If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think too much about what happens to your pipes once all that water, food scraps, and assorted other materials travel through them. You’re just happy that it doesn’t come back up. Unfortunately, not everything that goes down your drains makes it to your septic tank or sewage treatment plant. Some items—like oil—will stick around for quite some time before making their way back up to clog your pipes. So, if you’ve ever wondered if it’s OK to flush certain things down your toilet or drain, check out our list of six things you should never flush down any drains! You’ll be glad you did – because the last thing you want is for your pipes to back up, causing flooding in your home or business. So, without any further ado, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of what shouldn’t go down your drains!
5 THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER FLUSH DOWN THE DRAIN
The typical residential drainage system is built to handle human waste and some toilet paper, but that’s about it. Flushing certain materials into your drains can damage your pipes and potentially clog up your sewage system. But what are these things? Which flushes should be kept out of your drain? Here are five common items you shouldn’t flush down your drain:
1. BABY WIPES
Disposable baby wipes are great for quick cleanups and are handy on the go, but they’re not ideal for your drains. If you accidentally flush a wipe down the toilet, you’re probably okay for a little while. But when your sewage system is overloaded with wipes, you could be in for some serious problems. You must understand that baby wipes are made of absorbent materials that can trap oil, grease, and other contaminants and eventually lead to clogged pipes. So keep your baby wipes out of your drains and enjoy a functional plumbing system.
Most people don’t think twice about flushing hair down their drains, but you really should. Hair is made of keratin, a tough material that will wind up wrapped around other organic materials (e.g., grease) and form large clogs in your pipes. It’s also a good idea to avoid flushing other synthetic products that contain keratin into your plumbing system—like tampons and other feminine hygiene products. If you have a lot of long, wet hair that you’re thinking about washing down your drain, consider instead using a compost bin or garbage can for those extra locks.
3. PAPER TOWELS & TISSUES
You might be tempted to toss used paper towels or tissues into your toilet bowl, but you should think twice before you do so. Just like wipes, these items can trap contaminants and grease and cause major problems down the line. It’s always a good idea to dispose of them in a proper trash bin instead of your drainpipes.
The sticky, chewy stuff can be difficult to get out of your hair and off of your clothes, but it’s even more trouble if you toss it down your drain. This is because chewing gum often contains ingredients that are not at all friendly to plumbing systems—like rubber and sugar. To make the matter worse, they attach themselves to other materials in your pipes, creating an intricate web-like structure that clogs up your entire system and makes it almost impossible for water to pass through.
5. COOKING GREASE
It can be easy to accidentally splash a little grease into your drain when you’re cooking, but it’s important to avoid flushing it down your pipes in any amount. Cooked grease doesn’t break down easily and will most likely harden inside of your pipes instead of properly traveling through them. When that happens, you’ll end up with clogs that are nearly impossible to remove—and these types of clogs often require professional cleaning or total replacement of drainage systems.
In essence, be wary of flushing anything that you wouldn’t want to come back up through your toilet. All of these items (and many more) can be put in your trash bin rather than flushed down your drain. Your plumbing system will thank you for it!
If you’d like to learn more about what to do if you have a plumbing emergency.