Everyday Items that Clog Toilets (And How to Avoid Them)

bathroom toilet

If you ever explore older parts of Europe, like Greece, you will notice signs that prohibit even the flushing of toilet paper down toilets. Their older sewage system can’t handle modern toilet paper. This seems crazy to those of us who never think about how our plumbing works! Fortunately, the American sewage system is capable of handling toilet paper.

However, our pipes aren’t designed to accommodate many of the everyday items that people unknowingly flush down them. Clogged toilets are never fun. Depending on the source of the clogging, they can also be a costly problem to fix.  Even if the foreign items manage to make it through your plumbing, they can cause problems at your local wastewater treatment facilitates later on.

Avoid clogged toilets by refraining from flushing the following items.

Toilet paper

Of course, you can’t refrain from flushing toilet paper entirely. That is what it is designed for, after all! But young children often use far too much or see it as a game to see how much they can flush down at a time.  Make sure to teach your children about a reasonable amount to use each time.

Feminine Supplies

Public restrooms often have signs prohibiting the flushing of feminine supplies, but sometimes we don’t enforce this same practice at home. Sanitary napkins and tampons are not biodegradable, so they quickly clog pipes.  Trash them instead.

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Diapers and baby wipes

Putting diapers in the toilet may not have occurred to you, but it’s more common than you think. Flushing them may seem like a good away to avoid odors. However, diapers are large enough to instantly clog pipes. While baby wipes build up over time until eventually leading to a clogged toilet. Use odor eliminating trash bags instead.

Paper towels and cleaning wipes

As these are in the paper family, they can seem appropriate for flushing. Paper towels are too thick though and cause clogging. Cleaning wipes, even those marketed as “flushable”, have all sort of chemicals that aren’t biodegradable and will eventually lead to clogged pipes.


Hair is a common cause for clogging your shower drain, but if you repeatedly flush human and dog hair down your toilet, it will clog those pipes, too. 


Again, young children sometimes see it as a game to flush toys down the toilet. This often causes a clog that requires a plumber to fix. Avoid the expense by ensuring your children don’t play with toys in the bathroom unsupervised.

To be on the safe side, just assume that only toilet paper should ever be flushed down the toilet – and even then, watch the amount of paper you use.



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