skip to Main Content

How to Prevent a Clogged Toilet

How to Prevent Toilet Clogs

The best way to prevent a clogged toilet is to avoid items that block the toilet or the drain below. You should flush the toilet with only two items: human waste and toilet paper. Flustering or any other item can get lodged in the toilet or the main drain pipe below. Even if the object clears the toilet and pipe, it can block the septic tank or sewer line. 


Even if you limit flushes to waste and toilet paper, calcium and magnesium deposits can accumulate in the bottom of the toilet or the pipes. For this reason, you should schedule an annual professional drain cleaningand inspection to identify any blockage and flush it out of the plumbing system. It is the best way to ensure a consistent, clear flush.

10 Items You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet

Wet Wipes

Also known as baby wipes, wet wipes have become one of the leading causes of clogged toilets. The main reason is that they do not break down easily in the septic tank. Even brands that claim to be flushable are not as biodegradable as regular toilet paper. 

Menstrual Products

Menstrual products absorb moisture or are moisture resistant. As a result, they do not break down in the plumbing system. Over time, menstrual products such as pads or tampons can clog a septic system. Furthermore, they can be difficult to remove once lodged in the piping.


Diapers are similar to menstrual products in that they absorb moisture. They contain materials that do not break down easily in a septic system. It only takes a few diapers to clog the pipes. Diapers are often large and cannot fit down the toilet. However, on those rare occasions that they do manage to slip down the bowl, they inevitably lodge somewhere in the system.


To avoid clogging the sink, some people may flush hair down the toilet, thinking it will flush easier down a larger drain pipe. However, hair can accumulate in almost any pipe or fixture in your plumbing system. Once it collects, it can trap other items in the pipes and clog the system. The best way to dispose of hair is to throw it in the trash.


Although some medication dissolves in water, most medication does not break down in the sewer. In addition, medication can also be an environmental hazard, poisoning the water due to the chemical makeup of the pills. Try to avoid pouring medication into any drain in your plumbing system. 


Smokers often flush cigarettes down the toilet, thinking they will break down because the butts contain paper. However, cigarettes are not quickly biodegradable. In addition, cigarettes also consist of toxic chemicals and materials. Flushing them down the toilet pollutes the water and creates a health hazard. 

Cat Litter

You should avoid flushing cat litter down the toilet for several reasons. First, the purpose of cat litter is to absorb moisture, form clumps, and harden. It can block your toilet at the opening or along the main drain or septic system. Daily flushing will block the pipes, causing massive backup throughout the entire plumbing system.


Hot grease is fluid and easy to pour down a drain. However, when the grease’s temperature lowers, it solidifies, forming a clog that is difficult to remove. You may be unaware of the problem, but the time will come when the grease accumulation in your pipes causes a blockage in your toilet.


Do not use bleach inside the tank, as it can corrode the internal parts of your toilet. Try to avoid using bleach in the toilet when possible. Instead, apply a non-chemical cleaner, such as soapy water, for cleaning purposes. In doing so, you’ll avoid causing potential damage to the glazing on the porcelain surface of the toilet.


Gum is sticky and insoluble. Flushing gum down the toilet leads to an increased risk of clogging your pipes. Since it’s insoluble, gum does not disintegrate. If you habitually flush gum down the drain, it will quickly clog the pipes. When you flush chewing gum down your toilet, it will remain a major risk for blocking the flow of wastewater.

Schedule Clogged Toilet Cleaning in Alexandria, Virginia

If you have a clogged toilet backing up, call the professionals at Cardinal Plumbing, Heating & Air. We offer comprehensive drain cleaning services in Northern Virginia. We can take care of all your sewer and drain cleaning issues. To schedule drain cleaning in Northern Virginia, fill out our contact form or call us.

Share this article

Back To Top