It can be tempting to flush unwanted items down the toilet. After all, this mode of fast transportation is a seemingly great way to get rid of things fast. Whether you’re trying to streamline your morning routine or hide an embarrassing secret, the toilet has become a one-stop dump site for your least-desired items.
Unfortunately, there are only two things that should be flushed down the toilet: human waste and toilet paper. If you’re throwing anything else into the toilet bowl, you better think again. Anything that doesn’t fall under these two categories can cost you when repairs and backflow testing are needed.
If you’ve discarded any of the following items in the toilet, you’re not alone; we’ve been (incorrectly) told for years that certain items won’t harm your drain. Without further ado, here are some of the top commonly flushed items that should never see the inside of your drains.
Feminine hygiene products
We get it: blood is gross. When it comes to disposing of smelly or unsightly products, the toilet is the fastest, cleanest option around. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the worst decisions you can make.
Tampons and pads are typically made from a mixture of cotton products. While you might not think twice before flushing these down the toilet, the cotton will actually expand in the pipes, making it difficult to go down. Cotton is also good at grabbing particles around them, making it a trap for other items in your pipes. This can lead to clogs, backflow issues, and even a burst pipe. On the same token, flushing items like cotton swabs, cotton balls, and makeup wipes are a huge no-no.
The best thing you can do is discard your feminine hygiene products in the trash. Wrap them in a little extra toilet paper and be sure to dispose of it in a location that won’t attract the family dog to the bin.
We’re all told to use the bathroom after engaging in sexual intercourse so it only seems natural to flush a condom down the toilet while you’re cleaning up. This is also a commonly flushed item among teenagers who want to hide the evidence from members of their family. Unfortunately, condoms aren’t designed to break down in water. If they get snagged on a calcium deposit or another clog, then they can stick around in your pipes for years to come. You might even need to look for hard money loans in Texas to cover the costs of dredging your drains. Be sure to dispose of these items in the trash to avoid a pipe disaster.
The toilet bowl funeral is synonymous with the death of a goldfish. While you might think this is an eco-friendly way to dispose of its body, this is actually terrible for your pipes. It takes a long time for a fish’s body to break down, and even then, the bones might promote other clogs and issues in your pipes. Flushing your fish down the toilet might seem like a good way to honor its life, but it’s better for the environment if you put it in the trash.
Watch out if you clean your toilets with bleach: this harsh chemical might react with other acids in your pipes. This can cause fumes to erupt and damage pipes or corrode materials over time. If you’re looking for a good cleaner for your toilet, be sure to invest in natural options that won’t cause problems down the road.
We’ve all seen the strong-but-struggling hero make the decision to flush their pills instead of giving into old vices. While it looks good on the screen, however, this is bad for your pipes — and the environment.
Flushing medicine down the toilet releases these chemicals into local waterways, including rivers and lakes. This is because our water treatment plants simply aren’t equipped to handle those various chemicals. When you want to get rid of your leftover medicine, bring it back to your primary care physician for proper disposal.
These are just some of the many items you should never flush down a toilet. While it may seem like a natural spot for these items, the toilet is the last place method of disposal you should consider. Protect your pipes — and your wallet — by only flushing human waste and toilet paper.