The Top 7 Important Things You Should Never Flush Down Your Toilet
7 Things You Should Never Flush Down Your Toilet
It may seem like common sense to not flush anything down your toilet that isn’t human waste and toilet paper. However, you will be surprised at the things we come across that block our toilets, sewage tanks and pipes. In this article, we will cover the top 7 important things you should never flush down your toilet.
Why is it important not to flush the below items? Quite simply, if you flush it – it can get stuck. This means either a blocked toilet or a backed up-overflowing toilet (gross!!). Or it may get lodged somewhere between your house and the treatment facilities causing a build-up, which is expensive to fix and who flips the bill for that? The Tax Payer!
Here are our Top 7 Things not to flush down the toilet
1. Wipes. Baby wipes are a definite No-No (they don’t decompose), but practically any wipe you can think of shouldn’t go down the loo, including cosmetic wipes. Even those fancy toilet wet wipes that seem to have gained popularity over the years shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet. All options have wreaked havoc on the sewage treatment processes, even though some options do disintegrate they don’t do it before they get to the treatment plant which can overheat and malfunction the pumps. Also, because they don’t break down before reaching their final destination, they can get stuck along the way either blocking your toilet or septic tank (hello backed-up toilet!!), or the sewage pipes along with other things (hello Fatberg!!)
2. Sanitary Items. Otherwise known as feminine hygiene products, menstrual products, or period products. It doesn’t matter what you call them, you must never flush tampons or pads (or any other monthly product) down the toilet. Some young girls (even a few older gals) get a little confused, thinking if the product they are using says it’s organic, or biodegradable that must mean it’s flushable. No, sorry ladies. Again these products won’t be disintegrated by the time they make it through your system and will get stuck, so all these types of products need to be binned.
3. Paper Towel and Tissues. Oh, a tricky one. Paper Towels, not to be confused with toilet paper towels, are used for many household cleaning and spillages. Tissues are great for containing the boogers. Both are designed to withstand a fair bit of liquid but are not made of the same disintegrating material as toilet paper, so trying to flush some down the toilet will get lodge and you will find yourself waiting and waiting for it to dissolve before you can use your toilet again – often resulting in toilet back-flow. And if you purchased the expensive quality brands – that’s when you need to get your plumber in!!
4. Hair and Dental Floss. You may think that hair would be ok, but imagine clumps of hair rolling around in the pipes, catching on to and getting tangled up with whatever else is in there leading to big balls of waste that clog the pipes. Now imagine the same thing with dental floss. Now imagine the both of them together.
5. Cooking Oils or Grease. What happens to fats and oils when they turn cold? They solidify and block your system, and can also build up sludge in the pipes. Sludge helps trap other passing waste. As you know oil and grease are hard to clean, and not an easy task when it is lodged in your pipes.
6. Medication. These are known to contaminate wastewater. These are toxic to water systems. It is best to bag your pharmaceuticals and bin them.
7. Bleach and Other Cleaning Products. Some cleaning products, including bleach, can be corrosive and damage your pipes. These are toxic and can be very hazardous to the water systems and the environment.
Now, let’s have a chat about Fatbergs.
A Fatberg is an ice-berg like formation of built-up dirt, fat, grease, and a range of ‘unflushable’ waste found in sewers and sewage pipes, clogging up anywhere from your home to the treatment plant. A Fatberg becomes a solidified solid mass – almost like concrete.
Some can be small and closer to your home, and yes you will need a plumber to help with this, or they have been known to grow about 250 meters long and weigh around 400 tonnes. And yes Fatbergs can completely block large city sewage systems, such as London!
Apart from our top 7 ‘unflushable’ items above you will be amazed (or grossed out) by other items that have been found compacted in a Fatberg and also just stand-alone blockages. Those items include nappies, condoms, contact lenses, cotton tips/buds/balls, cigarette butts, chewing gum (even if you wrap it in toilet paper – the toilet paper disappears and gum gets stuck!), paint, cat litter, food, fish (the dead pet kind), and more…
So, what can you flush? The only thing you can flush is the waste that comes out of your body and toilet paper.
For any further information or if you need a plumber give us a call, we’re happy to help.
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