While toilets are a modern-day essential to dispose of human waste, they aren’t so good at disposing of other items. Flushing some things instead of disposing of them can clog drain pipes or even contaminate your water system. Additionally, some items can also cause environmental hazards. If you want to increase your toilet’s lifespan and avoid problematic plumbing issues, it’s best to keep any extra waste out. According to professional plumbers, your pipes are only three to four inches in diameter at their widest. This means even small harmless items can cause significant plumbing issues. Such repairs may cost you plenty of money and may even leave you with severe home damages.
Here are six things you should avoid flushing down your toilet.
This may surprise you because human fecal is simply broken-down food. However, flushing raw food can cause problems for your toilet. Any type of food is off-limits from your toilet. While you might think some foods are soft, kindly refrain from flushing them down the toilet. The same is true if you flush milk, bones, grounds, or some leftover pieces you want to get rid of. All these items don’t belong anywhere near your pipes or garbage disposal. We recommend throwing them in the compost or trash.
2. Female Products
There are some personal items that we flush down the toilet that we need to think about seriously. Tampons, band-aids, and cotton swabs are good examples of such products. Those small cotton balls might seem harmless, but they build up in bends of your piping system. Over time, this creates a blockage. Items like band-aids are made from non-biodegradable plastic. These materials are bad for the environment, and they also pose a danger to your septic system. While some parts of a tampon can easily break down in the water, there’s no proven way of justifying how fast they will break in the water. This is why we recommend placing a trash bin in your bathroom for such materials.
3. Paper Towels and Wipes
It’s easy to be fooled by labels. If your sanitary wipes are marked “flushable,” they may not easily disintegrate in water as quickly as toilet paper. This may lead to a clogged toilet or blocked sewer pipes. Any item that goes down your toilet should be water-soluble. In simple words, the item needs to dissolve in water. Items like paper towels and sanitary wipes are designed to collect water and messes and cause issues for you and the water treatment company.
4. Cat Litter
Again, this is also an item that is marked flushable by many manufacturers. Even if it has that tag, avoid flushing it. Any cat litter is bad news for your toilet. Many toilets don’t use enough water to move the cat litter properly in your pipes. It stays in your pipes and refuses to dissolve quickly.
Additionally, it interacts poorly with your water sewer system, which could mean problems for your septic system. All it does is add extra things to the water, which makes it harder to purify. Also, you should not flush cat waste from the litter bin. This is because the litter dehydrates the trash, and toilets can only handle the water-soluble waste.
5. Gum and Cigarette Buts
As you know, chewing gum doesn’t exactly break down in the water. Also, the gum is sticky and can quickly bond to the insides of your pipes. This can cause a clog and cause problems with your plumbing system. We recommend throwing gum in the wastebasket to avoid such issues. The same can be said with cigarette buts. These are highly toxic materials and will only do more harm than good to your toilet. Additionally, this is also a colossal waste of water since you can easily throw them out in a disposal bin. Also, they can cause clogs in your drain pipes.
6. Medication and Other Non-biodegradable Items
If you want to prevent water pollution, avoid flushing medications down your toilet. The same can be said with other hazardous household waste like paint and some other cleaning products. Health experts recommend disposing of unused or expired medicines in drug take-back centers. For household waste, you can locate a waste collection program in your area that will help you dispose of the materials safely. If you have some garden waste that you want to dispose of, you can turn it into compost or take it to a recycling center.
You should know that your toilet cannot act as a replacement for your garbage can. You can protect your plumbing system by following the tips we’ve outlined above. If you’re not sure about the material you want to dispose of, you can throw it in a trash bin instead of using your toilet to dispose of it. In the long haul, your toilet will thank you for this.