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What You Can and Can’t Flush Down the Toilet

What’s okay to flush down your toilet? As little as possible.

Okay, so a topic like this can be a little sensitive, for lack of a better word. Nevertheless, it’s a question we get asked all the time.

When it comes to worry-free flushability, stick to the basics: human waste and toilet paper only.

That’s the short list. Here’s a much longer list of things that are frequently flushed down toilets that definitely should not be!

  • Facial tissues
  • Baby wipes, disinfectant wipes, moist wipes, etc.
  • Toilet bowl scrub pads
  • Swiffers
  • Napkins (paper or cloth), paper towels
  • Dental floss
  • Egg shells, nutshells, and coffee grounds
  • Fats, oils, and greases
  • Hair
  • Sanitary napkins, tampons, condoms, or any non-organic material
  • Vitamins, medicines or other pharmaceuticals
  • Sheet plastic, or plastic of any kind
  • Diapers (cloth, disposable, “flushable”)

Still not convinced? Then try this “flushability test.” Fill two bowls with water. Place toilet paper in one, and place one of the items above in the other. Swish both items in the water. Wait an hour, then swish again. The toilet paper should have significantly disintegrated by then, while the other item (for example, Kleenex, wipes, napkins, etc.) will likely remain intact. Unless the item disintegrates at the rate of toilet paper, it should be placed in the garbage and not down the toilet. Otherwise, you risk a blockage in your own pipes as well as clogging a pump station and causing a sewage backup for other homes and businesses. Remember: the drains that connect your home to the main sewer are often no wider than 4 inches.

Of course, should you encounter a clogged toilet (or other clogged drain) in your Maryland area home, you know what to do: contact Len the Plumber to unclog a toilet in your home.

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