You know that tiny moment of uncertainty when you’re about to flush something down the toilet? Your instinct might say, “It’s small; it’ll be fine!” but reality can be messy. We’re all familiar with the basics: human waste and toilet paper, but the rules start to blur when we talk about other seemingly harmless items. So, let’s clear the air and ensure our septic systems stay shipshape. After a comprehensive septic review, we’ve compiled a list of things that shouldn’t go down the drain. Here are some of what you should never flush down the toilet; 

never flush

  1. Baby Wipes

These little guys are handy, whether it’s for a quick cleanup or a baby’s bum. But here’s the catch: they aren’t built to break down like toilet paper. Instead, they clump together, blocking pipes and causing havoc in our septic systems.

  1. Q-Tips and Cotton Pads

That one little Q-tip seems insignificant, but these cotton products become spongy obstacles in our plumbing. Picture this: a tiny dam blocking the smooth flow of water. Not the best image, right?

  1. Menstrual Products

No matter the brand or the promise, menstrual products like tampons and pads don’t belong in the toilet. Designed to absorb and expand, they become large obstructions when introduced to our septic systems. The result? Potential blockages that no one wants to deal with.

  1. Condoms

Now, I get it. Disposing condoms can be a tad awkward, and flushing them might seem like the quickest way out. But here’s the rub: condoms are designed for durability, not for disintegration in water. They can stretch and catch onto other debris when washed, causing substantial clogs. Keep them out of the toilet and avoid embarrassing plumbing issues.

  1. Diapers

It’s baffling how something so large even becomes a flushing consideration, but it happens! Diapers are designed to be super absorbent, which means they expand in the watery confines of your toilet. This can lead to immediate and severe blockages. Best to keep them securely wrapped and in the trash bin.

  1. Paper Towels

You might think, “It’s just like toilet paper, right?” Wrong. Toilet paper breaks down fast in water, so it’s easy on your pipes. But paper towels? They’re tougher and don’t fall apart as quickly. Even a small wad can cause a jam in your lines.

  1. Cosmetic Wipes

Whether removing makeup or freshening up, cosmetic wipes have become a staple in many bathrooms. But like baby wipes, they are not biodegradable. Flushing them is like sending a little net down your pipes; they can entangle with other items and form a blockage.

  1. Cat Litter

You might think, “It’s just waste, right?” but flushing cat litter is a definite no-no. Most litter, even those labelled “flushable,” can clump up when wet. And let’s not forget; cat litter contains waste which can introduce harmful bacteria into your septic system. Always dispose of it in the trash.

  1. Medications

It seems harmless to flush away those old pills, but drugs can have a broader environmental impact. These can pass through septic systems, contaminating groundwater and harming aquatic life. Instead of flushing them, look for local take-back programs or check with your pharmacy on proper disposal methods.


Your toilet might seem like a magical portal where unwanted items disappear, but there’s a complex system at work behind that flush. Protecting this system means being mindful of what we introduce into it. Stick to the basics: human waste and toilet paper. It’s better to find another place to throw it out. And if you need clarification on how your septic system is doing, it’s a good idea to call an expert for a septic inspection.