Few clean-up activities are more unpleasant than a clogged, over-flowing toilet. And it seems toilets decide to clog on holidays, right before you go on vacation, or right after you have cleaned the bathroom floor, correct?

Well, we all know toilets don’t decide to clog on their own! (Even though it feels like they do!)

While there is a myriad of reasons for a backed-up, overflowing toilet (you have a first-generation low-flow toilet, clogged trap, plumbing vent is blocked, the problem with your sewer line), one of the most common reasons is someone flushed something non-flushable. Don’t start pointing any fingers!

It’s truly amazing what people think they can flush down the toilet. And just because you seemingly got away with it, doesn’t mean you won’t have a problem later as some non-flushable items take a while to build up and cause that clogged, over-flowing nightmare on Thanksgiving Day!

So, to help you avoid a toilet disaster, here are some of the worst things you can flush down your toilet. And maybe later you can read this with other family members to help them get the hint.

The Top 10 Things to NEVER EVER Flush Down Your Toilet

Tissues and Paper Towels

This is one of the most common items people think it’s O.K. to flush down their toilet. Unlike toilet paper, the materials used to make tissues and paper towels do not dissolve easily and are far more likely to clog your toilet, as well as cause problems for your septic tank if you have one.

Cat Litter

Cat litter is bad for your toilet. Let’s repeat that…cat litter is bad for your toilet, even if your cat litter says it’s flushable. It will hang around in your pipes and just wreak havoc in general. Put cat litter in a disposable plastic bag and throw it out with your weekly garbage pick-up.

Disposable Diapers

Disposable diapers should be disposed of in a diaper pail or some other contraption designed to get rid of dirty, smelly diapers…just because they have been wasted on them does not mean they belong in the toilet.

Cotton Items

Cotton, while a seemingly innocuous material, will wreak havoc with your plumbing because it doesn’t break down easily. So, no cotton swabs, cotton balls, Q-tips, or any other cotton items should be flushed, ever.


Tampons can easily and quickly create clogged toilets. While it seems convenient to flush tampons, it is detrimental to your toilet and overall plumbing system.


Condoms should be thrown in the trash and never flushed. The latex materials are bad for your plumbing.


Pills should be ground up and thrown in the trash, or you can find your local medicine take-back program in order to dispose of them. Flushing them down the toilet can cause chemicals to get into sewer systems and even groundwater, which is not good for the environment or people.


Plastic is a big problem for your toilet. It does NOT dissolve and it does NOT belong in your toilet.

Dental Floss

This is another item that seems convenient to flush, but it belongs in the trash. Its stringy nature does not break down and can wrap around other non-flushable items to create one big giant problem.


Food seems like it could be easily flushed without a problem, but it is a problem. Throw your food in the trash or compost. It doesn’t belong in the toilet.

And here are three more bonus items…


You see what hair does to your bathroom sink and it will do the same to your toilet over time. Throw it away in the garbage!


Gums is sticky and it will stick to your pipes…enough said!


Cigarette butts and ashes are simply not good for your septic or sewer system. The chemicals in cigarettes can be harmful to either system and cigarette butts can easily lead to a clogged drain.

Flushable Wipes

And finally, one of the most common flushing mistakes is “flushable” wipes. Don’t let the word flushable fool you! While the packaging says it is flushable, if your plumbing system is not in top working order, these wipes can cause a blockage.

We hope you find these tips helpful and look forward to sharing more with you in the future!

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