These Items Could Be Doing Damage To Your Drains

Frying. Credit: Andrew Ridley - Unclog.It - Vancouver Plumbers

If you want to prevent a clogged drain or blocked toilet, you had best take note of these items that should never be disposed of down the drain.

Dental Floss and Band Aids

You may be shocked to hear that these small items can’t be flushed away. As small as they are, they aren’t biodegradable which means they could remain in pipes or sewers forever. A build up of these small items, can result in one big blockage.

Cotton Pads and Tampons

All you ladies may have been told back in school that tampons are a discreet alternative to sanitary towels as they are flushable. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Cotton pads and tampons are designed to be absorbent so flushing them into a small pipe with lots of liquid isn’t a good idea. It could clog the pipes and lead to a blocked toilet.

Cat Litter

It may seem logical to put your cat’s waste in the same place yours goes but it really shouldn’t go there. Cat litter absorbs liquid so can lead to a clogged drain. There are some organic cat litters made from coconut husks that are flushable. The majority of cat litters found on shelves are not safe for flushing.

Used Cooking Oil

You have probably heard that pouring used cooking oil down the kitchen sink is bad, the same goes for flushing it down the toilet. The large bowl of a toilet can be deceiving but remember both toilets and kitchen sinks lead to small drains that can easily become blocked. When oil or fat cools, it hardens and sticks to pipes which reduces the amount of space available for sewage to pass through. If the buildup gets too big, nothing will be able to pass and you could find yourself with an overflowing toilet.

Wet Wipes

Some wipes are marketed as disposable wipes but they can still cause damage. They are much thicker than toilet roll so don’t disintegrate as easily or quickly and can become the cause of a clogged drain. Wet wipes blocking pipes often lead to people calling out a plumber, Vancouver drains just don’t like wet wipes!


Although flushing medication isn’t going to lead to you needing a plumbing service, it is important to know that it shouldn’t be disposed of down drains. It may sound slightly disgusting but all water is filtered and reused, so the water that flushes toilet waste could one day be the water coming through your kitchen taps. Water filtering is very thorough but it is not designed to filter out medication. Your medication has been prescribed for you and you only so shouldn’t be consumed in any amount by someone else. Always return unused pharmaceuticals to a medical centre to be safely disposed of.

If you fear your toilet or drains may be blocked as a result of flushing one of these items, book an appointment with one of our plumbers. Vancouver drains have been through a lot but our plumbers have seen thousands of clogged drains and blocked toilets. Our experienced plumbers can help get your plumbing back in working order.

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