6 Items That Should Never End Up in Your Septic System

Mahon Plumbing Septic System

There are quite a few items commonly flushed down the toilet that can wreak havoc on your septic system.

It is unfortunately a common occurrence that items other than toilet paper get flushed down the toilet and end up in the septic system. This is a big problem, because many products that are commonly flushed down the toilet end up wreaking havoc on your home septic system, as well as the larger sewer system in your area. Be careful with your septic system and avoid flushing problematic items.

“Flushable” Wipes

This one is first because it causes some of the most serious septic issues due to their unfortunate marketing. Even though these wipes are marketed as being flushable, the reality is that they do not break down quickly enough and are infamous for causing septic clogs. In February of 2022, a 1200-foot clog was found in Green Bay that consisted almost entirely of flushable wipes. They don’t just wreak havoc on city sewers, though. They can back up and damage your home septic system. Never flush these wipes down the toilet—instead, keep a small lined trash can in your bathroom and toss the wipes in there.

Tissues & Paper Towels

Other paper products commonly get used when the toilet paper runs out, but these are not safe for flushing. Products such as tissues and paper towels are made to absorb liquids, so they don’t break apart and degrade in your septic system—they just swell up and clog your pipes. Like the flushable wipes, these products should be tossed into a lined bin instead of being flushed.

Cotton Products

Cotton swabs, cotton rounds, and cotton pads all have a habit of ending up in septic systems even though they can cause major issues. If you’ve ever used a cotton ball to soak up a liquid, you may have noticed that it swells and becomes more solid than when it was dry. It does this while it’s traveling through your pipes, too. These don’t only cause clogs—they can actually bend or break your pipes if they are left to build up over a long period of time.

Feminine Products

Feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, pads, and liners, are just more products that are designed to absorb liquids and swell in the process. Unfortunately, this is just another way that pipes become clogged and damaged.


Adhesive bandages are typically made of plastic, which is not biodegradable and will not break down once it enters your septic system. In addition, their adhesive properties allow them to stick to other materials in the system, which can cause masses to grow into severe clogs.


It is best to avoid flushing certain things down the toilet that can pollute the water. This includes items such as medications, as well as household cleaners. Stick to the standard toilet bowl cleaners while you clean and avoid dumping household cleaning products into your septic system where it could be potentially harmful.

Call Mahon Plumbing Today

If you still have more questions regarding your plumbing, we here at Mahon Plumbing are here to help. We have been serving the wider Baltimore area since 1994, so we have 25 years of experience to back up our fantastic service! Call us at our Baltimore location at 410-766-8566 or our Pasadena location at 410-636-7944. Be sure to keep up with us on social media by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 19th, 2023 at 12:27 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.