It can be tempting to toss things down the toilet that should go in the garbage instead. Not like how little kids throw your favourite earrings or watch down the toilet, wondering where it goes, but because everything you throw into the toilet is one less thing you throw in the garbage and one more day you don’t have to take out the trash. No matter how tempting it is, STOP! Do not throw anything down the toilet that shouldn’t be there (toilet paper and waste only)!
One thing that many people think, innocently so, that cannot possibly clog a toilet, is dental floss. The reality is that floss, even though it is so small and seemingly inconsequential, can wreak havoc on your plumbing system and the sewers.
There are a lot of things that you should not flush down the toilet (literally everything except waste and toilet paper), but some of the more common culprits are hair, feminine hygiene products, baby wipes, pills, diapers, grease, and q-tips. Dental floss is even more dangerous than many of these things.
Dental floss is made up of either Teflon or nylon, neither of which are biodegradable. Considering the fact that it does not break down, unlike some of the other things that people flush down the toilet. This is one of the reasons that dental floss can cause serious clogs in your toilet and pipes, as well as environmental damage further down the line.
All the things that we flush down the toilet that should not be there are causing things called “fatbergs.” These are giant, sewer blocking globs of grease or fat, and non-biodegradable garbage like baby wipes and, you guessed it, dental floss. Not only do these fatbergs mean expensive cleaning of sewer systems, but they also contain deadly bacteria such as listeria, Campylobacter, and E coli. Some of the bacteria are also antibiotic resistant! These fatbergs are not small by any means, either. The east London fatberg was 250 meters long and weighed the same as NINETEEN elephants. Fatbergs, caused by the things we flush down the toilet that we shouldn’t, are significant health and safety concerns.
How Does Dental Floss Affect Your Pipes Specifically, Though?
When you flush dental floss down your toilet, especially if you are a culprit who also flushes other things down your toilet, the dental floss acts as a rope to bind all of these things together. Dental floss ties together wipes, hair, toilet paper, and even feces. The more floss you send down, the tighter that little package gets wrapped up, and because it does not break down, that clog is there forever.
If you end up with a dental floss clog, then you are going to have to call a plumber to come in and make things right. The team at Ben’s Plumbing & Heating can get your plumbing working once more, no matter what you’ve flushed down the toilet. Give us a call, and we’ll get everything running smoothly. Just, no more flushing floss!