Beware: Never Flush These 6 Items Down the Toilet

Clogged toilet filled up to the rim with brown water. MidCity Plumbers

Ever wondered why you usually get clogged toilets? Much like any daily lifestyle, you’ve probably flushed down a lot of stuff down the toilet that you shouldn’t have. To help you avoid any of these issues, we’ve rounded up the things that you need to know about toilet flushing and the main causes of your clogged toilet at home. For reliable plumbing, it’s best to ask a plumbing professional, however, here are some things you can do to prevent toilet clogs.

Main causes of a clogged toilet

The following causes are not exclusive. 

1. Flushable wet wipes

Don’t believe anything that the cover says. After all, most “flushable” products we know are actually causing major clogging problems. Some brands of flushable wipes take longer to break down. This can be dangerous especially if the breakdown process was not fully done. The use of flushable wipes, not to mention the amount you use in a day, can be problematic to your home septic system. Keep in mind that the usage of flushable wipes may be higher than you would expect. 

Man throwing a wet wipe into the toilet can cause a clogged toilet. MidCity Plumbers

2. Paper towels 

While paper towels dissolve in water, too much paper towels can cause build-up or blockage that leads to clogging issues. Remember that paper towels expand when they are wet. When flushed through the toilet drainage system, they expand to their full absorption size. This creates a high potential for a clogged sewer system line. You can also double-check if the material of paper towels can easily dissolve in water as some paper towels take a long time to dissolve. 

3. Women hygiene products 

There’s a reason why experts warn us against flushing tampons and pads down the toilet. These women’s hygiene products can cause clogs in your toilet more often than not, and in the worst-case scenario, it can lead to toilet backflow. If you ask any plumber, most causes of toilet plumbing issues come from flushing down tampons or pads. Keep in mind that this does now only cause problems with your toilet, you also may be confronted with overflowing septic tanks or sewage treatment issues. 

4. Food 

Although quite unbelievable at first, yes, food flushed down the toilet may lead to clogging. Take note that most foods have oils and fats, as well as starch and hard food scraps. Right off the bat, this food waste can cling onto pipe walls and make the passage of the water more narrow. And because these scraps can potentially block your toilet plumbing, it’s better to not flush food down your toilet. 

Person pours a pot of soup into the toilet which can cause clogs. MidCity Plumbers

5. Kitty litter 

Do you have cats at home? Make sure that you don’t throw kitty litter down the toilet drain. While this may seem a practical idea (after all, it’s still litter), kitty litter also contributes to major clogging problems you experience at home. When you flush kitty litter, it can basically have similar effects from flushing down a cement-like consistency down your toilet. Consequently, this can clog your toilet and any other drains you have at home. Make sure that you throw kitty litter in a different, and much proper way as opposed to just flushing it down the toilet. 

6. Medications 

Sure, you usually take medications in your bathroom and more often than not, some medications are flushed down the toilet. But did you know that flushing down medications can also lead to having these pills stay in the water all the way to the main water supply or water treatment plant? This could contaminate the water with medications. This does not only cause clogging, but this may also lead to contaminating your community’s water supply. 

What can be flushed down the toilet

Of course, you can flush down human excrement and toilet paper (in small quantities) down the drain. The true purpose of toilets is for human excrement and toilet paper. Much of the system works to properly dispose of human excrement. On the other hand, toilet paper is relatively easy to filter and small amounts of it can dissolve easily. Just make sure that you don’t flush down too much toilet paper at once, or you’ll face clogging issues. 

Toilet paper on blue background in washroom. MidCity Plumbers

How to fix a clogged toilet

Here is a brief list of how you can fix a clogged toilet: 

  1. Baking soda and vinegar. When your toilet won’t flush, try adding a cup of baking soda and let it sit for several minutes. Then, pour about two cups of vinegar into the toilet. Try to flush your toilet and check if it’s back to normal. 
  2. Dish soap and warm water. Another classic home remedy is by pouring some dish soap down the toilet drain and then adding hot water to flush down or soften any debris. Wait around 10-15 minutes to see any difference. 
  3. Plumbing snake toilet or plunger. You can do this by purchasing a toilet snake and using it to “snake” up any debris. This is usually the best solution when the clog is deeper than the toilet bowl itself. 

Contact a professional

If you think unclogging your toilet is beyond your basic tools and limited knowledge, this is where our reliable plumbing services come in. Midcity Plumbers is composed of plumbing experts who offer a wide variety of plumbing services to all customers in Burnaby and the surrounding areas. We cover all plumbing services from dealing with clogging problems to replacing compromised valves or pipesOur plumbing services are carried out by a team with the necessary expertise and experience in the field for many years. We also conduct a thorough inspection to ensure that our service is effective and valuable. If you can’t get rid of your clogging issues at home, just give us a call on 📞 (778)-772-8676 today to avail our emergency residential plumbing services.

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