Seventeen products that absolutely must not be flushed down the drain and how to dispose of them
Source: Delfi Decor
Do you often think about the consequences when you throw some waste in the sink or toilet? After all, at first glance, completely safe products, once in the sewer system, can play a cruel joke with you. That is why you should know what should never be flushed down the toilet. Remember, there are many other ways to dispose of waste.
What can not be flushed into the toilet:
Why not. This item is for those who like to cook and pour waste into the sink or toilet, and there are most of them: there is a huge “no, no, and again no”. Although oil is liquid, draining it down the drain is not the best solution. It remains on the walls of the pipes and, after hardening, can create a blockage, writes Delfi Decor.
In addition, oil can form fatty build-ups in the drain, which increases the risk of blockages. There are often real cases when pipes clogged with fat burst, as a result of which the basements in houses were flooded. Agree, it's unpleasant to deal with a neighbor who has problems with wastewater because of you. Or worse, cleaning up the stinking liquid from your own basement.
How to dispose. Drain the oil in a small bag, bottle, or disposable container, and then throw it away in the trash. Some fats and oils tend to harden - wait until this happens, and send the mass to the trash can. Many do not know, but in high-end restaurants there are special filters that do not allow grease and oil to pass through the sewers - they are expensive, but definitely cheaper than repairs.
If you have a huge amount of oil on hand that needs to be disposed of, take it to the processing facility - this will be your best solution and will require much less money and hassle.
2. Dental floss
Why not. Dental floss is a very useful invention that can help you get rid of unwanted food leftovers after dinner for sure. However, it should be disposed of correctly, because, as you could already understand, it is absolutely impossible to flush it down the toilet. While flossing doesn't immediately come to mind when compiling a list of items that should not be flushed down the toilet, it is very dangerous for sewer pipes.
And yes, there are indeed people in the world who flush dental floss down the toilet, otherwise no one would have included it on this list. Many people argue that the fewer items they throw in the bin, the less often they need to be taken out. And after all, they do not even suspect what mistake they are making.
The fact is that dental floss not only gets tangled due to its texture and creates blockages by clinging to other debris in the sewer, but is also very dangerous for the environment. After all, the material from which it is made - nylon or teflon - does not decompose. In a sewer pipe, dental floss can become tangled around hair or toilet paper, which can make the pipes uncomfortable.
How to dispose. As with all of the other items on the list, the best way to dispose of dental floss is to throw it in the trash can, making sure to use as short pieces as possible. After all, the less we use it, the less it needs to be disposed of.
3. Coffee grounds
Why not. If you have brewed a kettle of coffee and think that the coffee grounds, since small granules can be drained into the sink or toilet, forget about it once and for all. Despite its small size and soft texture, coffee grounds are one of the main culprits for oil blockages. This is not so difficult to understand, because if the water in your mug is not able to dissolve the coffee grounds, then can the water in the pipes do it?
If you value your finances, time, and the state of your home, then resist the temptation to put your pipes at risk of rapid wear and tear. It is much easier to properly dispose of coffee grounds than to repair it. Any plumber will confirm this to you.
How to dispose. Pour coffee in a mug, use a strainer. The delayed coffee grounds should be sent to the trash can, or add to the compost if you are making it. Coffee can serve as an excellent fertilizer if used correctly. In addition, the coffee grounds can be your assistant, not only in gardening, but also in many other domestic areas.
For example, you can use it when bathing your pets so that their fur always looks tidy. To do this, you need to mix the thick with plain water and apply to the coat without rubbing too intensely. Then rinse off the coffee and secure the result with shampoo.
Another useful disposal method is to pour the remaining coffee into the fireplace, if you have one. It is useful due to the fact that coffee grounds slow down the process of pollution of the chimney. If you have no garden, no animals, no fireplace - just send the rest of the drink in the trash.
Why not. When defective drugs appear in the house or drugs that have expired, many, without hesitation, throw them down the toilet or pour them into the sink. In no case should this be done, because chemicals, even in small quantities, can get into drinking water or contribute to the rapid pollution of the environment.
Unfortunately, when an old thermometer breaks, many people, without thinking about the consequences, believe that its remains can be disposed of in the toilet. It is absolutely impossible to do this - such experiments can be life-threatening. Despite the temptation associated with the high solubility of many drugs, they should be disposed of in other ways.
How to dispose. If you find medications in your home that are unusable for any reason, go with them to the nearest pharmacy and ask about where the centers for their disposal are located in your city. In addition, many pharmacies provide this service, but, unfortunately, not everyone knows about it.
In addition, if there is no way to get to the pharmacy, and you need to get rid of the medicine, the best way is to throw it into the trash can. If you have small children or pets in your house, it is better to be safe. Keep the drugs on the top shelves and, as soon as possible, put them in the trash can, which is located on the street.
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5. Wet wipes
Why not. While some wet wipes are marketed as washable by manufacturers, don't be fooled by them. Although these wipes are safer for the environment than their conventional counterparts, they are not always washed off properly. They can easily catch on other debris and create blockages. In addition, it is not for nothing that they are still classified as solid waste.
If you are not sure whether dissolving wipes are really such, standing and watching, so it is or not, is not the most pleasant experience, you will agree. And even more unpleasant is to remove the blockage and swear with the neighbors. That is why you should think about the consequences several times before disposing of wipes in this way.
How to dispose. The best solution to this problem is, no matter how trivial, a trash can. It can be placed in a bathroom or toilet, so that used napkins can be immediately thrown away, but if for some reason this is not possible, simply pack the napkins in a bag and discard them later. Follow the same rule in public places.
It is not for nothing that employees of institutions often inform their customers that they should not throw napkins into the toilet, but not all are considered warnings. If your conscience is awake, take their advice.
6. Fruit and Bottle Labels
Why not. Put aside all the arguments that these stickers are small and, accordingly, do not pose any danger - this is a big misconception that can lead to many problems. The main danger of stickers is that there is glue on their surface, which contributes to their retention in pipes. Although there is a small amount of glue on the stickers, it successfully plays the role of the culprit of blockages in pipes.
In addition, the stickers are made of a material that does not degrade over the years. Just imagine what would happen if everyone in your city thought that the size of the stickers automatically made them safe.
How to dispose. Again, your only way out is to throw fruit stickers in the trash. This is the best thing you can do for the environment at this stage. At the very least, it will do less harm than getting stickers to the sewer.
Rinsing the fruit under the tap, make sure that the stickers do not fall into the drain. This may entail unpleasant consequences. If you think that from one small sticker, nothing terrible will happen, imagine that in your house fifty people will think the same. Will anything good come out of it?
7. Cigarette butts
Why not. The main problem of cigarette butts from cigarettes is that they absorb moisture easily, quickly and in large quantities. This can cause their rapid increase in size. Many people, trying to get rid of the smell or hide the traces of "crime", think that the material from which cigarettes are made allows it to turn.
However, everything is actually much more complicated. They never dissolve and, therefore, can cause clogging. Cigarette butts also contain harmful chemicals, such as nicotine, that pollute the water in the sewers.
How to dispose. Ashes can be shaken off into an ashtray or a container filled with sand to reduce the risk of fire. To prevent a fire, dip a cigarette butt in water and place it in the bin you plan to take out.
Why not. Eggshells are another product that should never end up in the sewer. Therefore, no matter how great the temptation is, throwing it down the toilet is not the best thing you will do in your life. There are several common misconceptions about this.
Many people believe that by crushing eggshells, they can be thrown anywhere without causing any trouble. However, in reality, everything is much more complicated. Small fragments of eggshells no longer break and, easily getting stuck in various foreign objects that also got into the sewer, provoke dense congestion.
How to dispose. As with all waste on this list, the easiest way to dispose of eggshell is a trash can. So that it does not take up much space, it can be crushed or simply broken into smaller pieces.
In addition, eggshells are useful in horticulture. It can be easily added to compost and will greatly improve its quality. And the shells, crushed into powder, can be used as a calcium supplement. To enhance its properties, you can mix the shells with lemon juice and add small amounts to ready-made meals.
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9. Baby diapers
Why not. Any mom knows that baby diapers take up a lot of space in the bin, and it fills up incredibly quickly, especially if the child eats or drinks a lot. So what to do with diapers so that you don't have to take out the trash every few hours?
There can be only one answer - definitely do not flush them down the toilet, because it is not prepared for such a load. Diapers are designed to absorb moisture in large quantities, and anyone who has ever held a full diaper knows how much it grows in size. That is why, getting into the sewer pipe, they provoke massive blockages.
How to dispose. In order not to spend money on a professional plumber and nerves for the blockage that appears, train yourself to put used baby diapers in a separate bag, and then take it to the street trash can. This approach will ensure a long life for your sewer pipes.
Why not. You don't have to be a specialist to understand why you should never throw flour down the sink or toilet. To do this, it is enough just to see the cooking process of the dish in which it is involved once. Its properties will immediately tell you why it is categorically impossible to dispose of flour in this way.
During cooking, you will notice that, mixing with the liquid, the flour thickens and forms sticky lumps. Now imagine that it is your fault in the sewer pipe - not the best prospect, is it? Flour can easily cause massive blockages and pipe ruptures. That is why, before throwing the leftover flour into the sink or toilet, consider whether you want to explain to your neighbors why they need to make repairs.
How to dispose. In fact, no need to invent anything. If it turned out that you still have flour after cooking, or you simply scattered it - send it to the trash can.
If you have your own garden and you are preparing compost, the remaining flour can be sent there as well. Just remember that too much flour in the compost compared to other foods can block air access and the compost will not work.
11. Contact lenses
Why not. If you have ever put on lenses in your life and their expiration date has expired, you probably wondered where it is better to throw them. If you decide to flush them down the toilet, that's a big mistake. After all, they do not end up with the Contact Lens Fairy, who magically disposes of them. And they go directly to the sewer, where they do not decompose, but only disintegrate into smaller pieces and do not disappear anywhere.
The material from which the lenses are made must not get there. After all, who knows if he will soon be in your own glass. In addition, lenses contribute to environmental pollution. And, most likely, if you thought that they could be flushed down the toilet, then you are not the only ones who came up with this idea. Statistics show that every 5 user does just that.
How to recycle. The easiest way is to throw it in the trash. The main thing is that the used lenses do not get into the environment, because they are among the objects that strongly affect the pollution, despite its small size.
12. Food waste
Why not. Even if your sink has a waste disposal device - it's better not to risk it with solid or thick ones. Every time you come up with an idea to throw food leftovers into the sink or, more likely, into the toilet, not in the trash can, follow one simple rule: if I can't chew it, then it shouldn't go down the drain. ...
Pipes are not designed to get into them neither hard nor even soft food waste. Negligent attitude to them can reduce the period of wear and bring a lot of problems not only to you, but also to your neighbors, because solid waste easily clogs the pipes, and often to clean them is a very difficult task.
How to dispose. Asparagus or celery, for example, can be a great addition to compost, if available. Many other food waste is suitable for it, in particular: fruits, vegetables, dairy products, bread and cereals.
If you live in an apartment and do not do gardening, then the waste can be disposed of in much simpler ways - thrown into the trash can. If you think that such elimination of food is unacceptable, bread can be fed to birds, and something can be prepared from dairy products. For example, from kefir - pancakes, and from finely chopped fruit peel - salad.
13. Chewing gum
Why not. Chewing gum is one of those items, for the prohibition of which it is not even necessary to explain the reasons. Firstly, it is no secret to anyone that chewing gum does not decompose in nature - that is why, in principle, it should not get anywhere except the trash can. Few people think about it, but it can lie in a sewer, in a river or in a clearing, not even tens, but hundreds of years.
Secondly, it can not only cling to the walls of the pipes by itself, but is also able to attach to larger debris, contributing to the appearance of a massive blockage. So if your money and relationships with your neighbors are dear to you, get rid of the habit of throwing gum down the toilet.
How to dispose. As mentioned above, chewing gums do not decompose, which is why they cause irreparable harm to the environment. They are incredibly dangerous for animals and birds, because, for example, a pigeon accidentally bumping into chewing gum can die.
That is why chewing gum should never be flushed down the toilet or thrown away in parks, courtyards and in general on the street. Swallowing it is also not worth it - the stomach will not thank you for it. The only way out in this situation is to throw the gum in the bin. However, there is another option - instead of chewing gum, buy mint candies. They will definitely not harm the environment or the sewage system.
14. Pasta and Rice
Why not. Pasta and rice are two products that, once in the sewer, will not immediately make themselves felt, but this is not a reason to rejoice and get rid of them in this way. In fact, once in the sewer pipes, seemingly harmless pasta and rice will increase significantly in size.
When cooking, you can notice that in hot water they expand rather quickly, and in cold water they can stay much longer, but an increase is inevitable. In this regard, pasta and rice are on the list of foods that are the culprit for massive blockages and flooding. Before throwing them away, consider the consequences.
How to dispose. In some developed cities there are points for receiving food waste - rice and pasta can be attributed there. If you have not prepared them yet, but for some reason you are not going to, give them to those in need.
You just have to throw the finished dishes into the trash bin. You can and should feed dogs with ready-made unspoiled rice and rice porridges - there will be no problems with this, and the dog will eat everything with pleasure. But give up the idea of feeding pasta to your pets, because they are contraindicated for them and cause gastritis, indigestion and other problems.
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Why not. Yes, you understood everything correctly - we are talking about your pets. Many do not know how to get rid of a calf or a dead fish. Despite the fact that this is a big misconception, some people think that you cannot bury her behind the house - this is not a dog or a favorite parrot, but you cannot just throw it into the trash bin - too cruel. What remains to be done in this situation? Many people choose what they absolutely cannot do - they flush the pet down the toilet.
And you can't do this for several simple reasons. Firstly, if the fish is terminally ill or injured, but still alive, it will at least be unpleasant for it. There is still debate about the extent to which they feel pain, but you must agree - there is little pleasant in such a death. If the fish is alive, keep your humanity - do not rush to get rid of it.
If you are a stale rusk, and such an argument does not affect you, let's consider some more equally important reasons. First, the dead living creature could be a carrier of diseases, viruses or parasites, the chance is greatly increased if there were several fish.
That is why their bodies in no case should fall into the sewer system, otherwise they can become a time bomb. And, in the end, will you enjoy using the toilet knowing that a sick fish has just been flushed there?
How to dispose. If the fish you simply tired - do not tear off in such a way her life. You can take a live healthy fish to a pet shop - in some, if the fish is special, you can even pay a nominal amount for it.
If the fish is dead, regardless of your cool or, conversely, warm feelings, it must be disposed of without resorting to the help of sewers. Although this is not a cat or a dog, the fish can be buried so that street animals do not get to it. If you don't have the time or desire, send it to the nearest trash can outside your home.
16. Paper and hygiene products
Why not. The only paper that goes into sewers is toilet paper. The rest of its types should not fall into the sink and toilet. These include plain paper, paper napkins, paper towels, pads, cotton pads, cotton swabs, and more.
Many may start to dispute this point, arguing that personal care products and paper products are readily biodegradable and environmentally friendly. However, this does not negate the fact that, by absorbing moisture, they significantly increase in size and contribute to pipe clogging.
How to dispose. Any paper other than toilet paper must be thrown into the trash can. In addition, in many cities, waste paper collection points and special containers for paper are common, because it can be recycled more often and more easily than other materials.
In order not to clutter up the trash can with used napkins or paper towels, start using ordinary towels and cotton fabrics for cleaning. In addition, in the modern world there are many different analogues of older women's personal care products that do not harm the body and the environment.
17. Cat litter
Why not. Cat litter is exactly the invention that is appreciated by all cat lovers. It absorbs moisture and, depending on the material, almost completely neutralizes unpleasant odor. However, as soon as the animal does its work - each new owner thinks about what to do with the used filler.
On the packaging of many fillers there is a warning that they cannot be flushed down the toilet, but often the owners neglect them without thinking about the consequences or other possible disposal methods. Before the next time you send the filler into the sewer pipe, consider whether it is worth doing this operation with a substance that absorbs moisture in large quantities.
How to dispose. Nowadays, there is also wood filler - it can be flushed down the toilet in small quantities. To do this, you need to drain it in parts, at intervals of about half an hour. But, you see, it is much easier to simply collect the leftover filler in a separate bag and take it to the trash bin than after each trip of your pet to the toilet to wait 30 minutes to wash off a new portion.
Why is sewage clogged
As you already understood, the causes of blockages can be completely different, their appearance can be provoked by food waste, human residues, personal hygiene products that are not intended to be flushed down the toilet.
However, blockages do not necessarily appear immediately after you pour something into the sink - build-ups and deposits in pipes can build up over the years. So if you flush anything from our list down the toilet and you don't have any problems, remember: it's not evening yet, and the blockage will surely manifest itself, if not today, then tomorrow.
This category of blockages in the pipes is more common than any other, and arises due to the negligent attitude of a person towards plumbing. If you belong to those who do not hesitate to pour waste into the sink or toilet - think about whether you are doing everything correctly. This includes food residues, chemicals, oils, fats, etc.
In addition, blockages can appear not only because a person deliberately disposes of waste in this way. They also arise unintentionally. For example, if you do not use a special mesh, taking a shower, your hair falls into a drain and forms a mash, which is subsequently rather difficult to clean.
Sometimes it happens that you do not allow yourself to dump the waste of their life activity into the sewage system, however, for some reason, blockages still appear in the same place, and even with enviable regularity. What is the reason?
The appearance of a blockage in the pipe may be the result of an error in the design of the sewage system or directly during its construction. Unlike everyday life, in this case you cannot do anything on your own, unless, of course, you are an expert in this area.
Ways to eliminate blockages for all their types are almost the same, they usually differ slightly. The most important thing in this business is to be confident in your actions and know how the sewer pipes are arranged. If you do not have a clue about this - contact a specialist, so as not to worsen the already deplorable situation.
If you feel confident and lack trembling in your hands - you can proceed. At the moment, there are many ways not only to eliminate, but also to prevent blockages, for the implementation of which does not require large financial and time costs.
Methods of prevention
The two simplest and least costly prevention methods, as mentioned above, are refraining from disposing of waste through the sink or toilet, as well as using special nets for the bath or sink. These nets are designed to block excess debris from entering the sewer pipes.
Another uncomplicated method of preventing blockages is pipe flushing. To do this, you must turn on hot water at least several times a week. The jet should be powerful and fall directly into the drain hole. Leave the tap open for 10 minutes. Using this method, you will be able to prevent blockages and dissolve deposits already present on the pipe walls.
We clean the sink with vinegar and lemon juice
Step 1. This method is best suited for cleaning the pipes under the sink. In order to begin to eliminate the blockage with vinegar, you need to drain all the water in the sink. If it merges very slowly, you will have to wait, because in the empty sink the prepared mixture will act many times faster. If you do not have time at all, excess water from the sink can be scooped out.
Step 2. Find some or all of the following in your kitchen: apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, baking soda, sodium tetraborate, or salt. They can be combined with each other, because each has unique properties.
Vinegar (apple cider or white) can serve as an acid base for the foaming reaction. Lemon juice has the same acidity as vinegar, but smells much fresher and more pleasant. This makes it one of the favorites when it comes to pipe cleaning. Baking soda is often used as a versatile and natural cleanser, as is borax, sodium tetraborate, and salt will help loosen clogs.
Combining them for greater efficiency is in the following combinations: vinegar + baking soda, lemon juice + baking soda, salt + borax + baking soda. To enhance the effect, it is necessary to mix the ingredients in certain proportions.
For the combination “vinegar + soda”: ½ of a glass of vinegar and ½ of a glass of soda. For the combination “lemon juice + soda”: 1 a glass of lemon juice and 1 a glass of soda. And finally, for the combination of “salt + borax + vinegar”: ¼ cup of sodium tetraborate, ¼ cup of salt and ½ cup of vinegar.
Step 3. Once you've prepared the product, pour it into the sink so that most of it ends up in the drain. For greater effect, cover the hole with a special plug or cover with a hot cloth. Leave the sink like this for 30 minutes.
Step 4. Use a plunger to clear the remaining blockage. In this case, it will only have an auxiliary value, because the mixture you have prepared will dissolve the main part of the blockage. For final cleaning, you need to fill the sink with a little water. Then place the plunger firmly against the hole and push, then release and push again. Repeat the procedure several times. Remove residual debris.
Step 5. Open the tap and fill the sink with hot water (the jet can be continuous) - 5-7 minutes will be enough. Hot water will easily remove the last remaining blockage.