The Truth about Flushing Tampons Down the Toilet

We know this is a personal blog post, but it’s an issue that we see every day on the job. Tampons cause major problems for plumbing systems. If you’ve been in the habit of flushing these feminine hygiene products down the toilet and haven’t had any problem, don’t be fooled. Continue to flush these items and we guarantee sewer line problems are just around the corner.

Why Do Consumers Think It’s Fine to Flush Tampons?

Look, we understand why you flush these products. Tampon boxes give you permission. Most boxes tell consumers that flushing tampons and the cardboard applicator is perfectly fine because they’re biodegradable and 100% flushable with one exception. If your home has a septic system, you absolutely should not flush any part of the tampon.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, the issue is that these companies aren’t dealing with the consequences of flushing their products several times a day for up to a week each month. Your local plumber sees the consequences first hand, and we’re here to tell you that it’s not pretty.

What If I Have a Newer Toilet?

This is a question we get often when unclogging a toilet that’s been plugged up by tampons. Apparently, some tampon manufacturers give out the information that it’s okay to flush tampons as long as you have a newer toilet. The age of your toilet has nothing to do with the ability to flush or not flush feminine hygiene products. Drains and toilets, old and new, are equally susceptible to developing massive blockages from these products.

What About Biodegradable Tampons?

What about them? Here’s the truth. What makes a tampon biodegradable or non-biodegradable is the materials used, but these materials do not affect how the tampon reacts once it enters the drainage system. Not to get too graphic but think about the purpose of this feminine hygiene product. It is designed to absorb liquid. What is inside your toilet and the drainage system? That’s right liquid. Biodegradable tampons don’t break down fast enough to avoid absorbing all the water that flows through the drainage system every day. If the tampon becomes lodged in the drain pipe, it’s going to continue to absorb water and create a clog that doesn’t allow any sort of water to move pass.

Is tossing one tampon going to cause an immediate clog? Probably not, but doing this repeatedly is going to cause serious problems. We tell our customers all the time that the worst thing you can do to your pipes is to flush tampons. Instead, toss these products in the trash where they will breakdown in a land field along with wet wipes, condoms, diapers (yeah, we know – seems obvious, but we see it all the time).

Drain Cleaning Services Near You

Of course, many things cause drain clogs. The good news is that a bit of preventive maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your residential plumbing system clear of damaging clogs. At Wise Choice Plumbing & Rooter, we offer professional drain cleaning services such as hydro-jetting to keep your pipes sparkling clean. Give us a call today to learn more about our current drain cleaning specials and get your plumbing ready for summer!