Your toilet is designed to handle only a set few things: bodily excretions and toilet paper. Still, there are far too many individuals who need a reminder as to what to stop flushing down the toilet. Young children are especially notorious culprits for poor flushing tendencies. Flushing the wrong things can lead to a host of problems, ranging from clogged toilets to even some fairly severe plumbing issues. Below, we’ll list 7 items that are commonly found in water treatment plans due to being flushed down the toilet – and why you need to dispose of them differently.

Common Items That You Should Stop Flushing Down the Toilet

Many people mistakenly treat the toilet as a bathroom garbage, using it to dispose of all manner of products that don’t belong there. There is a rule that you can apply here: The Three P’s. Pee, poop, and paper are the only things that belong in your toilet. Here are 7 items that are commonly flushed down the toilet, even though they shouldn’t be.

  1. Paper towels. For some reason, paper towels make up a significant majority of unsafe items flushed down the toilet. Even though they may have a look and feel similar to toilet paper, they are made entirely differently. Most importantly, paper towels are not made to be broken down like toilet paper. This is the number one item that people should stop flushing down the toilet.
  2. Wet wipes. Cosmetic wipes and baby wipes contribute to a lot of blockages annually, probably because they are soft and gentle. This leads people to thinking that they are safe to flush. But neither are designed to break down like toilet paper, just like paper towels, so stop flushing them down the toilet if you’ve fallen into this bad habit.
  3. Condoms. In addition to simply being gross (as they do end up in waterways, as a water treatment specialist could tell you), condoms wreak havoc on plumbing systems. Dispose of these properly – in the garbage.
  4. Feminine products. Pads and tampons should never be flushed down the toilet, but they are with great frequency. They rapidly obstruct pipes. Like condoms, these should be disposed of in the garbage.
  5. Floss. Dental floss is typically made of durable Teflon or nylon. These sturdy strands mix in with other obstructive items in waterways to effectively create a ball of refuse that can lead to many blockage-related problems.
  6. Diapers. Yes, people still do this – though with less frequency than in the past. Modern baby diapers are designed to expand when wet. So, you can see why this would be a problem for your plumbing.
  7. Medications of any kind. Flushing old and unneeded medications is a quick way to get them out of sight and out of your medicine cabinet – but it’s terrible for the water supply. Medications contaminate water sources. The best way to get rid of these medications is to bag them and turn them in to a local program or pharmacy that can dispose of them safely.

There are many, many items that people should stop flushing down the toilet. We see it all of the time – ranging from these common items to things that are downright unusual. Remember the Three P’s and you’ll be fine!