What Can Be Flushed Down the Toilet

A toilet’s drain connects to either a septic system or a sewer system. Although many things could be theoretically flushed down the toilet, many of them should not be. Not only could they interfere with drainage or treatment, but they could clog the toilet or drain and create a costly repair.

Besides human waste, the only thing that should be flushed down a toilet is toilet paper. Even if an item says that it is flushable, it may not be the best idea to flush it down the toilet.

Here are some examples of what should not be flushed.

1. Paper Towel, Tissues, and Kleenex.

Although these items are paper products, they are designed to remain intact when wet. These items create clogs in drains because of the time it takes for them to break down.

2. Pharmaceuticals.

Although unused drugs are encouraged to be flushed, not every community has a treatment program in place to handle all pharmaceuticals. Dispose of unused or unwanted drugs in a safe, responsible manner instead.

3. Cat litter.

Cat litter is designed to be absorbent. By placing it in water, the litter expands and can create clogs that are difficult to clear.

4. Baby Wipes.

Baby wipes or personal wipes should be thrown away instead of flushed. They are also designed to remain intact and rely on grinders in treatment facilities to break them down. Wipes should never be flushed when using a septic system.

5. Toxic Substances.

Chemicals, poisons, and hazardous waste should never be flushed down the toilet. When cleaning a toilet, try to use cleaners that are biodegradable and friendly to septic systems for the best results. Paint, stain, solvent, sealant, and thinners should never be flushed either.

6. Personal Care Products.

Products like sanitary napkins, tampons, applicators, and diapers should not be flushed either. Even if the item markets itself as being flushable, always assume that it is not flushable and throw it away instead.

When anything but human waste and toilet paper are flushed, the risk of creating a sewage blockage rises. These items can come together in larger pipes to create a large public-service problem as well.

For that reason, think before you flush. If it’s not toilet paper, throw it away.

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