If you have children or pets, life can be fun and interesting. Chances are you may have found a toy floating in your toilet bowl at one time or another. And it may have gotten flushed. Beyond this, there are other, less obvious, things that should stay out of the toilet and plumbing pipes in your Charleston-area home. You may be surprised about some of them!
These are the top items that can plug your toilet and create a plumbing disaster:
- Food: This may partially dissolve, but never enough to allow it to go smoothly down the toilet or pipes. You could end up with clogged sewer pipes or you might need drain cleaning.
- Hair: Hair becomes hairballs in the toilet. Hair is a big clumper that doesn’t dissolve well, so inform family members to clean hairbrushes or combs over the trash can, not the toilet. (In the shower, we recommend using a hair-catcher or hair trap to safely protect the drain, by the way.)
- Feminine hygiene products: Tampons and similar items are not designed to be flushed down a toilet.
- Capsules or pills: Again, these contribute to clumps of material that can block the plumbing pipes. They can also cause trouble in your septic system or sewer if they make it that far.
- Dental floss: It can get tangled in with clumps of toilet paper.
- Cotton swabs (Q-tips) and cotton balls: These absorb water, grow larger, and clump with other flushed items.
- Diapers: Sometimes these go down accidentally, but they are way too bulky to flush safely.
- Paper towels and facial tissue: These can also clump up and block the toilet drain. Some facial tissue is moisturized, which can make clumping and tough sewer clogs more likely.
- Baby wipes, facial cleansing pads, or wet wipes: Can you flush baby wipes? Are wipes flushable? No, don’t flush, even if the product says flushable.
- Greasy liquids or baby oil: Grease gums up the works and can help “glue” together pieces of toilet paper and other gunk in your pipes. (Cooking grease is not safe for the garbage disposal either.)
- Large amounts of toilet paper: Maybe someone bought a supply of thicker toilet paper than you are used to, and you use too much. Or maybe the paper is thin and you need to use a lot. Never trust it. If you’ve used quite a bit of paper, flush, and then continue using more. Better safe than sorry.
Are Flushable Wipes Safe to Flush?
No. Do manufacturers lie about (or exaggerate) what their products can do? Yes. Please don’t believe the packaging when it says “flushable”—because you can’t count on that promise. In fact, the fine print usually brings you back to reality by admitting the manufacturer can’t guarantee flushability. So, if you find yourself tempted to trust any brand’s hype—don’t do it!
The so-called flushable wipe is a fairy tale. It is a marketing myth, because every homeowner has different types, ages, and widths of plumbing pipes in Charleston. None are big enough to let these wipes pass through. The same is true in West Ashley, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville, of course. So, are flushable wipes really flushable? No.
These wipes may disintegrate easier than some toilet paper, and that may be the basis of the “flushable” claim. Unfortunately, however, pieces of so-called flushable wipes can easily clump together and create a nasty toilet clog.
No matter what the packaging says, flushable wipes are not safe for your plumbing system. How can they use the word flushable without a class action suit? We’re not sure about that one. If these non-flushable wipes cause a toilet blockage problem in your home, our friendly team of plumbing professionals in Charleston is ready to help with any toilet clog, at any time.
Where to Get Charleston Plumbing Help When You Flush Something by Mistake
If any of the above no-no items end up in your toilet, no worries! We’ve seen it all before and we know how to get your plumbing working again quickly. It’s easy to forget our “what not to flush down the toilet” advice, and flushing the wrong thing can happen accidentally. We also serve the areas of Mount Pleasant, West Ashley, and Summerville.