5 Commonly Flushed Items that Are Terrible for Your Plumbing

Knowing what can and cannot be flushed down your toilet seems like common sense. Most people know that they shouldn’t flush diapers, grease, kitty litter, or any foreign objects that weren’t intended to go down the toilet. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that many of the things they think are safe to flush can damage your pipes. Keep reading to learn about the five most commonly-flushed items that are actually terrible for your plumbing.

Baby Wipes

Now, you might be thinking, “Of course, that’s why we have flushable wipes.” Think again. Though they serve the same purpose as toilet paper, baby wipes are very different in their composition, and they don’t break down like toilet paper does when flushed. Even those wipes labeled as “flushable” aren’t able to break down like toilet paper, and if you use them too often, they can still lead to a severe clog in your sewer line. It’s much better to put them in the trash can, regardless of what the label says.

Cotton Balls

Cotton balls seem so light, fluffy, and harmless, but like baby wipes, they don’t break down. Instead, they tend to clump together and become thick and heavy when saturated with water. This is a recipe for disaster when it comes to your sewer line.

Menstrual Products

This one is a big shocker to most women. It seems natural to flush a used tampon after it’s been removed, but think about what these products are designed to do: absorb fluid. This means it will only expand further when you flush it, and that’s always a bad thing for your plumbing. Toss it in the trash instead.

Paper Towels and Tissues

While these products might be lumped together with toilet paper in the grocery store, they’re not the same. Even though they’re all paper products, paper towels and tissues still don’t break down as well as toilet paper when you flush them away. Toss them in a garbage can instead.


Ever clean out your hairbrush and toss it in the toilet instead of the garbage can? That’s a problem. You’ve just created a natural net for catching other small waste that goes down your drains. Hair is the number-one reason for clogs in your sink and shower drain, so why would it not cause clogs further down the line when you flush it? Never flush hair away.

If you have a habit of flushing these items, it’s time to change your ways, or you might soon face a large bill for sewer line repair in Sacramento.

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