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While flushing is an essential part of the bathroom routine, it shouldn’t be used to dispose of items that can cause damage to plumbing and water systems. In addition to common clog-causing substances like hair and toilet paper, there are some things that should never be flushed down the Clogged toilet in Northwest San Pedro at all.

1. Baby Wipes: Many baby wipes, especially the “flushable” variety, aren’t designed to disintegrate down the drain line like toilet paper does. This means they frequently get stuck in a drain and cause clogs, according to American Water.

2. Cotton Balls & Swabs (related: feminine hygiene products): These can seem soft and squishy enough to easily slide through the drain pipe, but they don’t break down as quickly or easily as toilet paper does, and they can snag on other objects that may be in the drain. This can eventually clog the pipes, and you’ll have to call in a plumber to fix it.

3. Dental Floss: As with hair, floss isn’t made to dissolve in water, and it can easily wrap around other debris that’s in the drain after it’s been flushed, leading to larger clumps of gunk that can clog your sewer or septic system. To prevent this, always use a plastic bag to keep your floss dry and throw it out after you’re done.

4. Kitty Litter: While some types of cat litter do break down, others have clumping clay and sand that can clog up your toilet and drain. Rather than flushing, slip the waste and soiled litter into a waste basket or lined trash can and take it to the dumpster before allowing it to decompose.

5. Bleach: If you’ve been using bleach to clean your toilet, be aware that it’s a chemical that can actually damage your septic or sewer system. It’s also too harsh for your septic tank to handle, so it’s best to avoid flushing it altogether.

6. Food & Oils: If you’re cooking, be sure to wait until the foods have fully cooled down before pouring them down your drains. The fats, oils and grease that come with most cooking ingredients can harden into a solid that can clog your drains.

7. Medication: If you have old medication that you’re trying to dispose of, don’t flush it down the toilet. This will only make it harder for the medication to break down in the water.

8. Gum: The old joke about chewing gum is that it will stay in your digestive tract for years, but this just isn’t true. As How Stuff Works points out, this is because the stuff hasn’t had a chance to break down in the toilet or septic system.

9. Cigarette Butts: As with all waste, cigarette butts are toxic and should be disposed of in the trash. They contain a number of chemicals that can seep into your sewer system or septic tank, which will then create problems for you down the road.

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