What Not to Flush – The List of What Never to Flush

Did your toddler just flush your cell phone down the toilet? There’s not much we can do to recover your cell phone (would you really want it back anyway?), but we can help you unclog those pipes. We’d also like to provide a list of things you should never flush down your toilet, no matter how tempted you may be.

What Not to Flush – Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

If you want to keep it simple, just remember this: never flush anything but human waste and toilet paper. Even with this, you’ll want to be careful not to flush too much toilet paper at one time (to avoid a clogged toilet).

Are you surprised? Have you thought it was okay to flush other things down the toilet? The following are items people commonly think are okay to flush but aren’t. We’ve provided reasons why you shouldn’t flush these items so you’ll understand the rationale behind the rule.

Sanitary Products

It might seem natural to flush these items down, but they’ll clog your pipes and land you a visit from the plumber.


Again, it might seem like an intuitive thing to flush, but wipes (baby wipes, facial wipes included) are made of materials that don’t break down. They can get snagged or bunched up together and clog up your pipes.

Prescription Drugs and Over-The-Counter Medications

While it might seem like a safe way to dispose of expired medications, you’re just dumping chemicals into the water system. Our water treatment plants are not equipped to remove all those chemicals from the water. In fact the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) advises you to dispose of medications by sealing them in a plastic bag and disposing of them in the trash. (While you’re thinking about what is in our water system, consider reading about water filtration systems and why even the Obama administration advises home owners to install water filters.)

Kitty Litter

Kitty litter (especially clay kitty litter) will clog your pipes for sure. Even the “flushable” kind is debatable, as it can still clog your pipes (much as the manufactures will claim it won’t), and Toxoplasmosis, a parasite found in kitty waste, is harmful to marine biology. We want to keep kitty waste out of our water system.


Don’t even think about it. Your chances of a nasty clogged toilet are astronomically high.

Paper Towels

We know it’s convenient to swipe the bathroom counter and toss the paper towel down the toilet, but you’re playing Russian roulette with a clogged pipe. Paper towels, even if torn into little pieces and flushed separately (which wastes a lot of water) will not break down and will cause clogs in your pipe.

Facial Tissue

Facial tissue doesn’t break down like toilet paper does, but there’s yet another reason not to flush it: to save water. It’s never a good idea to use the toilet as a trash can. You’re wasting anywhere from 2-5 gallons of water every time you flush.

Cigarette Butts

Cigarettes contain chemicals that you don’t want entering the water supply. Keep in mind that sewerage is treated and recycled, so we want to keep our water as chemical-free as possible.


These cause more problems that you’d imagine, because they get tangled up in other stuff and cause clogged pipes.


You’d think it’s so small that it wouldn’t cause a problem, but it doesn’t biodegrade and can get tangled around toilet paper, causing clogs in pipes.

Troubleshooting a Clogged Toilet

If you’ve got a clogged toilet, contact us for immediate relief. We’ll gladly perform the following services, as needed:

  • Unclog your toilet or pipes
  • Discuss toilet replacement options (including low-flush and other water-saving options)
  • Help you fix toilet leaks and flushing issues

Need Charlotte Plumbing Services?

Are you interested in more information about clogged drains?

Looking to find drain cleaning services?

Need assistance or advice regarding a clogged sink drain?

E.R. Services is open 24/7, 365 days a year. You don’t need to take time off work or wait until the morning because we never charge extra for nights or weekends. Just give us a call at 704-269-1066 or use our online contact form.

Learn more about Charlotte drain cleaning here.

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Serving the Charlotte metro area, including Charlotte suburbs. Looking for Charlotte plumbing services? Ballentyne plumbing services? We’ll get the job done now and the job done right. 30+ years experience, fully staffed and committed to customer satisfaction.

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