Every day, emergency plumbers unblock toilets that have been clogged by people flushing things they shouldn't. Here are five household items that are definitely not flushable, no matter what the packaging claims.
1. Wet Wipes
Many brands of wipes are labelled "flushable," but plumbers strongly advise that you do not put any of them into the toilet. Consumer testing has shown that even "flushable" brands of wipes don't break down in water. That means they are likely to get stuck in toilet plumbing and cause a blockage.
Even if they make it out of your home without wreaking havoc on your plumbing, wet wipes build up in sewers, contributing to fatbergs which cost Australian water service providers roughly $15 million a year to clear. Throw them out with your solid household waste to avoid being part of the problem.
2. Dental Floss
Dental floss does not dissolve or decay when you flush it away. Although each strand of floss is tiny, they can wrap around other items to increase the risk of a clog forming. Always throw your dental floss out with solid waste rather than flushing it down the toilet.
Tampons are designed to absorb a huge amount of liquid. When you soak one in water, it can swell up to several times its original size, which means it can cause a clog if you flush one down the toilet. Place used tampons in a plastic bag and dispose of them with solid household waste instead of flushing them. Keep a supply of bags and a bin with a lid in your bathroom to encourage guests to do the same.
Some people find it embarrassing to put their used condoms in a bathroom bin, but watching an emergency plumber extract them from a blocked toilet is even more mortifying. To dispose of a used condom correctly, tie a knot in the end, place it back inside the condom wrapper and place it in the bin. If you are worried about anyone seeing the wrapper in the trash, you can wrap some toilet paper around it before you throw it out.
Although hair is natural, it takes a very long time to degrade, which means it can contribute to a blockage in your home plumbing system. Next time you pull hair from your hairbrush or comb, be sure to place it in the bin instead of the toilet.
For more information, contact your local emergency plumber today.