No, you cannot flush dental floss down the toilet.
There are a lot of items that should never find their way to the sewer line, and most of them are pretty obvious. A quick survey will undeniably show that most people know and acknowledge that non-biodegradable wastes are harmful to our drainage systems.
However, we tend to neglect the impact of some of these wastes, which will end up clogging your toilet pipes. One is dental floss. While it may seem small and harmless, flushing your dental floss down the toilet frequently clogs the sewer lines.
Dental floss is made of nylon or Teflon, two non-biodegradable materials. Consequently, they’ll last in the sewer lines as long as possible. Now what happens is that sometimes non-flushable matter such as baby wipes, hair, grease, or dirt finds its way down the drain.
The dental floss will then wrap around this matter and ball up into big clumps. The result is that the dirt balls will eventually cause clogging and blockages within your wastewater lines.
Additionally, the floss and dirt ball can trap other matter as they move down the sewer lines. A point will come when the ball is big enough to clog your area’s wastewater lines, thus threatening water quality and public health.
Furthermore, wastewater line clogs resulting from such carelessness costs local agencies thousands of dollars in annual maintenance costs as they try to unclog drainage pipes and prevent sewage spillages.
Other Items You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet
Unfortunately, most of us dump many small items down the toilet. And, it’s safe to assume that that’s due to a lack of clear information on what we should and shouldn’t flush.
According to many sewerage companies and governments, the only three things that we should flush are pee, poo, and (toilet) paper. Or the three Ps. But they don’t say what we shouldn’t.
Therefore, one of these items may be the culprit if your toilet drain is clogged.
Baby wipes – Even when labeled as “flushable,” it is unsafe to flush baby wipes. They are a primary cause of sewer line clogs, as they don’t disintegrate as fast as toilet paper.
Cotton products – Cotton products include cotton pads, Q-Tips, cotton balls, and cotton pads.
Disinfecting wipes – Similar to baby wipes, disinfecting wipes are safe to flush but are slow to disintegrate. Consequently, they may pile up down the wastewater lines, resulting in clogs.
Band-aids – Adhesive bandages/ plasters/ band-aids are made from plastic or rubber latex, which are non-biodegradable materials.
Chewing gum – Chewing gum is both sticky and insoluble; hence flushing it down the toilet is catastrophic.
Cat litter – Though most advertisements promote cat litter as flushable, the truth is that it’s safer to throw them into the garbage bin. Most toilets don’t use sufficient water to push the litter down the drain, resulting in clogging.
Additionally, other non-flushable items that we often flush down the toilet include:
- Cigarette butts
- Cooking grease
- Paper towels
- And, condoms