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It’s probably just routine… you blow your nose and toss the tissue in the toilet. You grab hair from the shower drain and drop it in the loo. Tampons, q-tips, dental floss, cotton balls, cigarette butts… they’ve all taken the dip.
But I bet you won’t flush them again after watching what happens in the simulated toilet swirl in the above video!
Turns out, the only things we’re supposed to flush is human waste and toilet paper. That’s it. No facial tissues, no tampons, no “flushable” diapers or wipes, no “flushable” kitty litter — none of it.
What can you flush down the toilet?
What happens if you do flush a non-flushable? It turns out these items can accumulate in household pipes, septic tanks, pumps, and city sewer lines, leading to expensive repairs over time.The materials used for flushable products continue to improve over time and some flushables have already been made to dissolve in the toilet more easily.
But don’t trust the label.
If you aren’t sure whether you can flush something down the toilet, simply swirl it around in a bucket of water to see if it’ll break down. If it dissolves in a few seconds like toilet paper, you’re safe. Otherwise, don’t flush it.
Most flushable products are biodegradable and can be composted. If your city does not have a compost program or does not accept household items, then discard the flushables with the regular household trash.
Good to know
Flushable products are made with mostly natural, biodegradable materials. So even if you can’t flush them, they are often a more eco-friendly purchasing choice than their non-flushable equivalents.