can you flush tampons

Can You Flush Tampons? Here’s What Not to Flush Down the Toilet!

You may be wondering, can you flush tampons? It might make sense to be able to flush tampons, but it’s not a good idea. Unfortunately, flushing things that you shouldn’t flush is one of the main reasons from toilets clogging. A plunger may be able to fix clogs most of the time, but eventually that won’t be enough. If a clog is bad enough, you may have to call a professional for help. Here’s what not to flush down the toilet.

Flushable Wipes

flushable wipes

Just because these are labeled as “flushable wipes” doesn’t mean they are flushable. Wipes are one of the main reasons for blockages in your pipes. This is due to the fact that many people believe they are flushable. So the next time you see flushable wipes in the stores, remind yourself just how bad that could be for your toilet.


Condoms are usually made out of latex, which will not be able to break down at all in your plumbing. It might be tempting to just flush it away, but it will cause you issues later on. Even flushing this material once can cause potential issues to your plumbing.

Dental floss

Dental floss can potentially create a net that will hold in other waste products. It might not seem like it’s a problem at first, but floss could cause quite a few issues. Floss can create a net that will hold other products and prevent them from properly going down the toilet.

Can you Flush Tampons?

Can you flush tampons down the toilet…? Well you can, but this won’t turn out well for your toilet. Pads and tampons are designed to absorb liquid, which can be very bad for your plumbing. They will expand quite a bit once they soak up the water from the toilet.

Paper towels and tissues

There is one major difference between toilet paper and paper towels/ tissues, toilet paper is designed to flush down the toilet. Paper towels and tissues simply just aren’t meant to be flushed. They do not disintegrate and break down the way that toilet paper does.

paper towels


It may not seem like there are many ways to properly dispose of medication. While flushing it down the toilet may seem like a good option, it’s not. Medication is obviously not meant to be broken down in water, and can therefore create issues with your plumbing when flushed.

Cigarette butts

Not only are cigarette butts bad for your plumbing, they’re also bad for the environment. It’s better to play it safe and dispose of them properly.

Cat Litter

Contrary to popular belief, flushing cat litter will most likely cause problems in your plumbing. Just like with “flushable wipes”, flushable cat litter is not flushable in most situations. The majority of toilets don’t use enough water to properly flush something like cat litter.


Tossing your diapers in the toilet may seem like a good way to dispose of them but it’s not. For the same reasons you shouldn’t flush tampons, they are designed to be absorbent. Diapers are even worse than tampons and pads because of their larger size.


No one wants to deal with hair being clogged in your shower drain, so why would it be any better in your toilet? Hair works similar to dental floss in that it creates a net and allows other forms of waste to get trapped in it. It doesn’t break down, so it can be an even bigger issue for your pipes.

clean out hair in shower drain by hand


Gum may just be worse to flush down the toilet than hair. It is sticky and easily holds things. This could allow other types of waste to cling to it and create a giant clog. As you may already know, gum also doesn’t break down. This is another reason why gum could cause serious issues.

Cooking grease

Flushing cooking grease can cause many problems. Grease becomes thicker as it cools, which could easily lead to a clog. It is a very common issue that could lead to expensive repairs. Grease typically creates big clogs to your plumbing, whether you pour it down your sink or your toilet.


Planning a funeral for your pet fish? Looks like the toilet is no longer an option. Similar to the other items on this list, fish don’t disintegrate in water. 


garbage disposal is jammed - food being stuffed down kitchen food waste disposer

If your food hasn’t been digested, it’s not meant to be flushed. Food may be biodegradable, but it still takes time for it to break down. Even if it only clogs your toilet for a short period of time, it will still cause many issues.

Cotton swabs, cotton balls

Any sort of cotton material is bad to flush down the toilet. Cotton isn’t able to break down the way toilet paper does. This can lead to them clumping together and creating a serious clog. There are so many cotton products that people flush down the toilet. This is why it’s so bad to flush tampons, diapers, cotton balls, and cotton swabs.


Many people will use bleach to clean their toilets, but it’s actually too harsh for your toilet. It’s best to use something less harsh to clean your toilet, such as vinegar.

Too much toilet paper

Toilet paper is meant to be flushed and broken down. If you use too much toilet paper, it will not be able to break down as easily as it should.


Bandages are typically made from a type of plastic. When they are flushed they won’t break down. It may seem like a small enough amount that it won’t make a difference, but even the smallest things can lead to big clogs.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses may not be a giant problem for your plumbing, but it could cause damage to the environment. As with bandages, contacts are small items that could lead to big clogs. They are made from a mixture of silicone and plastic.

Final Thoughts

There are more things you shouldn’t put down your toilet than things you should. Products advertised as “flushable” aren’t actually flushable. You will end up paying a lot of money to fix your toilet and drains if you flush these things. It’s worth it to avoid flushing these products and save yourself money. If in doubt remember the 3 p’s that are meant to be flushed; poop, pee, and paper.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you need to clear a clogged pipe. 1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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