Toilets are, in essence, the means for human waste - not yesterday's food scraps, animal bones, or hair clippings. In fact, shoving food down the toilet is one of the main causes of clogs, and can make raw sewage back up in your home.
Instead, keep your toilet clean, clear, and use only for its intended purposes. Never flush any foreign object down the toilet, lest you prefer frequent clogs in your bathroom!
12 Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet
While toilet paper is mainly used in bathrooms to clean up after messes, they can become messes themselves when they clog the toilet. Toilet paper, including the cardboard core, do not dissolve well in water, and can clump together to clog the pipes.
Instead, unsoiled toilet paper should be thrown in the trash. Avoid using 3-ply, as the material is sturdier than 2-ply. Use tissues made with pure pulp without any plastic or resin additives for a material that dissolves in your pipes better than ones made to withstand water pressure like paper towels.
Leftover Food Scraps
Flushing food down toilet bowls is never a good idea. Starchy foods and other food waste are greasy, do not dissolve well, and can ruin your septic system. Never flush food or hard food scraps down the toilet, as all the food scraps can clump, turn rancid, and can lead to clogged pipes.
If you've flushed food down the toilet, you may need to contact a plumber to clear the food waste that has accumulated in the sewer line. Instead of flushing food, consider starting a compost pile for your fruit and vegetable scraps.
This is a common problem in households and commercial spaces where there are occupants who typically smoke cigarettes. Cigarette butts getting thrown directly into the toilet is always a bad idea. While this method conveniently removes the source of the tobacco smell, it can also easily wreak havoc on your septic system.
Oils and Grease Products
Oily, greasy, and dense products can lead to a clogged drain. The same is true for toilets. Never flush cooking fats like bacon fat, body butter, body oils, and even coffee grounds down the toilet as these can clog pipes and sewage systems.
Cat litter is your pet's toilet, but it cannot be disposed of in the same way human waste is. The sand from your cat's litter box is made to be highly absorbent, so it automatically expands when left to absorb water. Imagine what happens when litter accumulates in the sewage lines, which is full of toilet water, and left to expand!
Floss may seem like a harmless item, and if you've flushed one or two down the toilet, you wouldn't have much of a problem. However, if it has become your habit to flush your used dental floss down the toilet, then the accumulation can lead to frequent clogs, and expensive repairs!
Much like tissues, cotton balls do not dissolve in water, and can accumulate to clog your pipes. Cotton also tends to expand when absorbing water, so flushing down cotton balls isn't the best care and maintenance of your toilet's sewage system, especially if the cotton balls have oily substances in it.
Sanitary napkins are always part of reminders of what not to toss down the toilet as it may cause problems with the plumbing system. As sanitary napkins are made with absorbent material with a plastic liner, it does not only expand in water, but it also acts as a barrier keeping water from draining with its plastic liner.
While paper products and tissues are made from the same source, they are made with different uses in mind. Paper products were made not to dissolve in moisture easily, as you can tell from books and notes that have gotten wet but retain their quality once dry. Flushing food paper down the toilet is also not recommended, as greaseproof paper is made to be water-resistant.
Similarly, plastic bags were made to be water-resistant, and can barr water from flowing through. Flushing plastic bags down the toilet is an instant recipe for a clog, as the plastic bag clings onto the sewer lines, barring water from passing through the pipes.
Toys and Trinkets
We've heard the horror story from households with kids: kids flushing toys, trinkets, and jewelry down the toilet! Other than losing that precious item for good, toys and trinkets are mostly made of plastic, which will definitely clog your pipes at some point. Toys are also typically bigger than the pipe circumference, so they can easily get stuck and start accumulating clogs.
Overall, don't treat the toilet bowl as your own garbage disposal! Whether it is convenient or a habit, it is never a good idea to flush food down the toilet, as well as hair clippings, inorganic materials, or trimmed fur from your pet.
Food and item wrappers, mail carrier plastics, and other general trash should not get into the toilet as these items will require extensive repairs once your pipes back up and start to flood your home. Keep your toilet clean and clear with a daily cleaning, and pour some pipe maintenance once a month to maintain your pipes!
Already at the point where your toilet has clogged up? Not to worry, our cleaners and repairmen at Luce Home can clean and maintain your home so you won't have to concern yourself over clogging and grime again! Give us a call today, and we can schedule you for a full top-to-bottom home cleaning in a snap!