Many of us, knowingly or unknowingly, tend to flush certain items down the toilet instead of tossing them in the trash can. Unfortunately, we don’t realize that these seemingly harmless items can cause major plumbing issues.

For instance, small items such as cigarette butts and cotton swabs are one of the major causes of toilet blockages. Continuing on the topic, here’s a list of items you should never flush down your toilet if you want to avoid major plumbing issues.


Diapers don’t break down in water and can clog your toilet seat in the blink of an eye. And while you may not believe this, many people flush the diapers of their newborns in the toilet. If you are also a parent to a newborn, make sure you don’t flush the diapers down the toilet drain, even if the manufacturer says they are flushable.

Wet Wipes

Just like diapers, baby wipes don’t disintegrate in water. They seem harmless like toilet paper, but they don’t break down in water like toilet paper. And that’s why baby wipes are often the cause of a clogged toilet.

So, always ensure you throw them in the waste bin or stay prepared to call the best plumbers in San Diego to fix the issue.

Cotton Balls and Swabs

Cotton balls and swabs seem like small cotton items, so people tend to think they would easily get flushed. But the fact is that cotton doesn’t break down in water.

Instead, it gets soggy and forms lumps that clog the toilet in the long run. And when these lumps get bigger, they cause major plumbing issues that require plumbing service in Riverside, CA, to fix them.

Sanitary Pads and Tampons

Sanitary pads and tampons are products made to absorb liquid, so there’s no chance they would break down in water. Also, because of their absorbent properties, sanitary pads and tampons get too thick and clog the toilet pipes within no time. It is, therefore, advisable to wrap sanitary pads and tampons in waste paper and dispose of the same in the garbage bin.

Paper Towels and Tissues

Unlike toilet paper, paper towels and tissues do not break down in water. And while many people use them interchangeably (when they run out of either), make sure you don’t flush the paper towels and tissues down the toilet drain, just like you flush toilet paper. The waste bin is the best place to dispose of paper towels or tissue.

Dental Floss

Dental floss is made of nylon, so it doesn’t easily disintegrate in water. However, flushing dental floss in the toilet can lead to floss buildup, and it might even lead to other items getting wrapped around it, leading to bigger clumps that can clog the drain pipes and the sewer.

Also, dental floss is not just bad for your toilet drain but for the environment too. So, once you use it, make sure you toss the floss in the waste bin.


Never flush your unused or old medicines because wastewater treatment plants are not equipped to treat them. Flushing medications in the toilet can also lead to toxic environmental issues and endanger people’s health as it may end up in their drinking water. In fact, it also poses a risk to fish and other aquatic life.

Cigarette Butts

Many cigarette smokers tend to flush their cigarettes in the toilet. They probably do that to avoid fire caused by cigarette butts. But they don’t realize that flushing cigarette butts leads to clogged toilets.

No wonder flushing cigarettes is one of the main reasons toilets get clogged. Besides clogging the drains, cigarette butts also contaminate water as they contain tobacco and other hazardous products.

Cat Litter

If you are a cat parent or plan to adopt one in the future, you must pay attention to this. According to experts, cat litter tends to expand around 15 times when exposed to water.

Also, it tends to harden like cement, leading to major plumbing problems. Besides cat litter, one should also avoid flushing cat poop because it contains parasites that cause a disease called toxoplasmosis.


As a plumbing service in Riverside, CA, we often encounter plumbing blocks caused by hair flushed in the toilet. Remember, hair is like dental floss; it does not decompose in water and tends to get caught in the drain pipes.

And as the buildup grows bigger with time, the hair ends up clogging the toilet drain. So, one must avoid flushing hair at all costs.


Flushing one’s pet fish down the toilet is one of the age-old disposal methods. That, however, is not a good idea because it can cause significant damage to your plumbing or septic system. Since septic systems are designed to handle only human waste, water, and toilet paper, flushing fish in the toilet is a strict no.

These were some of the many everyday items people tend to flush down their toilets and end up with major plumbing blockages. If you are facing a plumbing blockage or need help with a plumbing issue, get in touch with us at Airight Cooling, Heating, & Plumbing, Inc.

Give us a call at 866-247-2420 or send us an email at, and one of our experts will get back to you.