The toilet, one of the most innovative devices known to mankind. Did you know that the flush toilet we use today was originally invented in 1596? Amazing right?!
Everyone uses the toilet as everyone has excrements to rid their bodies of. It’s one of the safest and cleanest ways to take care of our “business”. However, many people have used the toilet for more than just doing a “number 2”. The temptation to flush anything down the toilet is strong, but we urge you to avoid it at all costs!
We’ve seen a great many cases of homes becoming damaged due to sewage backup which can stem from the wrong materials being flushed down the toilet. The toilet isn’t meant to be a flushable trash can. It has a very specific purpose and should be used for that purpose only.
Sewage backup is where your drains become clogged or overwhelmed to the point where your toilet starts backing up, eventually, leading to all of the flushed items coming back through the drains and reentering your home.
This, in turn, can lead to water damage, horrible smells, contaminated furniture and carpet, and the need to get a specialist in your home to mitigate the issue.
So, let’s continue using the toilet only for its intended purpose, instead of flushing down the toilet…
1. “Flushable” Wipes
What? But flushable wipes literally say that you can flush them! Don’t trust every label you see or advertisement. Baby wipes and wet wipes will clog and backup your toilet. They aren’t decomposable the same as toilet paper squares. If you have a septic tank (which handles the waste from toilet flushes), then it can easily become filled with these flushable wipes to the point where sewage backup is a high possibility.
Where do you put these “flushable” wipes? If you must use these wipes, while it might not seem sanitary, it’s best to put them in a trash can and quickly remove them from your home.
2. Dental Floss
Don’t flush dental floss down your toilet. Not only is it NOT biodegradable, but it can lead to clogging because it’s a tangled mess. Ever seen a ball of yarn?
3. Cotton Balls & Q-tips
Like everything else we’re going to mention in this list, don’t flush cotton balls, Q-tips, or cotton pads down the toilet. They won’t flush smoothly and they will lead to clogging. Throw them away in the trash.
4. Feminine Products
Tampons, pads, and other feminine hygiene products will clog your pipes. Tampons especially are a problem since they are made to expand when introduced to liquids. While it might seem easier to just flush them down the toilet and forget about them, it’s better and safer to throw them in the trash.
Yet another tangled mess, but one that we all weave. Our hair is strong, enough to wrap around other materials, leading to a wad of wipes, grease, paper, and all sorts of nasty things conglomerating together to clog your pipes. Like floss, put those strands in the trash.
Believe it or not, some people do flush diapers down the drain. Diapers are made from thick materials that won’t easily flush down drains, let alone make it to the end destination. They are also going to expand, just like the tampon situation previously mentioned.
7. Paper Towels & Tissue Paper
Just because paper towels and tissues resemble toilet paper, that doesn’t mean that they are the same. Paper towels and tissues do not dissolve the same as toilet paper, therefore making them unfit for the toilet. Throw them away in the trash.
If you don’t have a trash can directly next to your toilet, we highly recommend doing so. Gum doesn’t break down when you flush it. It’s also adhesive, meaning that it could easily stick to your pipes. Yes, even if gum is directly submerged in water, it can still stick to things leading to a clogged pipe. Spit it out in your new trash can.
Anything that is plastic does not belong down any drain whatsoever. Eye contacts are one of the plastics that don’t belong in the toilet. If you notice anything made of plastic in your toilet, fish it out quickly so it doesn’t accidentally get flushed.
Band-aids also contain plastic plus adhesive materials. Don’t flush them.
Your pills do not belong down the toilet. Prescription drugs, Advil, none of the medications in your home should be flushed. Pills do not break down efficiently in toilet water and can lead to toxicity for the environment. This is less about clogging and more about doing what’s right for the world you live in; keeping the environment safe.
12. Nail Clippings
Nail clippings also don’t break down like hair from our bodies. Just because it comes from our bodies doesn’t mean that we should flush it.
13. Excess Amount of Toilet Paper
Last but not least on this list: Don’t flush an excessive amount of toilet paper. This almost always leads to a backed-up toilet. If you consistently flush loads of toilet paper down your toilet, it will take more than a plunger to clear it out. If you need to use more toilet paper than usual, flush the toilet a couple of times with a smaller amount of toilet paper.
Can I Vomit in the Toilet?
Let’s quickly address this question as it seems to appear in so many online forums. There is much debate as to whether or not you should vomit (throw up) in the toilet. This is an American way of disposing of our body’s unwanted waste found in our stomachs.
The answer? It depends on what is in your stomach.
If you have a lot of liquids in your stomach, then flushing this down the toilet should be fine. However, if you have lots of freshly eaten food in your stomach (aka food poisoning) then you should look to grab a nearby trash can or bag to throw up in.
What Happens if My Toilet Gets Clogged?
If your toilet clogs up and you can’t seem to mitigate the problem using a handy-dandy toilet plunger, then call on a local plumber to do the job for you. If the problem turns into a sewage backup, then call your local restoration company.
We’ve dealt with a lot of sewage backup cases that originated from clogging the toilet with the wrong materials. It makes your life easier and your bank account happier when you flush only the proper waste down the drain. Use this list and teach it to your children (if you have any) to help educate them. No one wants to deal with a clogged toilet or sewage backup.
If you’re in Denver and you need sewage cleanup, call on us at Restoration 1 of Central Denver to restore your home to the beauty it once had. Call us at (720) 524-4680 for any of your home emergencies!