What’s one of the worst disasters to occur in a bathroom? A unanimous vote indicates an overflowing toilet, especially after a “number two”. Perhaps you’ve experienced the horror of toilet water that keeps rising until it overflows.

Why does this happen to you?

The more obvious reason is that you’re probably flushing items that are supposed to be thrown in the dustbin, not the toilet. The result is a blocked and smelly drain. You could call a plumbing specialist to unblock your drain every few months, or you could take some preventative measures.

Here are some items that DO NOT belong in a toilet bowl:

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes block drains, despite baby product companies claiming their specific brand of baby wipes are flushable. Baby wipes do not dissolve in water and should never be flushed down the toilet. The same applies for makeup remover wipes.


It’s rather surprising that parents still do this because flushing nappies down the toilet is a massive mistake. Like sanitary products (below), nappies are designed to expand in water, not dissolve. Nappies are too large to flush in any case, but by the off-chance that one manages to pass through, it will expand like a giant balloon and truly block the pipes.

Sanitary products

Save yourself the embarrassment of having the plumber delve into a heap of soggy tampons and pads in the blocked drain by simply NOT flushing them. Tampons and pads are designed to expand in moisture, not shrink or dissolve. Tampon strings get caught in the pipes too. Wrap these items in toilet paper, place in a paper packet or plastic bag, and discard them in a dustbin.

Earbuds, cotton wool and cotton rounds

Cotton wool, earbuds and cotton rounds are not degradable in the same way that toilet paper is. Bin them, don’t flush them.

Dental floss

Flushing dental floss down the toilet can cause extensive damage to plumbing pipes. Floss threads form a net that catches and retains debris. Rather throw used floss in a dustbin.

Tissues and paper towels

Unlike toilet paper, tissues and paper towels cannot be flushed because they don’t degrade. Throw them in a bin.


Never flush expired pills and other medication down a toilet. Toilet water does not dissolve pills completely, resulting in toxic environmental effluent.

Cat litter

Some brands of cat litter claim to be flushable but most toilets don’t have sufficient water force to wash the litter through the pipes properly.

Hair from a hair brush

Who of us haven’t done this? Tossing hair in the toilet is not recommended because like floss, it forms a net that traps debris.

Chewing gum

Chewing gum remains a sticky blob no matter what. It certainly doesn’t degrade or dissolve in water, instead it sticks to the inside of pipes. Spit your chewed up tasteless blobs into the bin.

Bonus extra: Fat and grease after cooking

Don’t ever pour cooking grease in the toilet because once it cools, it congeals and eventually hardens inside plumbing pipes.

So, you don’t flush any of the above items down your toilet? What could possibly be causing it to block? Now is the time to call the “big gun” at 082 965 8471 – a qualified, licenced and thoroughly reliable plumber who uses CCTV drain inspection equipment to detect the reason for the blockage.