It may seem harmless to throw your dental floss down the toilet. After all, it's not nearly as big as a sanitary napkin or a bathroom wipe. And it might even seem more convenient for you if you don't have a garbage can in your bathroom. But as it turns out, this little piece of string could cause a big plumbing problem for you later on.
Floss is usually made out of materials like nylon or Teflon — materials that aren't biodegradable. Because dental floss doesn't break down over time, making a habit out of flushing it can add up fast and lead to a majorly disgusting clog.
"Floss can combine with other items, such as single-use wipes (like baby wipes), and form balls that can grow quite sizable and can clog sewers and pumps," said a spokesperson for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County. "Sometimes these items also combine with tree roots and grease and create huge problems for sewer systems."
And not only is this a nightmare for your toilet, it'll also be a nightmare when you see for yourself what happens as a result:
Don't flush dental floss down the toilet #blockages #plumbing #drainage pic.twitter.com/dSGos0duiz— N (@johnjamesjohn30) March 7, 2016
Don't flush dental floss down the toilet #blockages #plumbing #drainage pic.twitter.com/dSGos0duiz
20 years of dental floss clogged in my toilet. via /r/WTF https://t.co/ydqhNczHft pic.twitter.com/D3Sk4n2IBt— me (@not_actuallyme) September 9, 2016
20 years of dental floss clogged in my toilet. via /r/WTF https://t.co/ydqhNczHft pic.twitter.com/D3Sk4n2IBt
Yuck! If that's not enough motivation for you to keep the floss far away from the porcelain, we don't know what is.
But if you've already been tossing your dental floss into the bowl, you'll definitely want to stop as soon as possible. If you suspect there might be floss lurking at the bottom of your toilet, you'll want to try a plunger or auger to get it out, as drain cleaners may not be so effective for the materials in floss. As a last resort, you may even need to call a plumber.
Remember: Your toilet is not a garbage bag, so please don't treat it like one.
h/t Good Housekeeping
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