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The No-Flush List: What Should Never Go Down Your Toilet

Serving Glendale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Peoria, Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, and more of AZ with professional plumbing services since 2001

Let’s talk about a topic that might not be the most glamorous but is super important for keeping your plumbing in great shape: what should never be flushed down the toilet. You’d be surprised at the things we’ve found in toilets and main sewers. Here’s a rundown of items that should stay far away from your toilet, and why flushing them is a big no-no.

The No-Flush List: What Should Never Go Down Your Toilet
The No-Flush List: What Should Never Go Down Your Toilet
The No-Flush List: What Should Never Go Down Your Toilet
  • Personal Wipes (Yes, Even the “Flushable” Ones)- Despite what the packaging says, personal wipes, including those labeled as flushable, are a plumber’s nightmare. They don’t break down like toilet paper and can cause serious clogs.
  • Baby Wipes and Cleaning Wipes- Just like personal wipes, baby wipes and cleaning wipes (hello, holiday cleaning frenzy!) are too tough for your toilet. They can easily snag on any imperfection in your pipes and start a clog.
  • Paper Towels- Paper towels are way more durable than toilet paper and don’t disintegrate easily in water. Toss them in the trash instead.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products- Tampons, pads, and other feminine hygiene products are designed to absorb water, not break down in it. Flushing them can quickly lead to blockages.
  • Condoms- Condoms are not only non-biodegradable but can also inflate like balloons in your plumbing system, leading to embarrassing and costly clogs.
  • Toys- If you have kids, you know they can be curious. Make sure they understand that toys do not go in the toilet – they can cause major blockages.
  • Shampoo Caps, Rubber Gloves, and Makeup Brushes- These bathroom items might accidentally fall in, but make sure to fish them out. They’re not meant for the sewer system and can cause significant damage.
  • Q-Tips and Cotton Balls- These little guys might seem harmless, but they can clump together and create a big problem in your pipes. 
  • Cat litter- Most cat litter is designed to clump when it gets wet. This is great for scooping it out of the litter box, but not so great for your plumbing. When flushed, it can expand and harden, leading to serious clogs in your pipes.

Why It Matters

Flushing the wrong things can lead to clogs, sewer backups and even damage to the city sewage system. It’s not just about avoiding a call to the plumber; it’s about being responsible and keeping our water systems clean and functioning.

The Bottom Line

The only things that should go down your toilet are human waste and toilet paper. Everything else? Just toss it in the trash. It might seem like a small thing, but it makes a big difference in keeping your plumbing (and the environment) happy.


Remember, if you ever run into a plumbing issue or have questions about what’s safe to flush, Instant Plumbing and Rooter is here to help. We’ve seen it all, and we’re always ready to lend a hand (or sewer cable)!

The No-Flush List: What Should Never Go Down Your Toilet
The No-Flush List: What Should Never Go Down Your Toilet

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why can’t I flush wipes labeled as ‘flushable’?  

A: Despite their labeling, flushable wipes don’t break down quickly enough in the sewer system. They can clump together and cause blockages in your pipes, leading to costly repairs.

Q: What should I do with used feminine hygiene products if I can’t flush them?  

A: Feminine hygiene products should be disposed of in the trash. It’s a good practice to have a small bin in your bathroom for these and other non-flushable items.

Q: Can flushing the wrong items damage the city’s sewage system?  

A: Yes, flushing non-biodegradable items can cause significant issues in the larger sewage system, including blockages and damage to sewage treatment plants.

Q: Is it safe to flush small items like Q-tips or cotton balls?  

A: No, even small items like Q-tips and cotton balls can accumulate and cause clogs in your plumbing. They should be thrown in the trash instead of being flushed.

Q: What’s the best way to educate children about what not to flush?  

A: Teaching children about proper toilet use is crucial. Explain that only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed. Supervising young children in the bathroom can also help prevent unwanted items from being flushed.

About Us

Instant Plumbing and Rooter LLC is a family-owned and operated plumbing business in Phoenix, AZ. We’re a family of reliable professionals that use the latest techniques for dependable plumbing services. Since 2001, we have been taking care of our community’s plumbing needs promptly and professionally.

Through our work, we aim to change the perception of plumbers in our community. Our goal is to make homeowners like you more informed, as well as show others that being a plumber is not just about unclogging toilets.

A plumber brings hygiene, sanitation, and comfort to everyone, and that’s what we’re here to help you with.

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