do not. Instead, they snag on parts of the sewer system and conglomerate with other unflushables.
If you live in Calgary, this problem has hit the news more than once. It was reported in July 2022 that local people called to report emergency blockages over 7200 times in the preceding year.
The culprit was almost always wipes or other unflushable items. Do not flush hygiene wipes of any kind down the toilet if you want to keep it working.
2) Cotton products
Products like cotton pads or Q-Tips also don’t break down like toilet paper does.
Throwing these down the toilet will eventually clog the system. This will only lead to expenditure for you and probably the city too.
3) Feminine hygiene products
More than simply not breaking down, feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads are actively designed to efficiently absorb liquid.
This means they’re perfect for blocking the sewer system if flushed down the toilet. The proper place for these is the garbage.
Like feminine hygiene products, diapers absorb and contain liquids rather than break down in them.
Plus, diapers can be of a significant size compared to the diameter of the pipes they’re being flushed through.
One more type of product commonly flushed when it shouldn’t be are condoms and other contraceptives.
It should go without saying that, yet again, these are not designed to break down when exposed to liquid. It only takes one to start a clog.
6) Paper towels and tissues
You might be forgiven for thinking you’re on safe ground flushing paper towels or tissues. After all, it’s all just paper, right?
Sadly, no. Different kinds of paper break down in different ways. Even if you have to use paper towels or tissues in relation to toilet activities, don’t flush them.
7) Dental floss
Dental floss also seems like it could be pretty harmless to flush. Unfortunately, it can:
- Become an unflushable net – strands of dental floss get twisted around other unflushable items, netting them and blocking pipes.
- Do environmental damage – dental floss is non-biodegradable and designed not to tear. If it reaches the ocean it can even suffocate marine creatures. Don’t flush it.
Only in the movies do people flush drugs and medication down the toilet with zero consequences.
In real life, medication doesn’t break down. Instead, it stays in the water, potentially making it toxic.
The simplest rule to follow with toilets is the “Three Ps”. Pee. Poo. Paper. Essentially everything else are things you should never flush down the toilet.
Struggling with a blocked toilet?
Get in touch with us for a swift, convenient fix. Calgary residents have trusted Son-Rise Plumbing & Gasfitting with all their plumbing since 1983.