If you’re like most people, you’ve probably flushed an item or two down the toilet that wasn’t meant to be flushed. From cotton balls and paper towels to facial tissue, cat litter, household cleaners, and expired prescription medications, we have to remember that if it’s not toilet paper – it shouldn’t be flushed!
As professional Kansas City plumbers, we can tell you that even the smallest items such as a Q-tip, or dental floss, or a paper towel can cause trouble. How come?
If they don’t dissolve – which most substances don’t – a scrap of undissolved material can get caught on a nick, bend, or bump inside the pipe, triggering a growth of buildup that can cause a costly sewer buildup in your home or even your neighborhood.
Don’t Flush These Items Down the Drain!
Even if it’s a small item and the packaging says that its “flushable,” it can still cause a messy and expensive plumbing problem for you and your local sewage treatment facility. Here are examples of things NOT to flush:
- Baby wipes
- Wrappers of any sort
- Cotton balls and Q-tips
- Facial tissue
- Paper towels
- Cat litter
- Cigarette butts
- Feminine hygiene products
- Flushable bathroom wipes
- Medications and supplements
No Household Cleaners Either
It may be very tempting to take that bucket of dirty water and ammonia you used for mopping and flush it down the toilet, but not so fast. Discarded solvents and household cleaners that are used around the home should not be flushed down the toilet or poured down your kitchen sink or bathtub drain.
Instead, you should bring them to your local hazardous waste disposal site. Dissolved chemicals break down in the water, and they can travel through the sewers and pollute the harbor and marine environment, depending upon where you live.
You also shouldn’t flush medications, vitamins, or supplements down the drain. If you’re afraid that your child or toddler might find your disposed medications in the trash, we recommend wrapping them and throwing them in the trashcan that is in your garage or outside of your home, or you can bring them to your local drug take-back site.