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7 Things You Should Never Flush If You Have a Septic System
January 19, 2024
Can you flush toilet paper in a septic tank? Well, yeah. But your toilet is not a trash can. When it comes to your septic system, pay extra attention to what goes down the pipe and whatever you do, never flush these seven things.  

Feminine hygiene products

Many feminine hygiene products (like tampons) are marketed as safe to flush. The reality, however, is that this can wreak havoc on your septic system. Tampons and sanitary napkins are not biodegradable which means when they’re flushed, they don’t break down. The end result is more sludge and buildup leading to your system needing to be pumped sooner than planned.

Baby wipes/makeup wipes

While wipes are handy, they don’t belong in the septic system. In fact, wet wipes are one of the most common causes of septic system problems. Even disposable or flushable wipes can cause extensive blockages and clogs that require prompt maintenance. Throw your used wipes in the trash or consider a reusable alternative.

Cat litter

Sorry, pet lovers, but flushing cat litter is major no. While flushable litter is widely available, the reality is that this should definitely be avoided. Not only does flushing cat waste add more bulk to your septic tank, but it also introduces feline bacteria and potential parasites, like toxoplasma (which can be incredibly harmful to humans) to the tank. Yikes!

Paper towel

Paper towel might seem like toilet paper, but the fact is their composition is quite different. Paper towel is designed to hold up when wet (think of using it to clean up a spill or wipe the countertop) and this higher level of absorbency is what can cause issues for your septic system. When you flush paper towel, it accumulates and sits in the tank causing more sludge buildup that can easily be avoided.

Cigarette butts

In an effort to avoid trash can fires, many smokers opt to flush their cigarette butts down the toilet. Don’t. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and can cause clogs within the septic system. Additionally, the additives and chemicals in cigarettes (even after they’ve been smoked) can be incredibly harmful to the bacteria you need in your septic tank.


This is a no go for any toilet and plumbing system. Medications and pharmaceuticals should never be flushed. Doing so can not only contaminate water supplies, but also cause harm to local wildlife. Instead, expired medications (or medications that are simply no longer required) should be returned to your local pharmacy for safe disposal at no cost to you.

Dental floss

You might be wondering, “Dental floss? It’s so small. There’s no way it can do much damage.” Unfortunately, it can. Dental floss, while small, can cause big problems in your septic system. It can collect with other waste and materials and knot together causing bigger clogs that need to be addressed asap.   If your septic system needs attention, we can help. We use the most advanced equipment available to ensure a thorough and efficient service every time. Plus, we offer fair and competitive rates, with reduced group rate pricing available. Start the process now and have us take care of the dirty work.