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DIY Plumbing Blog | What Not to Flush

There are few worse feelings than watching your toilet bowl filled with water instead of flushing. We’ve all been there and I’m sure we would all avoid this situation whenever possible. Luckily, when you follow our list of 12 things to keep out of your toilet, you can avoid some of the most common clogs that we are called in to fix. With our help, you can keep your sewer pipes flowing all season long.

Diapers

It’s unlikely that diaper will even fit down your toilet, to begin with, but if it does you are going to be left with serious plumbing issues. Dispose of diapers in a diaper pail and then throw them out in the trash.

Cotton balls, Q-tips, or any other absorbent bathroom product

Cotton might seem like it will break apart in the water like toilet paper will, but it will actually absorb water and get caught in bends in your pipes easily causing blockages. Keep any sort of absorbent product out of your toilet to avoid problems.

Medication

Old medicine and pills may not clog your pipes, but as they break down in water they can contaminate groundwater sources harming the environment. Disposing of old medication is responsible, but your toilet isn’t the place to do it. Look for medicine take backs in your area for a safe way of disposing of old medicine.

Dental Floss

Dental floss might seem like a non-issue because it’s so thin, but it can easily snag on things and turn into a sort of net in your pipes, causing serious blockages. Keep dental floss in the trash and out of your pipes.

Toys

We know you aren’t the one trying to flush toy cars down the toilet, but try to do your best to keep the kiddos from doing it. Toys easily cause blockages and we have to pull them out of pipes all the time.

Hair

No matter how long hair soaks in water it will never dissolve. Hair also gets tangled in your pipes and creates a net that will catch and clog all sorts of things. Keep hair out of your pipes and use screens in your sink and shower drain to help keep hair from getting into your pipes that way as well.

Femining hygiene products

Tampons and pads are absorbent, which means that they will soak up water in your pipes and expand causing serious blockages. Keep a trash can near the toilet for these to avoid having to call in a professional plumber.

Gum

Sure gum is small, but it’s also sticky and won’t dissolve in water. This means that it can easily stick in bends in pipes and once it’s there, it’s gonna be there forever. Do yourself a favor and never flush gum down the toilet.

Cooking grease

Cooking grease may look thin enough to make it down your drains when it’s hot, but once it cools it will thicken in your pipes and cause serious blockages. Like a clogged artery, before you know it your pipes will be draining slowly or not at all. Collect cooking grease in jars and throw it away in the trash to avoid clogging your pipes.

Baby wipes or wet wipes

Even if that box of wipes says “flushable” keep it out of your toilet. No brand of wipes will break down like toilet paper will and it will cause serious blockages in your sewer system. Keep a trash can near the toilet and keep wipes out of your pipes.

Bleach

Bleach won’t clog your pipes but is far too harsh on your pipes. If you need to get stains out of your toilet try using vinegar instead of bleach. Vinegar will often get rid of the stains and is easier on your septic system.

Paper towels

We hear this misconception all the time. Just because toilet paper and paper towels are both paper products doesn’t mean that they will break down in your pipes or sewer system the same. Paper towels will absorb water and compress into hard wads in your pipes easily causing blockages.

If it isn’t human waste or toilet paper, your best bet is to keep it out of your toilet. If you are having problems with these obstructions in your pipes you can try using a plumbing snake to clear your pipes. If that won’t work, or you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty, enlist the help of one of our professional plumbers. We can get your clog cleared quickly and get your pipes flowing smoothly again.

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