Plumbing 101: What You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet
If you have been struggling with your plumbing system, particularly with your toilet, it might be due to putting items down the toilet that are not permitted. Some items might seem harmless to the toilet, especially when they flush with no issues, but they often create problems in the plumbing pipes that become major issues later on. Here are some things to make sure you never flush down the toilet.
Wipes and Feminine Products
Make sure no wipes or feminine products ever go down the toilet. A common misconception is that when a feminine product says "biodegradable" it means it can be flushed, but this is not the case. These applicators can still clog the toilet or get stuck in the pipes, ultimately leading to bigger problems with the plumbing system. No types of wipes should be flushed, including moist wipes, baby wipes, hygiene wipes, and disinfectant wipes. Throw these in the trash can instead.
Another thing that some people assume is okay to flush, especially in smaller quantities, are paper towels. While it may seem not that different from toilet tissue, the material is actually a lot thicker. Paper towels are made to be absorbent, which makes them dangerous for the toilet. The material doesn't break up like toilet paper and will absorb a lot of water. This can cause the paper towels to get stuck in the plumbing pipes at some point, whether in your home's plumbing or the main sewer line. You also don't want to flush regular paper napkins, but instead throw them in the trash can.
Oil and Grease
It might seem convenient to pour your pan full of oil or grease down the toilet and let it flush, instead of clogging your kitchen disposal and pipes, but this will also cause issues in your bathroom. Oi and grease should never go down any drain in your home as it can stick to the sides of the pipes, which then leads to clogs. It is very difficult to remove from pipes once the grease goes down them, so put your oil in a jar, put a lid on it, and throw it away.
If you have older medications, dispose of them properly, don't flush them down the toilet. Many prescription medications and over-the-counter pills contain ingredients and bacteria that can end up downstream. You don't want to cause the damage to local wildlife. Bring your old medications to a local pharmacy so they dispose of them safely.
If you do end up with a clog or some such, always feel free to reach out to a local plumber.