Five Things You Shouldn’t Flush in a Toilet

Don’t Treat Your Toilet Like a Garbage Can

Montgomery Sanitation suggests five things you shouldn’t flush in a toilet. There are some people who treat their toilet like it’s a garbage can. Let’s get clear right away: The only things you should really be flushing are human waste and toilet paper. Many products that we flush are harmful to the sewer system and the environment. You might have thought you could flush anything in a toilet. Maybe you already knew of some things that you shouldn’t flush. Maybe one of your kids tried to flush a shoe down the toilet, which didn’t turn out so well.

At Montgomery Sanitation, we’ve seen it all over the years. People flush items that they shouldn’t flush, and then they call us to unclog their pipes. We like to pass on tips to customers based on our knowledge and experience. Of course, if you encounter a clogged toilet, we’ll be glad to come to your service and clean your sewer drains. But here are five things you should never flush down a toilet:

  1. Feminine Hygiene Products
  2. Flushable Wipes
  3. Latex Products
  4. Paper Towels
  5. Cotton Products

Taking a Closer Look at What You Shouldn’t Flush


Feminine Products Expand in Pipes

This one might shock you, but you shouldn’t flush tampons, pads, and other feminine hygiene products. They don’t break down like toilet paper does. These non-biodegradable products absorb water and expand when you flush them. You compromise the pipes by doing this. suggests an alternative way you can follow to dispose of feminine hygiene products:

“This is why the National Association of Clean Water Agencies has initiated its ‘Toilets are not trashcans’ campaign. By their accounts, flushing products like wipes, paper towels and female hygiene products causes significant problems and clogs, which amount to billions of dollars in repair costs and maintenance. Manufacturers of tampons themselves advise against flushing them. If the verdict is that tampons should be thrown away, what is the best way to do it? It is pretty simple – wrap them up in toilet paper and throw them in the trash. If the bathroom doesn’t have an accessible trash can, you can always carry an eco-friendly disposal bag, and not worry about disposing of tampons in public bathrooms.”

Source: What is the Proper Way to Dispose of Tampons and Zero Waste Alternativ — Simply Eco Store


You Shouldn’t Flush Flushable Wipes

While “flushable” is in the name of the product, you shouldn’t flush wipes. These wipes don’t break down quickly, which causes them to get stuck in sewer drains. The clogs cause major headaches for homeowners. Manufacturers typically make flushable wipes with synthetic materials, plastics, or polyester – all of which don’t break down in a sewer drain. Montgomery Sanitations suggests that you keep a line trash can in your bathroom, and dispose of the non-biodegradable wipes there.


Latex Condoms Don’t Break Down

Flushing condoms or other latex products down the toilet might seem like an easy way of disposal, but they clog up the sewer line. Made from latex, condoms won’t break down for years. It’s better if you don’t flush these non-biodegradable products down the toilet. Latex clogs pipes by tangling with other solids. If they get through to a body of water, fish, birds, and other animals might see them as food and choke on them. Instead, discreetly dispose of the condoms in a lined trash can in the bathroom.


Paper Towels Aren’t Like Toilet Paper

Paper towels seem like they would be perfect to flush down a toilet because they’re not that different than toilet paper. Materials like paper towels, though, aren’t designed to break down like toilet paper does. Paper towel manufacturers tout their product’s toughness and durability – two things that aren’t good for sewer pipes. Again, if you’re looking for a place to throw paper towels away, choose the trash can over the toilet.


Don’t Flush Junior’s Diapers

It might seem like the best solution to flush your baby’s diapers down the toilet given what is in the toilet. However, parents shouldn’t flush diapers. Like feminine products, diapers are highly absorbent, non-biodegradable, and will clog your sewer lines. We’ve found that it’s very difficult to unclog lines with diapers in them. They expand when they’re flushed, causing major plumbing headaches. We know it’s disgusting, but we suggest shaking out the waste in the toilet and throwing the diaper in the trash.


Take the Time to Dispose of Your Trash Properly

We all seem to have increasingly busier lives, so it’s only natural that we look for shortcuts. Those shortcuts, though, shouldn’t involve your plumbing and sewer system. Flushing things that you shouldn’t flush down the toilet will end up costing you in the long run. Montgomery Sanitation urges you to take some time and be careful in disposing of your trash. When plumbing mishaps do occur, we will be there in no time for septic tank pumping, cleaning, and more.


Are you experiencing septic tank problems? Give Montgomery Sanitation a call at (540) 382-2205 or follow us on Facebook. You can talk to our plumbing experts today about the five things you shouldn’t flush in a toilet.