Items That Should Never be Flushed Down the Toilet

After cleaning up a mess, your first inclination might be to open the toilet lid and flush the garbage away. Unless, however, you’re flushing toilet paper after using the bathroom, you should opt for another method of disposal. Many items can lead to serious toilet clogs that can require costly repairs.

Feminine Sanitary Products

Many women will flush sanitary pads or tampons down the toilet when changing. Even if the product label says that the pad or tampon can be flushed, doing so is typically a bad idea since a clog can occur. Also, older plumbing systems may simply not be able to handle flushed pads and tampons. Wrap the pad or tampon in toilet paper and place it in the garbage when you’re finished. Observe this same courtesy rule in public places. Many public places have receptacles in each bathroom stall, so you do not have to walk out of the stall with a used tampon or pad.

Baby Wipes

Plenty of people think that baby wipes are suitable for flushing since these products serve a purpose similar to that of toilet paper. Consider, though, the fact that baby wipes are typically thicker. These products are not intended to be flushed down the toilet. Some wipes are labeled as flushable, but experts tend to advise against flushing these wipes too. If you have a baby at home, set up a garbage can near the changing table. You can use this can to dispose of both wipes and diapers.


Diapers are another item that needs to go in the garbage. There are products that you can wrap diapers in to eliminate the smell that they can release. Diapers should never be flushed down a toilet. Due to their size and density, diapers might cause an immediate clog in the toilet, and an overflow could occur. Public spaces typically do have changing tables in bathrooms, and some areas even have family restrooms, which allow you the space to take care of diapering and the disposal of diapers. Note that adult diapers should not be flushed either.


After you blow your nose in the bathroom, you might simply throw the tissue down the toilet. Tissues are not the same as toilet paper. Toilet paper is designed to break up when it gets wet, but tissues are not. Therefore, tissues can stay in a mass as they travel down the pipes, thereby leading to potential clogs. Putting a garbage can in the bathroom is a simple way to avoid such issues.

Napkins and Paper Towels

The thickness of napkins and paper towels should alert you to the fact that they cannot be flushed down the toilet. Much like tissues, napkins and paper towels are not designed to break down when they get wet, which can lead to clogs.


When you clean out your hairbrushes, you might want to dispose of the clumps in the toilet simply. However, think about the effect that clumps of hair have on your shower drain. Maybe you’ve dealt with a clog in the bathtub due to a buildup of hair, or perhaps you’ve had to remove stringy, greasy strands of hair from the shower drain. In any case, hair in the toilet can have a similar effect of clumping and leading to clogs.


If you have an expired bottle of medicine in your bathroom cabinet, you might want to dump the rest of the pills down the toilet. This action can actually contaminate the water, leading to public health issues. Dispose of medications in a safe manner. Your community might have programs that allow individuals to bring back their unused medications.

Cooking Remnants

When you cook up some bacon in the morning, you may be left with a pan full of grease and think that dumping that mess down the toilet is the best solution. For the same reason that you wouldn’t pour the grease down the sink, you should also not dispose of the substance in your home’s toilet.


Food also does not belong in the toilet. Children, in particular, might get the idea that food can be thrown in the toilet, so talking to little ones about this issue early is important. Keep in mind that gum should not be thrown in the toilet either. Hard foods and gum, especially, could cause serious clogs.

Makeup-Remover Wipes

Upon taking off your mascara, foundation, lipstick, and other products with makeup-remover wipes, you may feel inclined to put these items down the toilet. Use the garbage can instead as makeup-remover wipes will not break down like toilet paper. The same is true for makeup-remover pads, which are often even thicker than wipes. Do not pour makeup-remover solution down the toilet either.

Perfume, Cologne, and Body Spray

If you have perfume, cologne, or body spray with an offensive odor, you might want to dump it down the drain. However, these products are often made with harsh chemicals that could cause damage to your home’s plumbing system.

Dead Fish

It may seem like a common practice to flush a dead pet fish down the toilet, but this action can actually harm the plumbing system in your home. Toilet systems are not made to accommodate dead fish. If you have children, you might want to have a burial for the fish to help little ones get more comfortable with the idea of death as a natural part of life.

Dead Plants

Dead plants can also cause clogs in the toilet. Some of the stems and leaves may not even fit down the toilet, which can lead to an overflowing bowl.

Kitty Litter

Dumping the contents of a litter box can seriously clog the toilet. Some brands of kitty litter are labeled as safe for flushing, but you should not take this risk. Kitty litter is thick, and it’s designed to absorb moisture. Once it gets in your toilet drain, it can expand and trap other debris, leading to a stubborn clog. Instead of flushing it, always throw the kitty litter in the trash.

An Excess of Toilet Paper

Ultimately, the only product that you should ever flush down a toilet is toilet paper. Still, though, you must be mindful of how much paper you’re flushing at once. Make sure to use a reasonable amount and be aware of the limitations of your home’s system.

If you do experience a clog or other issue with your home’s plumbing system, our experts at Huft Home Services in Yuba City can help. At Huft Home Services, which provides support for the counties of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, San Joaquin, Yolo, and Yuba, we also offer heating, cooling, and electrical services. Whether you need ductless air conditioning installed, a heater replaced or repaired, new outlets and switches in your home, or a bathroom remodel, you can trust our team for high-quality work.

Call Huft Home Services to schedule an appointment today.

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