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10 Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet

Updated: Aug 10

Did you know that using your toilet for anything other than toilet paper and human waste can quickly lead to clogged pipes, sewer backups, and an emergency plumbing call?

Here are ten things you should never flush down your toilet.


1.    Sanitary wipes

The packaging may tell you they’re “flushable”, but you should never dispose of wipes in a toilet. They’re not designed to break down in water and can therefore clog your pipes.


2.    Paper towels and facial tissues

Only toilet paper is designed to easily disintegrate in water. Throw paper towels and facial tissues in the wastebasket instead.


3.    Dental floss

Most dental floss isn’t bio-degradable, which means it’s a hazard to your pipes and the environment. It’s possible for floss to get caught and form a “net” in your pipes that’ll prevent other debris from flowing through.


4.    Hair

Similar to dental floss, hair won’t break down and can accumulate in your pipes. Never flush hair down the toilet, and use hair-catching screens in your shower drains.


5.    Cigarette butts

Cigarette butts don’t decompose and contain toxic chemicals. Consequently, flushing them down your toilet can lead to clogs and is bad for the environment.  


6.    Cotton swabs

Cotton swabs are made with plastic straws that should never enter your pipes. Plus, anything made of cotton, including cotton swabs, balls and pads, shouldn’t be flushed. This is because cotton doesn’t break down and can easily obstruct your pipes.


7.    Cat litter

It may say “flushable” on the box but cat litter is anything but. Most toilets don’t use enough water to push cat litter down your pipes, so it’ll just sit there and turn into a glob that can eventually lead to clogs.


8.    Medication

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs will pollute waterways if flushed. It’s best to dispose of medication by dropping it off at your local pharmacy.


9.    Menstrual products

Tampons and sanitary napkins are designed to absorb and hold moisture so they can cause big problems if you flush them down the toilet. Made of cotton, they won’t break down and don’t easily flow through pipes. Dispose of menstrual products in the wastebasket.


10.  Fish

It may seem easy to unceremoniously flush your deceased goldfish down the toilet, but don’t do it. Dead fish or other remains won’t break down in your pipes and can consequently cause blockages. Give your fish a burial instead.


Emergency Plumbing Services in Edmonton

At Modern Air & Water, our experienced plumbers use specialized equipment and video technology to quickly clean drains and clear clogged pipes. If you have a plumbing emergency, we’re available 24/7. Contact us today if the water isn’t draining well from your bathtub and sinks or your toilet isn’t flushing properly.

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