With many in our community staying home, Rooter Man wanted to remind folks there are certain things you shouldn’t flush down the toilet. For every obvious pick, there are a few we’re all guilty of tossing in, just because we didn’t realize it would cause any issues — until we had to call Rooter Man to help.

To ensure that your pipes stay clog-free, here are the 15 you should really, truly avoid.

  1. Baby Wipes – and we are talking about event the “flushable” ones. These are frequently the cause of clogs and should always be thrown out in a wastebasket instead. “Flushable” wipes don’t disintegrate the way toilet paper does, which can eventually cause plumbing issues.
  2. Q-tips and Cotton Pads/Balls – they don’t break down the way toilet paper (even cotton toilet paper) does. All they really do is clump together in your pipes and cause problems.
  3. Feminine Products – these products (tampons, pads, etc.) should never be flushed down the toilet. They are products that are meant to absorb water, not break down in it, meaning they’ll only expand when you flush them — and that’s no good for your plumbing.
  4. Condoms – they are not designed to break down in water, so flushing them can cause clogs in toilets.
  5. Diapers – use a diaper pail! They expand in water and diapers are probably already too big to get down the drain anyway. But on the off-chance that you can and do, it will expand and get caught in your pipes.
  6. Dental Floss – floss basically turns into a net when flushed, catching and holding onto other debris and clogging your pipes.
  7. Paper Towels & Tissues – you might think paper towels and tissues aren’t all that different from toilet paper, but they’re simply not designed to break down the way toilet paper does. In the event that you need to use paper towels or tissues in place of toilet paper for any reason, put them in a wastebasket instead.
  8. Medications – if you have old pills that you need to get rid of, don’t flush them — toilet water doesn’t break them down properly, meaning the medication gets into the water and can cause toxic environmental effects

  9. Cigarette Butts – they can cause clogs, but flushing cigarettes down the drain adds toxic chemicals to our community’s water system.

  10. Kitty Litter – some brands claim to be flushable, but most toilets don’t use enough water to move the litter along properly in your pipes. Also , cat waste from the litter box should also not be flushed, because the litter dehydrates the waste and toilets are meant to flush water soluble waste.

  11. Hair – like dental floss, hair forms a sort of net when you flush it down the drain and gets caught on basically everything — plus, it floats, and it never dissolves in water no matter how long it’s in there

  12. Gum – chewing gum doesn’t exactly break down in water, plus, it’s sticky and can easily adhere to the inside of your pipes and cause a clog.

  13. Cooking Grease – cooking grease congeals when it cools, which means it’ll do the same in your pipes.

  14. Fish – it is standard that people flush their pet fish when they die, but this is actually not a good idea — they don’t break down in water, so flushing a fish or anything like it down the toilet can absolutely cause a clog.

  15. Food – flushing food that hasn’t been digested can cause problems for your plumbing, too. Sure, it’s biodegradable and will break down eventually, but it can cause clogs until that happens.