Although it might be tempting to think of your toilet as a garbage can that will easily flush away almost any item without repercussions, this isn't the case. There are a number of household items that you should never flush, unless you want to have to call a plumber.
One of the most common items plumbers find on service calls to fix clogs, there's absolutely no reason to have paper towels disposed of in the toilet. They don't break away like toilet paper does. Even the thinner brands can generate a complete clog with just one flush. If you must have paper towels in the bathroom, always use the wastebasket.
Another incredibly common item, long hair can not only create a hassle with clogs, it's also one of the more gross items to remove. After clearing your brush, you might be in the habit of casually tossing a hairball into your toilet, which is bad for a few reasons. When hair gets flushed down the toilet and stuck, it begins to collect other debris, including more hair, until it starts forming into a ball. This essentially is a disgusting ball that traps odors, dirt, and other things you flush until it is professional removed.
Tampon and Pads
It's important to know that there is no good situation to have to flush either of these items down the toilet, whether you're at home or in a public place. Tampons especially are prone to getting stuck almost immediately and creating expensive repair bills, which is why many restaurants and public areas have convenient waste baskets for throwing them away. Remember that tampons and pads are designed to absorb moisture and expand, which is the opposite of what you want passing through a drain.
Like with hair, Floss is not only non-biodegradable, but over time it collects and expands with other debris and flushed floss to tangle together and form a ball. The ball then begins to collect everything else you flush, creating a massive problem. It should go without saying that floss is just as easy to toss in the wastebasket.
Even though they are small, bandages are made from plastic and are easy to get caught in an already pre-existing clog. If you flush band aids regularly, chances are you still have some floating around nearby.
One of the more serious offenses is flushing any kind of prescription drugs down the toilet. It's important to think of the chain that goes from your toilet to the sewer and then back into the environment. A bunch of pills is not going to create a clog, but think about what you are doing to the ecosystem. The rivers, oceans, and lakes that all receive sewage runoff are going to take in parts of that medication. Don't do it.
If you have to smoke in the bathroom, bring the ash tray. This is the same rule that applies to medication. Cigarette butts leak the toxic chemicals and carcinogens caught in their filter into the water, causing problems for not only local water sources, but the local environment.
Despite what it may say in the advertisement, disposable/flushable wipes are still too thick to pass through drains without clogging. Save yourself the trouble and throw these in the garbage.
These items should all not be flushed both because they can create stubborn clogs, which may result in a plumber having to completely dismantling your pipes, as well as the fact that a number of them are bad for the environment and the water system. The next time you are tempted to quickly flush something away, think about the consequences of doing so.
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