The Bathroom Staple You Should Avoid Flushing Down The Toilet At All Costs

The saying "out of sight, out of mind" does not hold true when it comes to disposing of hygiene items in the toilet. Frankly, flushing anything besides regular toilet paper and waste carries a certain degree of risk. Even products labeled as flushable, such as personal wipes, may not be entirely compatible with many plumbing systems. However, flushing one bathroom staple should be strictly avoided at all costs: dental floss.

While flossing is a thread of heroism for your pearly whites, this tiny but mighty string can cause a real doozy for your pipes. Most dental floss comprises non-biodegradable materials such as synthetic waxed nylon or Teflon. And since it cannot break down, disposing of this dental hygiene product in the toilet can lead to potential issues down the road. Although the damage may not be instant, you should never make the mistake of flushing dental floss down the toilet, as the buildup can be detrimental to your wastewater lines and the environment.

The dangers of flushing dental floss

So, how is it possible for such a minuscule piece of twine to cause such significant harm? It is actually quite simple. Dental floss, unlike toilet paper, doesn't have the capability to decompose naturally and can become trapped in your pipes. It can intertwine with other objects or solids that should not be flushed, causing troublesome clogs and obstructions in the wastewater system. Although these blockages may gradually build over time, flushing dental floss can eventually result in expensive plumbing repairs for you and your neighbor.

By refraining from discarding dental floss in the toilet, you not only safeguard your own plumbing system but also contribute to the protection of the environment and community sewer systems. Several studies have highlighted the presence of microplastics in our water sources. Furthermore, our wastewater treatment plants are not equipped to remove all the plastic particles, per Penn State Extension. Flushing non-biodegradable or plastic hygiene items in the toilet only deepens this issue and adds to environmental concerns.

Preventing dental floss plumbing mishaps

To avoid such complications, you should dispose of dental floss in a trash bin after use. Another effective solution is investing in a water flosser, which completely eliminates any temptation to flush. These convenient devices negate the use of traditional flossing threads and offer a zero-waste approach to oral hygiene. Using this innovative alternative, you can effectively protect both your plumbing system and the environment.

In the event you find yourself facing a clogging issue, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a professional rather than depending on Drano or other similar drain cleaners. Despite their purported unclogging capabilities, it is important to recognize that these products are typically ineffective at breaking down dental floss. Also, not all drain cleaners are suitable for use in toilets, advises Good Housekeeping. Therefore, it is best to exercise caution and refrain from flushing any bathroom staples that are not meant to be flushed, including dental floss.