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Never Flush These Five Items Down the Toilet


If you’re like many homeowners, you probably flush a lot more than just toilet paper down the toilet. It may seem like your toilet is a handy disposal system, but you need to be careful about what you flush because you could damage your plumbing and cause harm to the environment as well. Keep reading to learn the five items you should never flush down the toilet.

  1. Flushable Wipes – We know, many of these wipes are advertised as being flushable, but it’s not advised. Wipes don’t dissolve like toilet paper does and can cause a clog or backup in the septic tank. Many people take their chances with flushable wipes, but some end up paying the price when they cause plumbing problems.
  2. Hair or Floss – You might not think twice about throwing your dental floss in the toilet and flushing it, and maybe you even get rid of that excess hair after shaving or combing by flushing it down the toilet. Both of these items are long and stringy and can easily tangle and gather together causing clogs. It’s best to simply throw them in the trash and you can also install a hair catcher in the bathtub if you prefer to do so.
  3. Kitty Litter – It might make sense to dispose of kitty litter in the toilet, but that’s not the best idea. Several types of cat litter are designed to clump which can cause clogs. In addition to possible plumbing problems, flushing kitty litter down the toilet isn’t a responsible thing to do for the environment. One of the world’s most common parasites can be spread by flushing cat litter, so do your part and pitch it in the trash.
  4. Cotton – While cotton may be the fabric of our lives, it’s not a good idea to flush cotton balls, pads, or swabs down the toilet. Cotton doesn’t dissolve as well as toilet paper does, and these items can clump and form clogs that require a professional plumber. Certain cotton swabs are made with plastic posts, and plastic should never be flushed down the toilet.
  5. Medication – Flushing medications down the toilet probably won’t cause any plumbing problems, but it’s not recommended because it can be a risk to public health. Sewage treatment systems filter out a lot of waste, but they can’t filter out medication. Those old pills can end up in lakes, oceans, and rivers, and can be harmful to animals as well as humans. The proper way to dispose of unneeded medications is through your local pharmacy.

Avoid flushing those five items and you’ll hopefully avoid some headaches and unexpected bills by keeping your plumbing in good working order. If you do need a plumber, the experienced professionals at Albert Nahman Plumbing are prepared to handle any situation. Give us a call today at (510) 876-9725 .

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