Sooner or later, every toilet suffers from some sort of clog. Many of these clogs are quickly fixed, resulting in no damage. However, a large clog can cause damage to a bathroom floor and result in costly plumbing bills.

To avoid these hassles, it’s a good idea to understand what can and cannot be flushed. Many things that we think are flushable – such as baby wipes and feminine hygiene products – are actually contributors to clogs. Read on to find out how to keep your toilet in good working order.

Know What to Flush

To keep it simple, let’s focus on the only two things that you should flush down the toilet: human waste and toilet paper. Contrary to what many believe, you can’t flush just any type of paper product down the toilet. Toilet paper disintegrates once it is flushed down the toilet, which is why it doesn’t cause clogs. Napkins, paper towels and facial tissues, on the other hand, do not disintegrate in water and stay in your pipes. When you flush the toilet again, you may end up with a clog.

Many people may be confused about what to flush because some baby wipes and feminine hygiene products are labeled as flushable. To determine if this is true, put the item in a bowl of water. If it disintegrates, then it’s flushable. If it stays intact, it can cause clogs in your water pipes. Throw it away in a garbage can instead.

Use Toilet Paper Sparingly

A toilet can only handle so much waste and toilet paper at one time. If you attempt to flush a toilet full of toilet paper, you can still end up with a clog. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make a habit of flushing twice when you have a bowel movement. Flush once in the middle and then again at the end. That way, you won’t be trying to flush down everything at once, which is a common cause of clogs.

Use Drain Cleaners

A liquid such as Drain-O can help remove hair and other particles that can lead to clogs. You can use these on a regular basis to keep your pipes clear and your toilet in proper working order. There are also cleaners that work similarly to vacuums. They suck up dirt and other items that may have balled up and caused a clog to form.

Don’t Crack the Toilet

A broken toilet is susceptible to clogs. This means you should treat your toilet with care. Don’t use toilet brushes with metal bristles, which can scratch the toilet. Don’t ever step on your toilet. Many plumbers have been called out to fix broken toilets after someone has stood on it. Avoid putting hot liquids in the toilet as well. Anything over 98.6 degrees is too hot. If the liquid is too hot and the toilet is too cold, it may crack.

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