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What Is Flushable And What Is Not?

October 10, 2022 | Blog

Your toilet may seem like an easy form of disposal for many everyday items — out of sight, out of mind, right? However, it is not a garbage can! Unfortunately for homeowners, various misconceptions and false advertisements have created mass confusion over what items are actually flushable and which are not.

No worries! Natchez Heating & Cooling is here to help clear up any uncertainty — and your pipes. Read on to discover what’s appropriate for your toilet drain and which items you should never flush.

Examples Of Flushable Waste

It’s quite simple. There are only two things your toilet can dispose of safely. They are designed only for toilet paper and human waste — you should throw out everything else into a trashcan or wastebasket.

Toilet paper dissolves in water, unlike many of the materials that you may believe are similar and safe for flushing. Let’s now go over which products you should always avoid flushing down your toilet.

Items That You Can’t Actually Flush

Wipes

Products such as bathroom and baby wipes are often labeled as flushable when they certainly aren’t. Sure, they’ll go down your toilet, but they do not break down like toilet paper and can cause blockages in your pipes.

Paper Towels & Tissues

We’ve all been there — sometimes you run out of toilet paper, and your kitchen paper towels seem like the next best option. However, paper towels and tissues do not disintegrate like toilet paper and, therefore, should only be disposed of in your wastebasket.

Cotton Products

Many common restroom items such as cotton pads, cotton balls and q-tips are inappropriate for your toilet drain. They may seem small and lightweight enough to flush away, but they can easily clump together in your pipes and cause plumbing issues. Q-tips especially have an inconvenient shape for traveling through your plumbing system and are likely to get stuck.

Menstrual Products

Unfortunately, most manufacturers do not include information explaining that tampons and pads are not safe for your toilet on the boxes they come in. Although they seem like items you should flush away, they absorb liquid and expand in your pipes, creating blockages.

Stringy Items

Stringy materials such as hair and floss are common clog culprits. They can wrap around parts of your septic tank and cause motor malfunctions. In addition, hair and floss never dissolve. Instead, they form net structures that catch debris, causing build-ups in your sewer line.

Cat Litter

As with wipes, companies will market certain cat litter as flushable. However, they are not suitable for your toilet or sewer system. But what about cat waste? Unfortunately, cat waste contains a toxic parasite known as toxoplasma that is both harmful to your pipes and aquatic life. Therefore, toilets can only handle human waste.

Drugs & Toxic Materials

You should never flush your medication down the toilet as pills do not break down and are harmful to the environment. In addition, toxic substances such as cigarette butts and bleach are way too harsh for your septic tank and sewage pipes. When cleaning your toilets, opt for a more natural solution, such as baking soda and vinegar.

Why Avoiding Clogged Pipes Is Important

Flushing anything that isn’t flushable can negatively affect the health of your pipes and wastewater system. Therefore, you should be mindful of what you’re sending down the toilet to avoid clogging your pipeline, which can lead to serious issues like:

  • Clogged toilets
  • Main sewer line damage
  • Contaminated water supply
  • Environmental damage
  • Expensive repairs

Hire Our Natchez Plumbing Team

In the event you experience plumbing issues, Natchez Heating & Cooling is here to inspect and repair them! We offer various financing options to help Mississippi homeowners secure an appointment today. Give us a call!

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