Many people believe that tampons are fine to flush down the toilet. You can find the problematic advice touted in magazine columns, online articles and even on the websites of tampon companies. No matter how popular the idea happens to be, it’s still wrong.
Why shouldn’t you flush your tampons?
The main reason why you should never flush tampons down the toilet is that they are not designed to break down in water like toilet paper. When you think about it, companies can’t feasibly create a menstrual product that dissolves when it gets wet.
The cotton product is also meant to be absorbent. Submerging it in water will only make it expand. The larger size gives it a higher chance of snagging on its way down the pipes. Over time, the one tampon could encourage a substantial blockage in the plumbing system.
What if brands say they’re “flushable”?
A lot of customers are tricked by the word “flushable.” It doesn’t mean that tampons won’t clog up your home plumbing — it only means that the item is capable of being flushed down the toilet. Technically, anything that can fit down the drain can be considered flushable.
The misunderstanding is so prevalent that experts in waste management are begging customers to stop tossing flushable items down the toilet despite the encouragement from corporate brands. In this case, it’s better to listen to the plumbing experts than the tampon companies.
What if they say “biodegradable”?
These types of tampons are still not good for the wastewater treatment system because they take months to break down properly. Compare that time-span to toilet paper, which breaks down almost immediately.
What will happen to your plumbing?
Flushing tampons will lead to issues eventually. Depending on the severity of the blockage, you could deal with stubborn clogs, overflowing bowls or sewage back-ups.
If you notice any of these issues, you should get professional plumbing help for your drains right away to clear away the blockage and get your system in top condition. Other warning signs that you should look out for are gurgling noises, foul odour and slow flushes. Trouble with other fixtures and drains could be another clue.
If you haven’t noticed any problems or warning signs, call up a trusted plumbing company like Sewer Squad anyway. They can run diagnostics or do video camera inspections to see if there is a blockage forming in the system. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
How should you dispose of tampons?
They should be removed, wrapped with toilet paper and then placed into the nearest waste receptacle. Anyone who is concerned about environmental impacts can rest assured that tampons are one of the many items acceptable for the green bin along with used tissues and paper towels.
There is a reason why most public washrooms have signs on the stalls warning users not to flush menstrual products. Take that same advice and apply it to your bathrooms at home. Otherwise, you could end up with plumbing catastrophes that you can’t ignore.
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