It’s tragic but true: Sometimes, we learn things the hard way. And sometimes, we find out that our expensive plumbing problems are due to a flushed Thomas the Tank Engine. So in the hopes of thwarting future disasters, here’s a rundown of a few of the things you can’t put in a toilet.
That’s right—manufacturers are setting you up. Although “flushable” means that they will break down faster than other materials, it’s not fast enough to prevent clogs. Keep baby wipes and makeup wipes out of the toilet.
According to every movie ever, huge amounts of drugs are ending up in the toilets all the time. But introducing that much dry material to your system will overwhelm it and may even poison the water supply. When the cops come knocking, it’s better to put your hands up and face the music.
Using one: good. Flushing one: bad. And if you’re really lucky in love, condoms will accumulate in your pipes quickly.
This is a common mistake, but it makes sense. The sole purpose of tampons and pads is to absorb liquid and expand, which is the opposite of what your septic system needs.
The string is surprisingly insidious when you introduce it into your plumbing. It can tangle and wrap around any other debris, turning into a net that creates clogs. And if it wraps around parts of your septic system, it could burn out the motor.
If you’re dealing with a clogged toilet, a toddler is often the culprit. Toilets look like the perfect spot for toy boats or Barbies who need a bath. “Trolls” movie merch is making more guest appearances is pipes. Before you potty train your kids, train them not to throw in Mr. Potato Head parts, Minions, slime, Legos, Olaf…
Your toilet doesn’t use enough water to conduct litter through the septic system. Your cat’s waste shouldn’t go in there, either. The litter dehydrates it, making it less water-soluble.
It’s lovely to think that you might be returning Nemo to the ocean from whence he came. You’re not. He’ll probably end up lingering in a bend of pipe. Bury him with some dignity.
It’s in your best interest to remember the things you can’t put in a toilet because it doesn’t take much effort to save yourself hundreds in plumbing bills. And if you should actually want the flushed item back? That’s likely to involve multiple pipe removals, a jackhammer, and an infrared video camera. Next time you’re on your way to the bathroom, be careful in there. And mark your calendars: April 25 is National Hug a Plumber Day.