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What Not to Put Down the Drain

Drain Clog Prevention

When it comes to our daily routines, flushing the toilet or washing our hands might seem like mundane tasks. However, what we choose to send down the drain can have a significant impact on both our plumbing systems and the environment. Before we dive into what you should never flush or drain, let’s start with the basics: what you can safely flush down the toilet:



And toilet paper. 

Proper usage = Drain Clog Prevention 

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s explore the items you should avoid flushing or draining to maintain the health of your plumbing and our shared ecosystems. Explore Drain Clog Prevention.

Baby Wipes and Flushable Wipes

While baby wipes and so-called “flushable” wipes may be convenient, they pose a real threat to your plumbing and local sewer systems. Unlike toilet paper, these wipes do not disintegrate quickly when exposed to water. As a result, they can accumulate and create blockages in your pipes, leading to costly repairs. It’s best to toss them in the trash to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

Dental Floss

Dental floss is deceptively sturdy. While it may seem harmless, it’s not biodegradable and can become a troublemaker in your plumbing. When dental floss combines with other debris, like hair or soap scum, it can form a tangled mass that clogs your pipes. Instead of flushing it down the drain, simply throw dental floss into the garbage.

Medications and Pharmaceuticals

Properly disposing of expired or unused medications is crucial for safeguarding our waterways. Flushing them down the toilet can introduce pharmaceuticals into our ecosystems, potentially harming aquatic life and even affecting our drinking water. To dispose of medications safely, check for local medication take-back programs or drop-off locations.

Cooking Grease and Oil

It’s tempting to pour cooking grease or oil down the sink after preparing a meal, but this practice can lead to plumbing nightmares. Grease and oil can congeal in your pipes, causing blockages that are challenging to remove. To avoid this, let the grease cool and solidify, then dispose of it in the trash.

Hair and Personal Care Products

The hair and personal care products we use daily can also contribute to plumbing issues if washed down the drain. These products can accumulate in pipes, leading to blockages and reduced water flow. To prevent this, consider tossing them into the trash instead.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Flushing feminine hygiene products can lead to plumbing woes and damage to sewage systems. These products are designed to absorb moisture and do not break down quickly in water. Dispose of them in the trash to avoid blockages.

Cotton Balls and Swabs

Cotton balls and swabs may seem harmless, but they do not break down in water like toilet paper. Flushing them can result in clogs and plumbing headaches. A simple solution is to throw them in the trash.

Hazardous Chemicals

Hazardous chemicals should never be flushed down the drain. Doing so can contaminate local water supplies and harm the environment. It’s essential to follow local regulations for the proper disposal of hazardous chemicals, which typically involves using designated collection sites or facilities.

Cat Litter

Cat litter, even the clumping variety, should not be flushed. It can combine with water to create dense masses that block pipes. Instead, dispose of cat litter in a sealed bag in the trash.

Paper Towels and Tissues

While toilet paper is designed to break down in water, paper towels and tissues are not. Flushing these items can lead to clogs in your plumbing. To keep your pipes free-flowing, dispose of paper towels and tissues in the trash. 


What goes down the drain has a far-reaching impact. By being mindful of what you flush or drain, you can protect both your plumbing system and the environment. Remember, when in doubt, it’s usually best to toss it in the trash instead of risking damage to your plumbing and contributing to sewer problems. Together, we can maintain the health of our plumbing systems and the cleanliness of our waterways.

HEATING, COOLING & Plumbing Specialists

Providing 5-Star Service in St. Louis, MO.

HEATING, COOLING & Plumbing Specialists

(636) 887-2800: Call or Text


325 Mid Rivers Mall Dr. St. Peters, MO 63376


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