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Household Items Not to Flush Down the Toilet

Items not to flush down the toilet!

As Calgary Plumbers we have seen many things you should not be flushing down your toilet. For example, you should not flush down tampons, bandages, oil, and hair. Most of these items can easily clog your plumbing system and cause a backup.

Unfortunately, many of these items are flushed down toilets regularly, causing many homeowners to spend money on repairs that could have easily been avoided.

Clogged Toilets are no joke and if you want to know what other items you should not flush down your toilet, this list can serve as your guide:

What NOT to flush down the toilet

Paper towels

Some paper towels are advertised as degradable and flushable, but you should not flush them down the toilet. There will always be something in their composition that can potentially clog up your pipes.

Additionally, paper towels are designed to collect and absorb things. Once they are down there, they will cling to all sorts of debris that can lead to a blockage


Oil might seem safe to flush down the toilet, but most types harden when cold. Since the water in your toilet is cool, the oil will harden on your pipe’s interiors. In a sense, they become like wax.

This “wax” can block water on its own, and it will collect any other items you may have flushed down the toilet. This can result in a massive blockage that is extremely tough to get rid of.


You might think that flushing down old or expired medication is a good idea since they all easily dissolve in the water anyway. Unfortunately, while medicine might not clog up the system, it does some other types of damage. It can kill the bacteria that break down sewage, It can also contaminate the water.

Pet litter

Flushing your pet’s litter might make sense since it contains your pet’s droppings and urine. Unfortunately, the litter itself is made out of things that do not belong in your pipes—sand, clay, and so on. These materials can easily accumulate and create a clog.

That being said, even your pet’s waste can be harmful to the water supply due to the parasites it may contain.


Food is one of the most common items people flush down their toilets. Once again, these can block a pipe since they will not dissolve in the water. What can make things worse is if the food contains lots of oils that can slowly collect inside the pipes and lead to a clog.

Dental Floss

Dental floss forms like a gill net in a toilet as the glazing isn’t always perfectly smooth and it will catch when flushed down the toilet.


Q-tips don’t degrade quickly and often get caught in your pipes, flushing these over time will often result in a blockage.


In conclusion, toilets were meant for the usual human waste only, anything else, as mentioned above, we recommend that you do not flush.

If you want to avoid unnecessary plumbing costs and repairs, do not flush any of the items above. In fact, do not pour them down any pipe, whether it be your sink’s drain or the toilet bowl. They will all clog up the system, leading to a variety of plumbing emergencies that can be costly.

It might seem a little inconvenient, but being careful about what you flush down your toilet will pay off in the long run. If your toilet does encounter an issue, do not hesitate to call a plumber!

Are you in need of a plumber to tackle your clogged toilet? Instant Plumbing can send you the professionals you need to get your toilet working once more. Reach out to us right away!

George Pinel
George Pinel

Master Plumber

I have been involved in this family owned business for 33 years now.

It has always been and will continue to be the core focus of Instant Plumbing & Heating to provide a long lasting relationship with our customers based on trust and integrity of our service and products.

This achieved by using the best quality materials. I as a business owner continue to mentor and treat my staff with the highest regard and respect, this interns helps them deliver to the client great quality workmanship and service.

It is our professional goal to leave a situation better than when we arrived both in how we do our work and in how you feel for having chosen us to do your work, we are in the anxiety reduction business using plumbing and heating service work to do it.

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