Many people see toilets as liquid garbage cans, but that is not the case at all. While garbage goes to a dump where it is sorted and properly disposed of or recycled, everything flushed funnels into your septic tank which is then dispersed into leach fields. The easiest way to harm this process is to improperly dispose of particular items. Knowing what and what not to flush can leave you with a healthy septic system that requires only necessary septic tank maintenance.

What Not to Flush

It’s all about what is going down your drains when striving for a healthy septic tank. You may not realize it, but everyday things that you have flushed down your toilet are negatively affecting your septic tank. A clogged septic tank can lead to septic overflows that can be very costly. To best avoid a clogged septic tank and keep a properly functioning septic system, be sure to avoid flushing any of the following items.

Cotton Swabs

While cotton swabs and toilet paper are both bodily cleaning resources, toilet paper is biodegradable and cotton swabs aren’t. This means that they will keep their original form and potentially clog and damage your sewage pump.

Fats, Oils, & Grease

None of these liquids should be poured out in the sink, much less down your toilet. These liquids need to properly discarded. One of the easiest ways to do this is by pouring these liquids into a small plastic bag and placing them in your trash. If any of these liquids were to make it into your septic system, you can expect blocked septic piping and baffles.


This should go without saying, but people regularly flush hair down the toilet. The same way that they have the potential of clogging your shower or sink drain, they can clog your septic system. Human or animal hair combings will not biodegrade in septic tanks and have the potential of clogging septic drains.


Condoms are not big enough to clog an entire septic system but can cause major damage as they are not (usually) biodegradable. Its flexible nature and moderate size allow it to easily clog septic drains if baffles are not installed. If your system is properly functioning and consists of a baffle that will separate liquid waste from scum, it should be removed the next time the tank is pumped out.

There are many other items you should avoid flushing, but these are some of the most common and detrimental to your septic tank system. By avoiding all of the aforementioned items, you can expect a healthier septic system. If you think that it is too late and you have already flushed something you shouldn’t have, try one of our septic cleaning products. Maxx’s Products helps clean away fats, grease, oils, and more! Be sure to contact us at (800) 397-2384 to learn more or place your order today.