Out of sight does not mean out of mind when it comes to flushing items down the toilet. In almost every situation, the toilet is not a place to dispose of things.

Flushing anything other than toilet paper down the toilet can clog your pipes or jam sewer pumps, leading to backups into homes, sewer overflows, and costly repairs.

What not to flush: 

  • "Disposable" or "flushable" personal hygiene wipes. Despite some marketing claims, you should not flush baby wipes or personal hygiene wipes down the toilet. Utilities nationwide are spending millions of dollars to clean products like “disposable” wipes that customers flush into sewer systems out of pumps and other equipment, according to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA).
  • Paper towels
  • Rags/shop towels
  • Feminine products 
  • Dental floss 
  • Disposable toilet wand heads
  • Cooking oils or grease. Pour it in a can for disposal in the trash. Find more information here
  • Cat litter
  • Medication. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, medications should never be flushed. Take drugs to collection events or the permanent collection site in the lobby of the Knoxville Police Dept. Safety Building, 800 Howard Baker Jr. Ave.

The effects of flushing

The Spokane Department of Wastewater Management explains that what you flush down the toilet can often clog your pipes.