What Can I Flush Down My Toilet?

Since we don’t usually see what happens to our toilet contents once they’ve been flushed, it can be tempting to flush lots of things that shouldn’t be without knowing the consequences right away. Here are things that you can flush, along with some things that you should definitely avoid throwing down the toilet.

What can you flush down your toilet?

This question is relatively easy to answer. There are two things that your toilet system is designed to dispose of without any issue. Those two things are human waste and toilet paper. So long as you stick to flushing these two things, and these two things alone, then it should be unlikely that you’re going to have a problem caused by what you flush.

What should you avoid flushing down your toilet?

The list of things that you should not flush down your toilet a lot more extensive than what you can flush. Here are just a few of the things you should make sure that you don’t flush:

  • Baby wipes might look a lot like toilet paper, but even those that say they are flushable can be a huge problem since they don’t disintegrate at the same rate, making them one of the most common causes of toilet clogs.

  • Paper towels & tissues might look and feel a little like toilet paper but, much like baby wipes, they don’t break down the same way. Even if you need to use them as emergency toilet paper, you should make sure they go in the trash.

  • Women’s hygiene products such as tampons, sanitary pads, and so on, are some of the worst things to flush because they absorb water and expand, making them the perfect things to cause a blockage.

  • Dental floss does not disintegrate in water, meaning that it can get caught and start to clog your pipes. However, floss is also a major environmental risk, as it can start to act like a net, wrapping around parts of the drainage system, applying pressure and making them more likely to break.

Almost everything else including toilet bowl scrub pads, napkins, swiffers, any organic waste like egg shells or coffee grounds, hair, medications, diapers, and more.

How to tell how something will flush

If you’re really curious, you can perform a “flushability” test to get an idea of how your toilet would handle one material or another. This involves filling two bowls with water, placing toilet paper in one and the “test item” (such as a baby wipe) in the other. Swish both bowls then wait for an hour to see how much they have disintegrated in that time. If the test item isn’t disintegrating as fast as the toilet paper, then it shouldn’t be flushed as it could clog up your pipes.

If you can’t External link opens in new tab or windowflush toilet without issue, then there is a good chance that something you have previously flushed could be the culprit. However, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue sooner rather than later, and the help of a professional can help you most accurately find and solve the problem.