Every day, thousands of gallons of wastewater are flushed down the toilet. There is some debate as to whether or not you should flush feminine products, paper towels, tissues and even toilet paper (wipes) down the toilet. What most people don’t know is that there are many items that can damage your plumbing system if they’re flushed down the toilet.

If you’re not sure whether or not it’s okay to flush something down the toilet, check out the list below for a few items that should be avoided!

Feminine products  

Kotex and other feminine hygiene products can cause major problems in your plumbing system. The adhesive strips on these products don’t break down enough in water to be flushed and can cause clogs.

Paper Towels, tissues and other paper products  

These items are made from mostly wood fibers, which aren’t digestible by most bacteria found in your septic system. Due to the nature of these products, most plumbing can get clogged as they will block pipes.

Plastic Bags (including grocery bags)  

Plastic bags and other plastic products will not break down in water, leading to clogged pipes and septic systems. These items should either be recycled or disposed of in the trash. 

Wipes and other baby products  

Many parents suspect that wipes and other baby products can be flushed down the toilet, however this is not the case! Wipes labeled “flushable” can still cause clogs due to their size and adhesive strips. Just as with paper towels, these items should not be flushed.

Lint and other debris  

Loose lint from your clothing, cigarette butts and other items can build up in sewer pipes and cause clogs.

Cat litter  

Any kind of cat litter should not be flushed down the toilet for fear of clogs and blockages. The sand used in kitty litter is made to absorb moisture, so it doesn’t break down like other products or materials.

Fats, oil & grease (FOG)  

FOG is the buildup of oils, grease and food particles that are found in your sink. Even though it seems simple enough to just wipe this down the drain with a paper towel, it will eventually build up and clog pipes. FOG can also combine with other things that should not be flushed down the toilet, causing even more damage!


No matter what kind of trash you’re flushing, it should never be flushed down the toilet. We suggest leaving a waste bin near your toilet as a reminder.

Think you may have flushed one of these items down the toilet, please reach out to your plumber. If you believe you are experiencing a septic emergency, please contact us.

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