OverflowingAn overflowing toilet is a terrible thing for anyone to have to face. Even if the water and bowl are clean, the stuff coming from the pipes may not be. While there may be some fairly obvious things that shouldn’t end up in the toilet for any reason, other items that get routinely flushed can clog your toilet pretty quickly. Here are five things you should never flush down the toilet.

1. Baby Items

Baby items such as rattles, bibs, and toys should never be flushed, even if the baby throws them into a not-so-clean toilet bowl. However, more common items that end up clogging toilets include diapers and baby wipes. Diapers are made to absorb water; when they do, they expand. That’ll clog a pipe pretty quickly. Even baby wipes labeled as flushable don’t break down in the water like toilet paper; they can also cause problems for your toilet. Throw them into a wastebasket instead.

2. Anything Cotton

Cotton swabs, cotton balls, and cotton pads are all bad for your plumbing. They will come together and stick to each other. Get a wad of them large enough, and your toilet will get backed up. Throw these in a trash can, too, rather than into your toilet bowl.

3. Paper Towels and Kleenex

Yes, they are made of paper. However, paper towels and Kleenex are constructed differently than toilet paper. Paper towels are meant to soak up and absorb spills, not break down in water. Kleenex and other tissues are meant to absorb liquid while being kind to your face. Neither of these belong in the toilet, even if you have to use them as a substitute for toilet paper. Make sure they hit the wastebasket.

4. Toxic Substances

MedicationCigarette butts, medications, and bleach are all things that don’t belong in your toilet. Cigarette butts capture nicotine and other poisons in their filters. These poisons get released into the water, creating an environmental hazard. Medications don’t break down in the water and can release toxins, creating negative environmental effects. While you might think using bleach is okay to clean you bowl, it’s too harsh for most systems.

5. Stringy Items

Avoid throwing hair and dental floss in the toilet. Both items can form a net that grabs onto other foreign substances. Dental floss may also wrap itself around a septic system’s electrical motors and cause them to burn out.

Even if you know everything that shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, it doesn’t mean everyone else in the household has the same information. If you end up with a sewer backup or an overflowing toilet that you can’t fix, you need a company that provides 24-hour emergency plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA. Contact Stahl Plumbing and let them come help you get things cleared up.