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Plumbing drain should not receive these chemical contaminants (C) Daniel FriedmanNever Flush into Toilet: FAQs
Q&A on don't flush to avoid clogs & sewage backups

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Q&A about things should you never flush down the drains.

FAQs about items and chemicals are safe or not safe to flush down the toilet and into a private septic system or into a public sewer?

This article series provides a list of chemicals, objects, and trash items that it would be should NEVER be flushed down a toilet Cat litter, dryer sheets, disposable diapers, drugs, coffee grounds, & lots of other stuff should not go into the septic tank nor down a drain into a public sewer.



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Q&A on chemicals, objects, and trash items that should not be flushed down the drain

Photo of spilling cat litter into a toiletQuestions & answers about stuff that should never be flushed down drains into an onsite septic system, posted originally at NEVER FLUSH INTO SEPTICS are found here

On 2017-10-20 by (mod) - ok to flush small amounts of wine down the drain

Pete

Sure, it won't hurt a septic system to empty out a bottle or two of wine into a drain. But if you are operating a winery and have a large volume of wine that needs disposal, that would be a different matter and not something I'd recommend without further investigation.

On 2017-10-20 by Pete

Is it ok to pour wine down drain into septic tank?

On 2017-10-20 by (mod) - plastic cup clogs drain

Jeremy,

Well it's a bit of a surprise that it might take 6 months for a plastic cup to clog a drain, but perhaps, yes. The cup may have moved to a more troublesome spot, or it may have caused an accumulation of solid wastes that finally blocked the drain.

On 2017-07-02 by Jeremy

A small plastic cup, about 1.5" x 1.5", got flushed down a toilet at my friend's house. This happened more than half a year ago. He called me this morning saying both showers and toilets at their house were acting up and draining slowly. Is there any chance the cup is causing it?

On 2017-06-10 by (mod) - ok to flush lime from pickling cucumbers

Shirley,

If you mean dissolved liquid lime, maybe a quart, that's probably harmless because the total concentration of lime in the tank would be miniscule.

If you are operating a commercial pickling operation, no, don't flush large volumes of pickling waste down into a private septic system.

Dumping powdered lime into a toilet is likely to clog pipes.

Dumping large volumes of lime into a septic tank risks killing back bacteria and thus causing the tank to fail to process sewage - shortening the drainfield life.

More details including a calculation of the concentration of lime in a septic from dumping a lime pet dip into a toilet can be read at
CHEMICALS to KEEP OUT OF SEPTICS inspectapedia.com/septic/Septic_System_Chemicals_to_Avoid.php

On 2017-06-10 by Shirley smith

Is it okay to flush a small amount of lime down the sink when pickling cucumbers

On 2017-05-12 by (mod) - will a small bit of a toilet paper holder clog the septic system?

Me,

Well chances are the piece of toilet paper holder will float all the way to the septic tank and really do no harm. If it happens to Lodge in a drain line then it may indeed cause clogging Dash and you'll know that if rains appear to begin to be slow or backing up. If you don't have those symptoms in my opinion there's nothing else that's Justified.

On 2017-05-12 by me

Just had a small piece form a toilet paper holder go down the toilet, will this just end up in the septic tank or can it clog it

On 2017-04-16 by (mod) - household cleanser is ok

Sure, Anon. Using a cleanser at normal household usage levels will not harm a septic system.

On 2017-04-16 by Anonymous

When cleaning the toilet bowl, is it ok to use comet as the cleaner in a septic system

On 2017-03-05 by (mod) - do not flush disposable wipes into a septic system

I wouldn't hesitate to use baby wipes. Just toss them into a plastic trash bag that can be closed an disposed-of with household waste. Don't flush them.

Household bleach, in normal usage quantities and levels, ought not be harmful to septic systems.

On 2017-03-05 by Tyee Cambron

I never knew that baby wipes shouldn't be flushed into the city sewage or even septic. Well. That definitely makes cleaning a youngling more difficult and results with less cleanliness. No more fun with the Disney products or Finding Dory products.

And just like most of the listed items to not flush. I can't believe.... wait actually.... For how stupid people are, not knowledge but even knowledge will accidentally or purposely flush the items.

And for my story. I just wanted to look up if I can drain a bleach bucket that I use to clean certain floors and a separate bleach bucket that I use to clean/sanitize certain toy items.

So I really shouldn't flush it. But what the hell am I supposed to do with it? dig a hole in the yard and fill it up with bleach?

On 2017-02-04 by (mod) - chemical used to completely destroy a septic tank on purpose?

Thomad,

I am not aware of any such septic tank destroyer that would be safe to use. Concrete, steel, and plastic or fiberglass tanks are resistant to modest levels of acid and base, but worse, if you had such a material you would be contaminating the environment or risking a fatal explosion. Don't even think about it.

On 2017-02-04 by Thomad -

What could be poured into an industrial sized septic tank to completely destroy it, preferably something that would only take a small quantity?

On 2016-12-03 by (mod) - Is it ok to use cola to clean toilets or to remove stains?

Donna

Dumping a few ounces or even a can of Coke®, Pepsi®, RC Cola® or any other soft drink into a septic system won't hurt the system.

Some of these products are acidic and might help clean a toilet, and indeed letting a mild acid sit for a few hours on some types of stains may improve their removal, but in my opinion you're at risk of falling into another type of pit: that of urban legend. Vinegar and baby oil are also effective at removing some stains.

The effectiveness of any cleaning substance on a specific stain depends on several factors:

The surface being cleaned - of what material is it comprised

The components or ingredients of the stain - a rust stain or lime or calcium stain respond better to mild acids than some other stains

The components or ingredients of the stain removing chemical - no single chemical is best-effective against all types of stains.

On 2016-12-03 by Donna

Was going to use cola as a cleaner in the toilet, after seeing this as a tip. Is it ok to use with a septic tank?
Thanks!

On 2016-12-03 by (mod) - Are biodegradable cleaning products safe for a septic system?

George

Normally, yes. There are some cleaners specifically advertised as "safe for septics", but beware:

Watch out: be sure that you use any cleaning product in the concentration, in the manner, and for the purpose described by its manufacturer. Otherwise your use may be harmful or even dangerous.

For example, at normal household use volumes and concentrations, ammonia, bleach (NEVER USED TOGETHER WITH AMMONIA), vinegar, even cola drinks are safe for septic systems.

On 2016-12-01 by George

Are biodegradable cleaning products safe for a septic system? (purple Power concentrated industrial-strength cleaner degreaser as well as Fabuloso)

On 2016-03-30 by (mod) - Milton Sterilising Liquid safe for use in septics at typical use

Chris

Milton Sterilising Liquid, sold by Milton Baby Care products in 1/2L and 1 litre bottles, is typically used at a concentration of 0.6% (30 ml in 5 litres of water) to sterilise baby bottles, nipples, etc.

At that volume and concentration, that is at most 5L of disinfectant, per day, poured into a septic tank where it will be diluted by about 2000 to 5600 L of wastewater in a typical residential septic tank even before additional wastewater enters the system from daily use, my opinion is that there is no worry that the disinfectant will harm the septic tank.

Milton Pharmaceutical Company (UK) provides an MSDS sheet on this product, indicating thereon that this is a chlorine-bleach type product.

Milton Sterilising Fluid 1%w/v gives 10,000 ppm available chlorine

Milton Sterilising Fluid 2%w/v gives 20,000 ppm available chlorine

Separately at http://inspectapedia.com/septic/Chlorine_in_Septic_Systems.php we discuss the effects of bleach on the septic tank and soakbeds or drainfields.

On 2016-03-30 by chris

Can Milton sterilising liquid go in the Septic tank

On 2016-02-13 by (mod) - do not flush wipes down drains

David Stanley said:

People keep ignoring that wet wipes although flushable don't break down in the sewers and are causing expensive clogs. A better alternative is the Hand Bidet Sprayer which lets you wash with water. It's cleaner, healthier and no clogs.

On 2015-11-17 by (mod) - drain cleaners at normal usage volume and concentration are ok for septics

J.

At normal household use, a drain cleaner, poured into a trap and left for hours or longer, won't damage the septic system . It's using large quantities or using magic bullets that purport to fix a failed septic drainfield that is more dubious.

I like to pour about a half-quart of drain cleaner into the tub drain, let it sit overnight, flush out thoroughly with cold water in the morning.

Keep me posted.

On 2015-11-16 by J. Loeven

Trying to find solution to sluggish bathtub drain to avoid tearing down kitchen ceiling to get to plumbing above. The label of every product in the Home Depot reads "Safe For Septics," or the like. Although I can't believe them all, one or two must be O.K. Any suggestion short of "Tear Down The Ceiling" would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

On 2015-10-09 by (mod) - popsicle stick drain clog risk

Jeannie,

Since the cost to you will be the same if you wait and watch (WITH CAUTION to avoid a sewage backup) for a drain clog as if you call a plumber to snake the drain immediately, I'd watch for signs of a blockage.

A popsicle stick down a sink or shower or tub drain would be stuck in the trap and could easily be fished out or removed by taking off, clearing, and replacing the trap.

But a popsicle stick down the larger diameter of a toilet drain may flow all the way out of your building into the public sewer where it won't be large enough to cause trouble.

On 2015-10-09 by Jeannie tambini

My son flushed a popsicle stick down the toilet of our old house with old pipes yesterday. What should I d?

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