What Happens When You Put Tampons Down The Toilet?

Alright folks, are we ready to get a little personal about our hygiene habits? Have you ever wondered what happens when you dispose of your tampons by flushing them down the toilet? According to Aisle, a manufacturer of period underwear, each year landfills welcome a whopping 20 billion menstrual hygiene products including tampons, applicators, and pads, which is a pretty eye-opening assessment if you ask us. Additionally, according to a study centered around period shame by Thinx – the creator of another period underwear — out of 2,000 women, only 15% threw away tampons in the trash (via StudyFinds). In contrast, an astonishing 85% flushed tampons down the toilet. 

Trust us when we tell you that you will want to read on to find out what exactly happens when you decide to flush your tampons down the toilet and they make it to your bathroom's pipes! It may surprise some of you. 

Don't flush tampons down the loo

Flushing tampons down the toilet is never a good idea — in fact, doing this can wreck havoc on your plumbing system. Just think about this for a second. Per Indianapolis-based Hope Plumbing, a tampon's job is to absorb liquid. Once that happens, it expands, which is what would happen in the pipes, causing severe blockages and plenty of damage.

The main reason is that tampons don't break down in the wastewater system. "The bottom line is, flush only the three Ps: pee, poop and paper," Lyn Riggins, a producer and writer at WSSC, one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the country, explains to Allure. "Flushing anything other than pee, poop, and paper causes problems within the wastewater system. We see tampons that make their way through the pipes to our treatment plants, completely intact. They don't break up like toilet paper." So how should you get rid of a used tampon? WebMD suggests putting it in toilet paper and simply throwing it in a trash bin or carry a disposable bag to easily and safely throw them away.