There are many items that you may know should never go down your toilet, like the toys your kiddo keeps trying to flush. These big and chunky items will obviously cause an issue in your plumbing and clog the toilet. What you may not know is that there are many other items that should never be flushed, even if they are not as obvious.

At Cupertino Plumbing, we have seen a variety of items flushed down the toilet, causing some serious issues for homeowners and their plumbing. While we can help fix your problem when something gets flushed that shouldn’t be, we wanted to help you prevent these problems in the first place! We wanted to provide you with a long list of the items that you should never flush down your toilet. To keep your plumbing working properly, read on and try to avoid flushing any of these items!


Wipes of any kind should never be flushed down your toilet. Whether you are using baby wipes or makeup wipes, these items should be disposed of in the trash. Even wipes that are labeled as “flushable” should not be flushed. These items are often the source of clogs. Wipes do not disintegrate like toilet paper does, making them more likely to cause plumbing issues.

Tissues and Paper Towels

While you may think that toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels are in the same category of household products, toilet paper is the only one that should be flushed down the toilet! Tissues and paper towels are not designed to break down in the same way that toilet paper does, meaning that these items are more likely to cause problems. When you use tissues and paper towels, be sure to throw them away in the trash can, not down the toilet.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Tampons and pads are meant to absorb water, not break down in it. Because of this, these products will expand when they are flushed down the toilet, which can lead to some major plumbing problems. Try to make sure you throw your feminine hygiene products in the trash rather than the toilet. You will save yourself from some plumbing problems down the road.


This should be obvious and hard to even accomplish in the first place since diapers are quite large, but you should never flush (or attempt to flush) them down the toilet. Like feminine hygiene products, diapers are meant to absorb water and will expand when you throw them in the toilet. If, on the off-chance, the diaper can fit down the drain, we just want to warn you and make sure you don’t flush this item. Dispose of them in the trash can and save yourself some headache.

Cotton Balls and Q-Tips

Cotton balls, cotton pads, and Q-tips should not be flushed. Some toilet papers are made with cotton linen, which makes some people believe that cotton balls and pads can be flushed down the toilet as well. These products do not break down like toilet paper and will clump together and cause blocks in your pipes. When you use cotton balls, pad, or Q-tips, be sure to throw them away in your trash can and avoid throwing them in your toilet.

Dental Floss

How is it possible that a single small string can cause problems in your toilet? Dental floss can cause clogs in your pipes since it basically turns into a net when you flush it. When you flush floss, it will catch and hold other debris flowing through your pipes, which can cause backups and clogs. Dental floss can even wrap around parts of the septic system and cause the motor to burn out. While dental floss seems harmless, it can cause a lot more problems when flushed. Be sure to throw any floss away in the toilet!


Condoms can cause clogs in your toilet and septic tanks. Since this product is not meant to break down in water, it can lead to many different problems for your plumbing system. Be sure to throw condoms in the trash and never flush them!

Cigarette Butts

Cigarette butts are full of toxic chemicals and should never be flushed down the toilet. When you flush cigarette butts, you are adding these horrible chemicals to the water. If that isn’t reason enough to simply throw cigarette butts away, they can also cause clogs in your pipes. There is no reason to flush cigarette butts, and it only causes more problems than it’s worth.


In a previous blog, we discussed that you should never put medications down your kitchen drain. This is also the cause when it comes to flushing them! While they may not cause a clog in your pipes, flushing medication can contaminate the water with toxins. Instead of flushing them, use a drug take-back program. No matter what type of medication you have, flushing them can add toxins to the water and be harmful to the environment.


As you brush your hair after a shower, it is likely that you end up with a clump of hair that has fallen out. Do not flush these hairs down the toilet! Like dental floss, hair creates a sort of net when you flush it, causing it to catch debris and cause clogs and backups. Hair also floats and will never dissolve in water, no matter how long it is in there. This means that when you flush hair it will cause you multiple problems. This is also why you should use a hair catching in your shower or tub so that hair does not go down your drains.

Kitty Litter

Like baby wipes, some kitty litter brands claim to be “flushable” but it should still never be flushed. Most toilets will not be able to properly push the litter through your pipes because they do not use enough water. Kitty litter also adds more things to the water, which makes it more difficult to purify. Along with kitty litter, you should never flush cat waste. Since the litter dehydrates cat waste, it is more difficult to flush since toilets are designed to flush water-soluble waste.

These are some of the most common items that we see flushed down toilets on a regular basis. They can really mess up your plumbing and cause clogs and backups, which is something no one wants to deal with. Now that you know the items that should never be flushed down a toilet, we hope that you follow our advice and only throw toilet paper into the toilet.

If you flush something that shouldn’t be and it causes a problem, be sure to contact Cupertino Plumbing. We can help fix your plumbing issues in no time! We provide our services in a variety of locations from San Jose to Santa Clara and everywhere in between. Check out our services and contact us today.