Can you flush paper towels, hair, or kleenex down the toilet? What to do when Accidentally flushed

Plumbers often have to come out and unclog a toilet. The problem is that people tend to flush items that they shouldn’t. This can lead to clogs that hold the water and make it come back up the toilet. To avoid this messy situation, we will take a look at what can be flushed and what shouldn’t. Let’s dive in.


Can you flush paper towels down the toilet?

Plumbers have a test for toilet paper. They dip it 3 times in water to see if it dissolves. You can do the same to check if the paper towels will dissolve in water. Most paper toilets don’t so it is often best to throw them in the trash bin instead of the toilet.

It is often better to be safe than sorry as a clog can cost a lot of money and cause a lot of damage. It is possible that the plumber has to break the floor or wall open if there is a clog. You want to avoid this. In most instances, it won’t be a problem the first time but the paper pulp will build up over time and can cause issues.

Wet wipes are definitely causing a lot of problems and plumbers often report that paper towels also create clogs. Especially if you have a septic system, you should be careful what your flush.

Even cheaper toilet paper might not dissolve and this can lead to problems as well. Stick to the best brands and test the paper yourself if you are not sure. Septic systems in rural areas can require special toilet paper. 

In some countries such as Argentina, toilet paper shouldn’t be flushed. The plumbing system is not able to process this as they don’t have the infrastructure to process this. The same is true about flushing toilet paper in these countries as well.

An example of a wastewater processing plant that cleans wastewater (including toilet paper) can be seen below:

Can you flush hair down the toilet?

Hair won’t dissolve in water so it is better that you don’t flush it. It should be thrown in the garbage bin. Hair can clog together with paper and other items and cause issues. For this reason, it is better to refrain from flushing hair down the toilet.  The hair should be thrown in the bin.

A few hairs are generally not a problem though. They might build up over time but in most cases, they should get flushed away. The main problem is when you start to flush a lot of hair as this can start to create problems and clogs.

Hair also shouldn’t be thrown in the sink as it can clog up the drain of your bathroom or kitchen sink as well.

Toilets have been designed to flush poop, pee, and toilet paper. These items will dissolve after a while and water can transport them. Hair won’t dissolve and can get stuck along the way. Drains often contain small impurities. Hair can get stuck there. The hair in its turn can trap other objects and over time you get issues. 

Hair can be long and thick and this can clump together in a hard clog. It is often quite easy to remove these but this takes quite some effort and you might have to call a plumber to come out. Don’t use chemicals to unclog your toilet as this can cause damage.

A plunger is often the best option. If that didn’t work, you can opt to use an auger. Plumbers use water pressure and cameras to fix clogs. They are able to fix problems that are further in your drains. In some situations, they have to open up the drains to get them fixed. This is a lot of work and expensive. 

Hair clogs are often quite easy to fix but it is better to avoid this problem. You can use a vacuum or brush to collect your hair after you have cut it. Once this is done, you can use a dustbin and throw the hair in the garbage. In some cases, hair can be sold as well as it is used in some products such as wigs.

Can you flush Kleenex tissues down the toilet? Flushable or not

No, Kleenex tissues have not been designed to flush in the toilet. They generally won’t dissolve in the water and this can cause problems. You can test it yourself by dipping them in water and seeing if they dissolve or not. Toilet paper gets flushed quite easily as it dissolves into smaller pieces and the water can push this away.

Once it is in the sewage system, it gets broken down even more and this makes it easier for the treatment facility to clean and process the water. They also have some wipes that they claim are flushable. Most plumbers recommend that you don’t flush them anyway.

So even if it doesn’t create problems in your plumbing system, it can cause issues further down the system. It might not sound like your problem what is happening in a treatment facility but they can increase the price that you have to pay if they have to add more processes to get the water cleaned.

So it can cost you quite a lot if you flush items that shouldn’t be flushed. It can back up your toilet or increase other costs. For this reason, it is important that you stick with the items that can be flushed without too many issues. 

Plumbers often have to remove Kleenex and wet wipes from drains as people often don’t realize that they are not flushable.

Can you flush condoms?

No, you shouldn’t flush condoms. They don’t dissolve in water. What is more, they can fill with water and dirt. This can cause clogs as the rubber can get stuck. Especially if you flush a lot of items together that shouldn’t be flushed (such as hair, paper towels, and so on), you can cause problems. If you rent the place, it can lead to embracing situations as the plumber will have to explain to the owner what caused the problem. 

As far as we know there is no brand of condoms that can be flushed. It is not something that they take into account when they design this product. The packaging often mentions that you should throw them in the garbage bin. This is the best option to dispose of them and plumbers agree that you shouldn’t flush them. Some people wrap them in paper and flush them this way but this is not a great solution as the paper dissolves but the condom itself doesn’t. This can create problems. So from Durex to lesser-known brands, you shouldn’t flush them. 

To conclude, we can say that plumbers often have to deal with clogged toilets. A lot of items can’t be flushed as they don’t dissolve in water and can create clogs. For this reason, it is important that you buy good toilet paper and don’t throw anything else in the toilet. It can take a while to get problems if you throw things in the toilet that don’t belong but it can create a lot of problems.

Getting these fixed can be an expensive ordeal. It can take several hours to remove a clog and plumbers tend to charge more for this type of work as it can be quite dirty. It is easy to avoid this by adding a bin in the toilet room or bathroom. This has to be cleaned quite regularly but it makes sure that you don’t have clogs in your toilet or main sewer line. 

We have discussed what you have to do if you have flushed a lighter here.