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8 Common Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

When we’ve got something to throw out that’s a little… unsavory (think: hairballs, used dental floss, that old piece of chewing gum you’ve been gnawing for an hour), it’s kind of a reflex to fling-n-flush. But you might be surprised by what doesn’t belong down—ahem—that drain. So… are you a lavatory lawbreaker?

Here are eight common things you should never flush.

Paper Towels & Tissues

you should never flush paper towels

Paper towels aren’t so different from toilet paper, right? Well, when it comes to breaking down and moving through the drain, it’s definitely t.p. for the win. The fact is, paper towels (and tissues) simply aren’t designed to disintegrate the same way as toilet tissue. Forcing them down the flusher can have regrettable repercussions.

Dental Floss & Hair

dental floss and toothbrush

If you’re looking for an easy way to get your pipes all tangled up, then by all means, keep clearing your brush into the bowl. Not interested in paying for someone to come unclog the commode? You should probably be slinging the stringy things into the garbage instead.

Anything Cotton or Plastic

cotton swaps

Giving that used Q-tip a gentle lob into the loo seems harmless enough, but you might want to think twice about where you’re putting those cotton balls, cotton swabs, and other cotton-y things (ladies, that means those feminine products, too…). Cotton doesn’t break down and can very easily lead to cumbersome clogs.

Diapers & Baby Wipes

flushing a baby diaper

Even if they’re labeled as “flushable,” those wipes don’t belong in the water closet! Wipes aren’t decomposable, so they don’t go down the drain. Same with disposable diapers—big no-no of the necessarium.

Oil & Grease

cooking grease down the drain

You have (probably) heard that it’s not a good idea to dump cooking oil or grease down the kitchen sink, right? Unfortunately, it’s just as bad to pour it in the potty. The problem with grease is that it’s only liquid until it cools… which happens fairly quickly in cold water. And then, you’ve got big clumps of grease hanging out in your plumbing! Instead, you’ll want to pour grease into a can or container and throw it away after it hardens.

Kitty Litter

kitty hiding his face

Hey, our… refuse… goes in the restroom, right, so why shouldn’t Kitty’s? Well, unfortunately, the “refuse” isn’t the problem. Even litter advertised as flushable lingers in the pipes, leading to adverse impediments. Avoid the temptation to scoop-n-flush, even if it means bringing out the trash more frequently to keep the odors at bay.

Gum & Food

Keep your chewing gum out of the can! Hawk it in the head and you’re welcoming that gum to stick around in your plumbing for… well, until you get down there and pry it out. Same with food. If it’s not going in your bowl, it should stay out of the bowl, too.


bathroom cleaning supplies

Wait, what? How else are you going to clean the comfort station? Actually, bleach is not the best way to do it; this harsh chemical is actually a bit too strong for your pipes and septic system. Instead, try a softer cleaner, or even something eco-friendly, like vinegar.

Time for a New Toilet?

Are you a bathroom bandit? It’s okay; now that you know what NOT to put down there, you can get a fresh start in a fresh new home—a blank slate free of washroom wrongdoings! All you have to do is… buy a new home!

Okay, all joking aside, if you’ve been considering buying a home in the Triangle suburbs, Ann Milton Realty would love to help. We’ve already gotten you started on avoiding toilet transgressions, so let us help you find the perfect home in just the right location, too!

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