It’s hard to imagine how much of our daily lives rely on our home’s ability to move water from Point A to Point B. What may seem like a harmless flush could actually be setting you up for a plumbing disaster with clogged pipes, overflowing water and – the grossest of all – a backed-up sewer system.
Beyond the headache and expensive repair bill, consider the effect of your flushed garbage on the environment and water treatment infrastructure. Every flush sends your waste somewhere, with some water eventually ending up back in our rivers, lakes, oceans and groundwater.
Never Flush These Items Down the Toilet
There are some items you should never flush down the toilet. Keep your pipes clear and our communities clean, and dispose of these items in the garbage:
Food, especially cooking grease, doesn’t belong in the toilet. While it will eventually break down, food will get lodged in your plumbing, creating a clog in the meantime. As warm grease cools, it congeals and sticks to pipes, causing clogs and slowing the flow of water. To be safe, never flush food down the toilet.
Even though some brands say “flushable,” wet wipes shouldn’t be flushed. Baby wipes, personal care wipes and hygiene products don’t break down the same way as toilet paper and can damage your plumbing and sewage systems.
Cotton swabs and cotton balls
Sure, they’re made from the same material as toilet paper, but they’re designed so that the fibers stick together, creating the perfect drain clog. Plus, the stick part of a Q-tip is often made of plastic, which doesn’t break down at all and has a way of getting stuck in pipe bends.
Tissues, paper towels and napkins
Do you see a theme here? They may seem similar to toilet paper, but Kleenex and napkins just don’t break down the same way. We often get asked: “can you flush paper towels down the toilet?” Since paper towels are designed to clean up liquids without falling apart, they won’t dissolve in your pipes either.
Because dental floss isn’t biodegradable, it shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. Throw your dental floss in the garbage can instead.
Not only does flushing cigarette butts down the toilet use up to three gallons to flush, the harmful toxins in cigarettes go into the groundwater supply.
Cat litter should never be flushed down the toilet. In most instances, toilets don’t use enough water to properly filter the litter through your pipes.
Instead of flushing pills that are past expiration or no longer needed, take them to your local medicine take-back day. That way, the chemicals don’t end up in our groundwater supply.
What Can You Flush down the Toilet?
So, what can you flush? Keep it to these two: human waste and toilet paper. Your home plumbing and community sewage lines can only handle these two flushables. Do yourself, your neighbors and your local plumber a favor and refrain from flushing anything else down the toilet.
Contact Edwards, and Keep the Water Flowing
If you do end up with clogged pipes or other plumbing repairs, give us a call. The Edwards Royal Comfort expert plumbers can provide their knowledge and care to provide the best solutions and help keep everything flowing smoothly.