Common Household Items You Should Never Flush Down Your Toilet

Some people tend to think of their toilet as a catch-all means of plumbing based disposal, but did you know that there are certain items you should never—under any circumstances—flush down your toilet? Certain items or products can wreak all sorts of havoc with your plumbing, clog your toilet, and generally cause problems that could cause hundreds or even thousands of dollars to fix. Let’s take a closer look at the most common household items you should never flush down your toilet.

Dental floss

Dental flush gets tangled up in the other debris that runs through sewer lines, which can cause bundles of debris to build-up inside the sewer pipes and system. Floss can even get tangled up in important machinery and moving parts, causing it to break down.


Tampons are one of the most common sources of plumbing clogs, thanks to the misconception that because (unlike pads) they are small that they can be flushed down the toilet. However, tampons expand when they make contact with water; this can lead to clogged drains and massive clogs in the sewer system. Stick tampons in the trash and never flush them down a toilet.

Flushable Wipes

Yep, you read that right: flushable wipes (despite their name) are a major cause of clogged pipes and toilets. The material used to create flushable wipes doesn’t disintegrate quickly like toilet paper does, which can cause massive clogs in your plumbing over time. Stick these in the garbage can or better yet, stick to toilet paper.

Expired medication or other pills

It may seem like a common practice to dispose of expired medication or old pills down the drain, but the chemicals inside these pills can cause some serious problems; they may break down metal pipes or even worse, leak into ground water and sewage systems. If you have expired medication, call a pharmacy to ask about the best way to dispose of it safely.


Some people think since tissues and toilet paper are similar, they can both be flushed; however, tissue paper isn’t designed to dissolve like toilet paper, so flushing these down the toilet will lead to plumbing clogs over time. Throw tissues in the garbage instead.

Cotton balls and ear swabs

Cotton balls and ear swabs are not designed to break down in the way that plumbing-friendly toilet paper is, so any time you flush cotton balls or swabs, they are simply collecting in the pipes or sewer system. This seriously increases the risk of pipe and system clogs, so avoid flushing cotton balls and swabs down the toilet completely.


Food shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, especially greasy foots or foods with lots of oils and fats. These take forever to disintegrate and, in the case of grease and greasy foods, the grease actually solidifies and hardens over time which causes serious clogs that require a professional expert to handle.

Remember: the only things you should be flushing down the toilet are your human waste and toilet paper. Save the other stuff for the trash! If you need help with your clogged toilet or other plumbing issues, give us a call at (813) 516-4486 and we will take care of the problem for you.

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