Toronto Mike

To Flush or Not to Flush?

To Flush or Not to Flush

It can seem sometimes like whatever gets flushed down the toilet is simply removed from the face of the Earth. But of course even if it’s out of sight, some items can cause problems as they travel through your pipes.

For the sake of your plumbing system, it’s important to know what can and cannot be flushed down the toilet. Read on to learn more about some of the everyday items that shouldn’t be sent through your pipes.

Dental Floss

It might seem thin and flexible, but dental floss can get snagged on the inside of pipes and create a blockage. Gradually, other things running through your pipe get caught on the floss and grow over time.

Dental floss isn’t biodegradable, and chemical drain cleaners aren’t designed to break it down. There are drain repair experts in Toronto you can call 24/7 to inspect your toilet drain and clear what’s blocking it in a flash.

Expect the company you hire to offer top quality customer service — they should explain the nature of the work they need to do and all the charges in a way that’s clear, so you understand what is being done to your plumbing system and are never surprised when the bill comes. Also, they should use drop sheets before they begin the job so your bathroom stays clean and you don’t need to wash it afterwards.

Menstrual Products

Sanitary products such as tampons, pads and liners are made from cotton, which means they expand when they comes into contact with liquid. If you flush them down the toilet, they’re likely to get caught on a pipe.

Then, as with dental floss, other things get stuck to it and the blockage grows. Sanitary products should either be placed in the garbage or, if they’re plastic-free, in the compost box.


If your medication has past its expiry date, it can be dangerous to wildlife to flush them down the toilet. It’s important to keep medication out of the sewage system because the treated water makes its way back into the environment.

Studies link prescription medication like hormonal birth control and antidepressants to changes in aquatic life, influencing the behaviour and biology of entire ecosystems.

While the harmful effect caused by prescription medications getting sent down the drain is relatively small, it’s recommended to keep pills out of any drain. To safely dispose of prescription drugs, contact your nearest pharmacy to see if they have a take-back program where they collect and then safely destroy the drugs.

Only flush down the toilet what your plumbing system was meant to handle: water, human waste and toilet paper. Anything outside of this should be tossed into the garbage can, the compost bin, recycling box, or in some other form of safe and environmentally friendly disposal.  Keep this in mind and you’ll keep the pipes in your own home running properly, as well as help your local water treatment centre.

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