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10 things you should never flush down the toilet

It is a common misconception that you can flush everything in the toilet. However, this is not the right thing to do. You can only flush three things down the flush, such as toilet paper, faeces, and urine. In other words, you should only flush human waste, such as pee, poo, and paper.

The wastewater can go in two directions. Either it can head by way of the pipe in the local sewer, or it can go into the septic tank close to the house. Before the water goes into the treatment plant, water goes through the screen of rods that can filter huge objects that can possibly go to the sewers.

From here, the water can go to the settling tank, where some solid objects, such as gravel and sand, can get into the bottom and settle there. These are the early water treatment stations where they remove the flushable.

50% of the wastewater’s non-dispersible material is the restrooms’ paper towels. 25% of the water is tampons, applicators, wipes, cosmetic wipes, condoms, and baby wipes.

After the water goes through the primary sedimentation tanks, the wastewater goes through the cleaning process. The process is done through aeration tanks. The settling of tanks is done here. In the majority of the cases, tertiary treatment is done where the waste is treated with ultraviolet light or chlorine. In the end, the advanced sewage treatment systems give recycled water that can be used for human consumption and agriculture.

It is to be mentioned that no sewage system is perfect. According to WHO, 27% of the global population uses private sanitation possibilities that are connected to the sewers where wastewater is treated.

Making mistakes is our habit. It can take time to learn from our mistakes. However, you should think twice before flushing the things in the toilets. The best you can do is to adopt new behaviours and learn new things. You should try to reduce the toxic and harmful objects in the environment that interact with marine life and water.

It can cause huge problems if the toilet system gets clogged. So there are certain things that you should not flush down the toilet. You should not dump everything in your toilet. People are seen dumping and flushing a lot of things down their toilets. You should also know plumbers recommend creating a list of “no flush” items for your household. Some of the most famous things people flush down the toilet and should not do are as follows.

1.    Cat litter

Cat litter is the most important thing you should not flush in the toilet. A few cat litter brands claim to be flushable. However, most toilets do not use enough water to move the litter through the pipes. Even if the brands claim to be flushable, you should not flush the cat litter down the toilet. It will add more things to the water that are hard to purify. The cast waste from the litter box should not be flushed as the litter dehydrates the water in the flush, which makes it hard to pass.

2.    Cigarette butts

You should not flush cigarette butts. Cigarette butts are usually made of toxic chemicals. This can cause blockage of water. So you should avoid flushing cigarette butts.

3.    Medicines

If you want to get rid of old medicines, you should not flush them. The toilet water cannot break them properly. This is why the medications stay in the water, and it can cause injurious chemical reactions in the environment. So you should throw away medication instead of flushing it.

4.    Tissues and paper towels

A lot of people think that tissues and paper towels are similar to toilet paper. This is not the case. You should know that tissues and paper towels are different from toilet paper. So they do not break down in the water as toilet papers do. So, you should not flush tissues and paper towels. If you have to use paper towels in place of toilet paper, you should dispose of them in the litter box.

5.    Dental floss

A lot of people are seen flushing dental floss in the toilets. This is not the right thing to do. Dental floss can cause environmental damage. The floss turns into a net that can hold debris. It can be captured in different parts of your septic system. So you should not flush dental floss. It can also burn the motor.

6.    Baby diapers

Diapers and menstrual products are designed to absorb water. So these cannot be broken down into the water. So flushing the diapers can cause serious problems in the flush system. So you need to dispose of the diapers in the diaper pail. You should never flush diapers in the toilets as they clog the water system.

7.    Condoms

Condoms are not designed in such a way as to break down in the water. So you should not flush them in the toilets. Flushing condoms can cause blockage in septic tanks and toilets.

8.    Menstrual products

A lot of women flush menstrual products, such as pads or tampons, into the toilet. This is not the right thing to do. The menstrual products should never be flushed down the toilet. These products usually absorb water, so they expand when you flush those products. This is not good for your plumbing system. So you should never flush menstrual products in the toilet.

9.    Cotton products, cotton pads, or Q-tips

Q-tips, cotton pads, and cotton balls should never be flushed in the toilet. These products are not broken down in the toilet. They are more likely to clump together in the toilet. So you should not flush Q-tips, cotton products, and cotton pads in the toilet.

10. Baby wipes

Women use baby wipes for their kids. Although baby wipes are flushable, however, you should not flush baby wipes. These are most likely to be thrown in the wastebaskets. You should not even flush flushable baby wipes. These can cause baby wipes to stuck into the pipes.


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