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Is it bad to flush facial tissue down the toilet?


When you have facial tissue you need to get rid of, is flushing it safe? You might not think it’s a big deal. However, you should never flush facial tissue down the toilet. Learn more about why this is a bad idea and what else you shouldn’t flush.


Why You Should Never Flush Facial Tissue and Paper Towels


Facial tissue, paper towels, and toilet paper are all paper products, so why can’t they all be flushed? While they’re all made of paper, they’re not quite the same. Toilet paper is specially designed to break up quickly and easily when flushed down the toilet. This helps prevent it from clogging up your toilet and pipes, which lowers the risk of plumbing disasters. It also won’t cause any problems with your local sewer system when it’s flushed.


Facial tissue and paper towels have a different design than toilet paper. When you flush facial tissue or paper towels, water in your toilet doesn’t cause them to disintegrate right away. These paper products aren’t made to break up the way toilet paper is, so they can end up clogging pipes or the sewer system. If this happens, it can lead to a serious blockage that causes sewage to back up into your home. Keep in mind that facial tissue and paper towels are made to remain intact longer, so they can absorb more moisture.


What to Do If You Flush Facial Tissue or Paper Towels


If you do it once, it shouldn’t cause any problems. However, if you have a habit of flushing these items down the toilet, you should watch for signs of trouble. If your toilet stops flushing properly, you might have a clog from paper towels or facial tissue. These items can become stuck in the toilet trap or the pipe leading from the toilet. This type of blockage stops water from being able to drain when you flush.


If your toilet isn’t flushing right, you can use a plunger to remove the clog. If the blockage is too far down or if it’s too big, you’ll need to have a plumber come over to handle it. At Forrest Anderson, we can remove these clogs using a plumbing snake that reaches far down into the pipe. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use that toilet until it’s fixed.


Other Items You Shouldn’t Flush


Facial tissue and paper towels aren’t the only items to avoid flushing. Certain items can also cause plumbing problems, while others can harm local water supplies. The following items can cause blockages in your pipes or the sewer system:

  • Grease, oil, and fat

  • Disposable diapers and baby wipes

  • Cleaning wipes

  • Sanitary napkins and tampons

  • Dental floss

  • Cat litter

  • Cotton balls and Q-tips

  • Rags

  • Towels

  • Any bulky items, even if they’re labeled flushable or disposable

The following items can cause problems for local water supplies. Flushing these items can contaminate water supplies and harm local fish and wildlife:

  • Medications

  • Insecticides and pesticides

  • Cleaning products and other household products containing chemicals

In general, the only items you should be flushing are toilet paper and waste. Sticking to this rule helps prevent clogs and keeps your local water supply safe.


If you have a clogged toilet or if it’s not flushing right, contact Forrest Anderson for help. We provide dependable plumbing services for homeowners in the Phoenix area.


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