Items You Should Never Flush Down Your Toilet
We rely on our toilets every day to flush wastewater, which contains disease-causing viruses, parasites, and bacteria. With about two-thirds of homes having two bathrooms, they are necessary for maintaining sanitation.
To avoid costly repairs from clogged pipes and wastewater exposure, never flush items like medicine, hair, kitty litter, and grease because they can harm your plumbing system, and some items can contaminate the water supply. But in a busy household, which items are safe to flush, and which should you avoid?
How a Clogged Toilet Can Be Dangerous to Your Plumbing
With the average person flushing the toilet five times daily, having a toilet clog repeatedly can indicate a deeper problem with your sewer line.
Examples of when your clog can be harmful or dangerous:
- Blackwater (water that mixes with human waste) is a health hazard.
- You can damage your septic tank.
- You can damage the P-Trap (curved toilet piping).
- It can cause unpleasant odors throughout your home.
Common Every Day & Household Items You Should NOT Flush Down the Toilet
No homeowner wants to hear sump pump noises in the middle of the night from an overflowing toilet. Because toilets have a diameter of only about 4 inches, some household items should go in the trash instead of down the toilet as it can clog your pipes and contaminate your water system.
Items you should never flush include:
- “Flushable” wipes
- Paper towels and tissues
- Excessive amounts of toilet paper
- Cotton balls, rounds, or swabs
- Feminine products
- Dental floss
- Medications/hazardous materials
- Cigarette butts
- Fats, oils, or grease
- Cat/pet litter
- Chemical drain cleaners (ex. Drano)
- When you should call a professional to unclog your toilet
When To Call a Professional
It can be hard to determine when your toilet needs a DIY repair versus when to call a plumber. Use a plumber’s snake or auger to retrieve smaller items mistakenly flushed, like a small toy or piece of jewelry. If that does not work, a professional plumber can disassemble the toilet’s hardware to retrieve the item.
Call a professional plumber in these instances:
- A foreign object caused the clog.
- You dropped something valuable.
- DIY plunging/toilet snaking doesn’t work.
- You have more than one clogged toilet.
- Your drains are also clogged.
- The toilet backs up into the shower.
- Water overflows from the bowl.
- Your bathroom smells unpleasant/like a sewer.
- You live in an older home.
Avoid Toilet Repairs Draining Your Wallet
If your water bills are expensive, toilets made before 1992 waste up to 6 gallons of water, while newer models with EPA WaterSense labels only consume 1.28 gallons. For dual-flush toilet installation, online coupons, federal tax credits, and convenient payment plans turn to the pros!
Founded in 1975, John Nugent & Sons is family-owned and -operated. Our award-winning services include advanced plumbing, electrical, and HVAC solutions for homes throughout Northern Virginia. Sign up for our maintenance plan for exclusive 10% repair discounts and two tune-ups annually.
With bonded, licensed, and insured NATE-certified technicians, access free estimates and 24/7 emergency service. Whether you need a routine repair, sewer inspection, or toilet replacement, we put our customers’ needs first!
Schedule toilet repair in Virginia today. Call John Nugent & Sons at 703-291-1926.