A clogged toilet is one of the most unpleasant household problems. Dirty water flowing over the bathroom floor can lead to stains, water damage and lingering smells. Although an emergency plumber can often fix a blocked toilet relatively quickly, a better approach is to prevent the problem in the first place. Stop flushing these five items right now if you want to reduce your risk of a toilet clog.
1. Wipes (Even "Flushable" Ones)
If a wipe is marketed as "flushable", that must mean it is safe to flush, right? Unfortunately, tests by the consumer organisation CHOICE revealed that 11 varieties of Australian "flushable" wipes don't break down in water. According to plumbing experts, wipes that don't disintegrate quickly can become caught in waste pipes, causing blockages that are expensive to repair.
2. Feminine Hygiene Products
Tampons may look small and harmless, but they can cause serious blockages if you flush them down the toilet. Tampons are designed to soak up fluids, which can lead to them expanding and blocking your plumbing system. Kotex recommends wrapping tampons in toilet paper and putting them in the bathroom bin, rather than flushing them. If you use sanitary pads, simply wrap your old pad in the wrapper from your new one and dispose of it safely in the bin.
3. Dental Floss
Surely dental floss can't do any harm? Unfortunately, dental floss can snag on other objects in the waste pipe and contribute to clogs. Dental floss typically isn't biodegradable, which means it can hang around in the sewerage system forever. Over time, many pieces of floss can become tangled with each other or with other objects to cause a blockage. Flossing your teeth is a vital part of a dental hygiene routine, but you need to dispose of your floss responsibly.
Designed to hold fluids and resist breaking down in water, condoms can create major problems if you flush them. If a flushed condom fills with water or air, it can expand to create a serious clog in the pipe. Save yourself the embarrassment of having an emergency plumber extract a used condom from your plumbing system by wrapping condoms in toilet paper and putting them in the bin.
Hair is a natural substance, which leads many people to believe it must be flushable. Unfortunately, hair has a tendency to form large clumps that block pipes. As with every other item in this list, you should dispose of hair by putting it in the bin, not in the toilet.