In the guide below, we summarise what you may and may not be able to flush down the toilet.
(*Note though that this guide contains general information only. Check/confirm your region’s regulations and guidelines about what can and can’t be flushed down the toilet beforehand.)
Summary – What You Can & Can’t Flush Down The Toilet
In developed countries, generally it might be best to flush only human waste (pee and poop), and widely used brands and products of toilet paper down the toilet.
Specifically, only toilet paper that has passed the consumer test or consumer regulations in your country that confirm that toilet paper adequately dissolves in water and is suitable for pipes should be flushed down the toilet (so as not to damage or block the plumbing infrastructure)
Thinner single ply toilet paper might also be a good option over the really thick types
Anything that isn’t regular human waste or regular toilet paper generally shouldn’t be flushed, because of it’s ability to clog pipes (wet wipes, as they are made right now, are one big example – however, this could change in the future if manufacturers can 100% guarantee disintegration)
In some countries with thin/small pipes or inadequate pipe and waste/sewage systems, such as Greece for example (according to worldnomads.com), you can’t even flush toilet paper, because of it’s ability to clog pipes.
So, if you are travelling to or moving to a country, check what you can flush before you visit or use the toilets there
There are other exceptions to the toilet paper rule – it depends on the toilet waste system in the region you live in.
It’s also worth noting that some toilets are also plumbed to a septic tank system, which might only be able to process certain types of septic tank safe toilet papers.
Know the toilet system before you go to the toilet in a new place
If you’re unsure, you might speak to your local council or a local plumber
Can You Flush Tissues Down The Toilet?
It depends on the tissue.
If it has passed the consumer regulations test for a dissolvable toilet paper product, you might be able to.
But, it’s best to stick to a popular or complying toilet paper product instead.
Can You Flush Tampons Down The Toilet?
Dispose of tampons in a feminine hygiene waste disposal bin.
Can You Flush Paper Towel Down The Toilet?
It’s best to stick to a popular or complying toilet paper instead of paper towel (which might not be designed to dissolve adequately)
Can You Flush Wet Wipes Or Baby Wipes Down The Toilet?
In general, no.
Wet wipes are the source of a lot of controversy because in some countries, some wipes are advertised, marketed or labelled as being dissolvable or toilet safe/flushable, and are actually the cause of huge clogging and blockage problems.
Wet wipes are responsible for huge blockages, blockage repair bills, and other problems in places like the UK, Australia, and other countries (according to abc.net.au, bbc.com, and smh.com.au).
They get stuck in pipes and then attract or stick to other substances and materials, and can be incredibly expensive or difficult to remove, even causing other problems if a room in a house has to be sealed off or a public pipe has to be worked on.
So, just to be safe, stay away from wet wipes of any kind and stick to toilet paper for flushing in toilets.
Can You Flush Hair Down The Toilet?
Hair is strong enough that it doesn’t dissolve or break up immediately when it hits the water.
Therefore, you shouldn’t flush it down the toilet, and you should dispose of it in your regular waste bins instead.
Can You Flush Condoms Down The Toilet?
Condoms are usually made of plastic or some type of material that is not suitable for flushing down the toilet.
Can You Flush Pet Waste (Dog Poop, Cat Poop, Cat Litter etc.) Down The Toilet?
This is a potentially huge health and safety hazard.
Dispose of it outside according to your local council regulations and guidelines.
4. Various ‘what not to flush down the toilet’ guides for different countries and toilet system setups