What Not to Flush Down Your Toilet

What Not to Flush Down Your Toilet

Because of social distancing, you’re spending more time in your home—which also means you’re using certain rooms of your house more than usual: the living room, your bedroom, and the bathroom. Your plumbing is having to hold up to more frequent use. You’re probably reading a lot about home water conservation these days, but you should also think about how to protect your pipes and your plumbing system with the extra use. Since toilet paper has become a scarcity these days. Many of us are having to turn to toilet paper alternatives, but be careful what you flush! Here’s what not to flush down the toilet, according to the expert plumbers at Bell Brothers.

SEE RELATED: What You Can and CANNOT Put Down the Garbage Disposal

What You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

Wet Wipes

Just because it says “flushable” doesn’t mean you should flush it. Wipes do not breakdown or biodegrade quickly, and can become stuck in your pipes. Cosmetic wipes, baby wipes, and “flushable” wipes are all ingredients for a clogged plumbing system.

What Not to Flush Down Your Toilet

Feminine Hygiene Products

You probably know not to flush pads or reusable cups down the toilet. However, many people still believe it’s OK to flush tampons. It’s not! They don’t dissolve in water. Actually, they’re designed to expand in liquid. Even flushing just one can cause a backup in your system.


Kleenex—it’s just like toilet paper, right? Actually, no. It won’t break down like toilet paper will. If you’re in the bathroom, blow your nose into toilet paper before flushing it down the toilet. Otherwise, put the tissue in the trash can.

Paper Towels

Like wipes and feminine hygiene products, paper towels do not break down as well as toilet paper. Unlike toilet paper, paper towels are meant for more than cleaning up messes. They absorb liquid and expand in your pipes. It’s bad news for your plumbing.


Whether you’re looking for a convenient way to dispose of cleaning supplies after wiping down the bathroom or you’re hoping to clean your drains, bleach should not be flushed down the toilet. As it passes through your metal pipes, it can corrode them, causing leaks.

Cat Litter

What Not to Flush Down Your Toilet

Litter is made to absorb liquid and clump together. This is an instant recipe for a plumbing clog. Besides that, cat waste can contain parasites that water treatment plants aren’t able to filter out.

SEE RELATED: What Is Low Flow Plumbing: Water Efficiency Advice from Expert Plumbers

Cotton Balls or Q-Tips

You shouldn’t flush cotton or any fibrous products down the toilet—this includes cotton balls and q-tips. The cotton itself takes far too long to break down, but the stems of q-tips in particular bend and get tangled up in the other debris in your pipes.

Dental Floss

Dental floss can be dangerous to your plumbing for the sole fact that it does not dissolve or break down in water. Other items can clog your toilet well enough on their own, but adding dental floss to the mix can sew all the other items together, making an immovable block.


Latex takes years to break down. Flushing it down the toilet means you’re permanently making your pipes less fluid.

SEE RELATED: Why a Clogged Drain May Be a Mainline Sewer Problem


What Not to Flush Down Your Toilet

Water plant treatments for the city can only do so much to filter out toxins and harsh chemicals. Your toilet is not the right way to dispose of medication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Flush Hair Down the Toilet?

We all know that hair can clog your shower and sink drains, but a few clippings after a haircut or beard trimming can’t hurt, right? Wrong. Wet hair sticks together and keeps water from flowing the way it should in your pipes.

Can You Flush Food Down the Toilet?

The simple answer is, no! Grease and fat can solidify and harden in water and pipes. Food also does not break down as well has toilet paper or waste.

Can You Flush Notebook Paper Down the Toilet?

What Not to Flush Down Your Toilet

Even worse than paper towels, notebook paper should never be flushed down the toilet. Stick to only flushing toilet paper!

What Do You Do When You Flush Something Down the Toilet?

If you have flushed something down the toilet that clogged your plumbing, then call Bell Brothers right away! We’ll send out a licensed, trained technician to your home as soon as possible.

Home service companies are considered essential businesses during states of emergency, so we’re here to safely serve you, even now. As a precautionary measure, we have implemented increased hygiene routines including hand washing, sanitizing before and after each customer visit, and face masks our techs will wear upon request.

 For your safety and for ours, please make sure to let us know if anyone is sick, before the technician arrives (even if you believe it’s just a cold or sinus infection).

Drain Clearing Special

At this time, Bell Brothers is offering an $87 drain clearing special, which helps with slow drains and main sewer line clogs. Call Bell Brothers to schedule your appointment today!