What Do You Flush?

What Do You Flush?

Have you ever thought about what you flush? Do you stick to what you should, or are you like many of the us and flush or pour away a few items you shouldn't? I mean what could it hurt right? Well, what if I told you everything you flush or pour down the drain that you shouldn't, can make a difference to the drainage system and environment.

What people admit to putting down the drain

Do you ever put the following down your drain?

The people over at UKDN recently took a survey of people in the UK and their habits when it comes to what they pour away and flush and like I said at the start, you aren't alone with flushing and pouring away things you shouldn't. This survey found at least 1 in 4 people in the UK poured cooking oil down the drain, while almost half of the people surveyed poured down sauces. This is one I am probably guilty of; and it's allowing my drain to fill with hair, which is admitted to by 1 in 5 people. For all you women 15% of us admitted to flushing tampons, applicators and wrappers. Ekk!

What's perhaps the most surprising result is 94% of the population said they knew what they should and shouldn't be putting down their drains!

However, with the rise of fatbergs, I think many of us can agree that the % of people who are actually following the rules around what you should and shouldn't flush is much lower. After all these bergs have been all over the news, with the Whitechapel fatberg having been put on display at the Museum of London.

However, it isn't just these “normal” items being found in the sewers, apparently accidentally or not people are flushing things you perhaps wouldn't expect to find. From hamsters to key and rings to underwear and even drugs! All sorts are being flushed by people when really they shouldn't be?

Have you ever flushed the following?

So with all those items in mind and all those people flushing and pouring them away day in and day out, it is hardly surprising that our sewers and drains are becoming clogged and backlogged. In our previous flat we had to have people out to unblock ours a number of times and while a few times it was down to tree roots after that nappies and babies wipes (not from us of course) happened to be the cause.

If your drain does end up being blocked then never fear as the people at UKDN offer a drain unblocking service to help get your pipes flowing again as quickly as possible.

Have you ever flushed what you shouldn't or suffered from backed-up drains?

This is a collaborative post.


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What Do You Flush?

This article has 104 comments

  1. robin rue

    I definitely put sauces in my sink, but none of the other things on my list. I need to be more careful about what I flush!

  2. Alli Smith

    I only flush tp! When my son was a toddler, he flushed a bouncy ball because he wanted to see it go down the hole. It was a mess and I had to call a plumber.

  3. candy

    We only flush toilet paper down the toilet bowl. Everyone in our family knows not to flush anything else besides only good common sense. At least I thought it was common sense.

  4. Glenda Cates

    In the past I am sure I flushed things I shouldn’t have but now that we live in a Trailer I try and be more careful because I can’t afford for the drains to become clogged although that doesn’t mean it will not happen in the Future from trees or roots or someone in my family flushing things they shouldn’t flush.

  5. Cristina Coroiu

    Oh my, are people really flushing that stuff? I’m guilty of small food pieces, sauces, and hair but I never thought of throwing any of the others down the drain. I’m really surprised people do those stuff.

  6. Penny Golightly

    I’m always shocked by what people flush away, but am much more careful with my own behaviour. If a pipe gets blocked while it’s within your property boundary then the homeowner is liable for any repairs, so to be honest there has always been a fear of ending up with a gigantic drain clearance bill. I do care about the environment too though, and collectively we could all do with being more responsible.

  7. Jeanette

    I never really thought about what goes down my drains. I have learned that you don’t put prescriptions down the drain but other stuff I never even thought about. This is definitely food for thought.

  8. Melissa Chapman

    It is so important not to dump anything that can stuff up your pipes. We had a wetwipe in my toilet and almost had a disaster so I am stresssing to the family to be vigilant.

  9. Pam Francis Gregory

    I really makes me wonder where people expect these items to go. Bet they are the same people who moan about their water bill going up!

  10. Terri Steffes

    I talked to a plumber friend about this (here in the US) and he had a lot of the same information.

  11. Teresa

    I would never have thought to flush some of the items on the image. We are pretty conscientious in our home about what goes down and the kiddos flushed something they shouldn’t’ have as a toddler and we had to have the plumber come!

  12. Anosa

    I learnt when I read the survey that I have inadvertently flushed something I should have down the drain {cooking oil} since then I haven’t done it and working to keep my drainage clean

  13. Jessica Joachim

    I should probably be better about what goes down my sink… I am bad about letting sauces go down the drain, but try to keep oils, foods, and other things out of the sink… I’m still in shock that one of the charts mentioned flushing a hamster though.

  14. Joanna

    The only thing that should be flushed is toilet paper! This is what I like about the Asian countries, there you can’t even throw the toilet paper, you put it in a basket. And everyone respects this because if they clog the toilet it’s a nightmare to fix.

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      I was thinking some places you can’t even flush loo roll can you. I’m not sure how I would feel about that but then I guess it’s just normal to them.

  15. Joan Cajic

    I am guilty of pouring fat down the drain but I usually follow it up with hot water for it not to dry in the drain. We used to get blogged pipes when I was younger and people really do need to watch out for what they flush.

  16. Ashley

    This is good info to have. I know I probably put some things down the sink I shouldn’t!

  17. Everyday Made Fresh

    I really need to be better at flushing feminine hygiene products. I only flush card board tampon applicators, but I am sure it’s doing harm.

  18. Amber Myers

    Oh my, I’m surprised what people flush. I only flush the normal things. I wouldn’t even think to flush hair. Ick!

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      I only do it in the sense it goes down as I shower – I always try and pull it out of the plug as much as possible as soon as I’m out though.

  19. Tasheena Nicole Johnson

    This is a really informative post. I have to share it with the kiddos as well. I typically do really well with not flushing certain items.

    • Sarah-Louise Bailey

      I hope it helps them understand a bit more about what not to flush! Looking up the fatberg is a bit of an eye opening experience as well if you’ve not seen it.

  20. Rebecca | AAUBlog

    a really interesting post – and so timely too, with all of the baby wipe business being in the news. Surprising how many people aren’t sure

  21. tara pittman

    I do put coffee grounds down the drain. It is just easier but I will stop doing it.

  22. What Corinne Did

    omg who would flush a hamster down the toilet?! I make sure no hair goes in the drain but some always manage to escape. As a rule of thumb in my home, anything not liquid does not go in the drain

  23. Tamara

    I had to come over and read this after seeing you talk about it on Instagram!
    We have what I call a weak septic. I think even flushable wipes don’t go down easily. We really don’t flush much down there!

  24. Karen Morse

    There are a lot of things that goes into taking care of your home and that includes maintaining your drainage system. Flushing things that you’re not supposed to will definitely cause problems! Love how informative this post is! Such a good reminder for everyone!

  25. Heather

    I have totally put all of those things in my sink drain. My husband always tells me not to and I tell him he’s too paranoid. Oops!

  26. Emma Riley

    This is such a great illustration and thanks for sharing this with us it makes us aware and to be careful of what we are flushing.

  27. Princess Quinn

    This is what I’m guilty of- flushing down hair ball into the sink; and flushing leftovers and sauces to the drainage. When our sink gets clogged, I call my dad to get it fixed.

  28. Hannah Marie

    I always check what I throw down the sink and the toilet. I make sure that our sink has grease trap so it won’t clog.

  29. Louisa

    I had no idea that fatbergs existed until I read about it a few months ago. The Whitechapel fatberg really did bring this to the limelight. We definitely need to be more intentional about the things we flush.

  30. karamel_kc

    I always make sure I use one of the metal strainers in the sink, I don’t want do deal with a blocked and smelly drain.


  31. Jemma Andrew-Adiamah (@celery_cupcakes)

    This is such a useful post. I’m quite cautious about what we flush and put down the sink, especially to save on the money if something were to go wrong.

  32. Yeah Lifestyle

    This post is so informational! I did not know that you can’t flush down most of the things listed, but luckily I don’t do it. Its good to know though.

  33. forkwardthinkingfoodinista

    Wow cant believe how much stuff people actually flush away! Informative and useful to give people the heads up x

  34. Farrah Less

    It’s kinda mind blowing knowing what other people flush on their toilet and sink. In our household I always remind everyone to be very careful what they flush, a lot of time the toilet is a lot harder t deal with.

  35. Anonymous

    In addition to what they are flushing I think people should also be mindful of how many times they are flushing. Some people flush 4-5 times when they go just out of habit, not out of necessity…so wasteful!

  36. Jessica Taylor

    Over the years (especially now with young kids) I have become super aware of what we flush. My daughter has a habit of flushing any and everything!

  37. Laura Dove

    Wow I can’t believe that people flush anything more than toilet tissue! It’s crazy! our next door neighbours used to flush nappies which was crazy, and resulted in lots of floods!

  38. Amy H

    I try to be very careful about what we flush down the toilet or pour in the sink. We live on a Well/Septic land. So all our grease gets put in jars and disposed of, no food goes down the sink/toilet…. etc…

  39. Terri Beavers

    Every time the grandkids come over, my toilet gets backed up. I don’t know what they’re flushing but I keep asking them to only flush TP. Lol.

  40. lavandamichelle

    What a cool post! This really made me think about what I flush down the toilet. Its mostly food or tissue. But I really need to just flush tissue! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  41. Rosey

    I imagine public restrooms where people can be anonymous and not responsible for repairs see quite a few things. My sister has quite a few septic problems at her house, so we are well learned to flush nothing but necessities.

  42. Hey Sharonoox

    It’s sad that there are so many who knows about the big “NO” of flushing unneccessary stuff but still do it. Thanks for sharing this info!

  43. Olga Zak

    It is so important not to dump anything that can stuff up your pipes. This post is so informational! Thanks for sharing.

  44. Nichola - Globalmouse

    This is such an important post. I do try to think about what I’m flushing although I admit I do flush hair, I had no idea that was a problem, I do it after I’ve brushed just to clear the hairbrush. I’ll stop that one now.

  45. Mellissa Williams

    Wow, I can’t believe some of the things that people flush down the toilet! I try to only stick to flushing toilet roll or tissues down the toilet. People should really think more carefully about what they’re trying to flush away

  46. Kacie Morgan

    I am actually very mindful of what I flush; I watched a documentary about how blocked drains can get once, and it made me determined never to throw away another cleansing wipe or cotton pads ever again!

  47. paula cheadle

    I have in the past flushed things that I should not have, but for years I have only flushed sauces and hair down

  48. Jayne Sullivan

    I am also guilty of flushing hair down the drain in the bathroom..

  49. Nadia Josephine

    Oh gosh some of that is horrendous it is just something you don’t consider. I do remember as a kid my neighbour’s mum flushed their dead fish down the loo and it made me wonder whether there were lots of dead fish in there!!

  50. Kayla

    This was really interesting and seems so obvious, but who actually thinks about what they flush. I think it’s something people need to be more aware of.

  51. Kim Styles

    Sauces are the only thing I flush away that I shouldn’t. I am pleased to say

  52. Emma C

    Really interesting post – I am guilty of flushing sauces but surprised at some of the other stuff on here people have been flushing! Would hate for a fatberg to emerge on our street!

  53. Paul B

    Oh no! I really will have to be more careful and think before flushing!

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