Discover The 6 Things You Shouldn't Flush Down The Toilet

Flushing any of these six things down the toilet can cause plumbing issues and it's harmful for the environment. Find out what you should never flush down the toilet in today's article.
Discover The 6 Things You Shouldn't Flush Down The Toilet

Last update: 10 August, 2021

To keep your bathroom in optimal condition, avoid breakdowns and emergency calls to the plumber, it’s necessary to know what you should never flush down the toilet.

On many occasions we use the toilet as a trash can for any type of waste. However, by doing this, we’re forgetting how drainage systems work. The water and waste that disappears down the toilet always end up impacting the environment, especially the end sources into which the pipes flow.

So if you want to prevent your toilet from clogging, as well as avoiding damage to your building’s pipes and negative effects on the environment, take note of these things that you should never flush down the toilet.

The six things you shouldn’t flush down the toilet

Wet wipes are very harmful.

1. Wet wipes

Wet wipes are the most disastrous form of waste in toilets and pipes. In countries such as Spain, they’re one of the most common causes of damage and blockages. This, without taking into account the negative impact wet wipes have on ecosystems, especially in the ocean where they progressively accumulate.

These wipes can take up to 100 years to biodegrade and, depending on their composition, they can release particles of plastic (or microplastics), among other compounds, that gradually harm all marine species.

2. Condoms

Although less common, condoms can become trapped in drainage pipes and even in the toilets themselves. These items must be discarded in the trash can, due to the material from which they are made.

As studies indicate, most condoms are made of latex. The raw material of latex is organic and can biodegrade more easily than other, similar materials. However, this condition isn’t fulfilled when it’s in contact with water.

Those condoms made of polyurethane, for example, aren’t biodegradable. Whatever the material, the recommendation is to avoid throwing them down the toilet to avoid contamination and damage.

3. Things you shouldn’t flush down the toilet: oils of any kind

Never dispose of oils there.

Another thing that you shouldn’t flush down the toilet is oils. When thrown down there, oils come into contact with water and form a ball of grease that clogs pipes and drains. In addition, oils make the outlet pipe clog, which is why you may begin to notice bad odors coming out of the toilet and spreading throughout your home.

4. Things you shouldn’t flush down the toilet: hair

Although hair tends to fall out naturally and can get into the toilet, many people gather this waste to purposely flush it there. It’s estimated that one single person has up to 100,000 hairs, of which between 50 and 150 fall out every day.

If, every day, you remove hair from your brush or pick them up from the floor and flush them down your toilet, how many hairs do you discard? A lot! The risk of doing this is that hair begins to become entangled in the pipes and in the medium term it can create hairballs in which traces of other debris become stuck, causing blockages.

To avoid the hassle, it’s best to throw hair in the trash.

5. Intimate towels, tampons, cotton swabs, and other cotton waste

Don't flush cotton stuff down the toilet.

Cotton waste such as tampons, some types of intimate pads, makeup remover pads, and cotton pads, are common clogs in wastewater treatment plants. In addition to the financial impact that it can have on you if they get stuck in your pipes, you’re contributing to the contamination of the planet.

And, don’t forget, you’re also contributing to the constant public treasury spending, by way of network maintenance and treatment plants. These are regularly affected by the accumulation of cotton balls.

6. Cat, dog, or other pet waste

In general, microorganisms and parasites are present in the excrement of living beings, including pets. As studies indicate, cat droppings can become contaminated with Toxoplasma gondii, which can spread to humans through contact.

Thus, by flushing pet excrement down the toilet, it could contaminate other species that are in contact with the end source.

Did you know that you shouldn’t flush these things down the toilet?

If you didn’t have any previous knowledge of the things that you shouldn’t flush down the toilet, start taking notes. Become aware and gradually begin to change your bad habits. Do this and you’ll avoid spending time and money on the maintenance of your toilet. Why not do your bit to take care of our planet?

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Eliminación segura y gestión de anticonceptivos no utilizados e inutilizables. Fondo de Población de las Naciones Unidas (UNFPA). 2013.
  • Llòria. M. Endoparasitosis en animales de compañía. Prevención. Farmacia Profesional. Vol. 15. Núm, 9. Pág. 108-111. 2001.