Can You Flush Hair Down the Toilet? Avoid Clogging Your Pipes!

Can You Flush Hair Down the Toilet? Avoid Clogging Your Pipes!

Does your hairbrush look like a small rat? If it’s been a while since you last cleaned it, there’s no time like the present. But, you may be wondering one all-important thing. Can you flush hair down the toilet? It’s a good question. Since you can put some things down there — we’ll get to that! — it may seem like an obvious move. However, you need the facts before you throw your hair in the basin and flush.

This guide will examine everything you need to know about protecting your plumbing. But, if you’re hoping to keep those pipes working well and avoid clogging them up, there are some things that you need to know first. So, check out our guide now to get started.

Can you flush hair down the toilet?

Is flushing hair down the toilet bad? Unfortunately, the short answer is yes. So when you’re next cleaning your hairbrush, you should avoid this all-too-common error.

Flushing hair down the toilet may seem like no big deal. After all, you put other waste products down there, so it should be fine. However, pulling that lever could be a huge mistake. The truth is that hair quickly combines with other things in your pipes to create a blockage. That means that you could end up with a plumbing problem.

Think about it. If you’ve wondered how to get hair out of drains, you know the damage it can do. It gets stuck because your hair starts to mix with soap suds from your products. The same effect occurs in your other drains. You may find that your hair clogs the pipes faster than you can say, ‘oops, I think we need to call a plumber!’

This golden rule doesn’t only apply to human hair. For example, if you have pets you groom regularly, you should avoid flushing their fur or hair down the toilet. The last thing you want to do is ruin your drains because you didn’t think before you flushed.

How should you dispose of hair? 

Picture the scene: You’ve cleaned out your hairbrush, and now have a clump of hair in your hand. Gross. So, how do you get rid of it? There are a couple of ways you can go here. First, off the bat, you might want to dump it in the bin. It’s not the most eco-friendly option, but it is the quickest and easiest thing you can do. Buh-bye, hair!

On the other hand, you may choose to compost the hair. According to Ecology Action, human hair and pet fur can be composted. Since these are 100% organic materials, they will compost with time, so you don’t have to worry. If you have a compost heap in your garden (and you should — it’s 2022!), you can use it for your hair. If you're wondering how to make compost, check out our other article. 

If that weren’t enough, you might want to put your excess hair in your flower beds. Yes, you read that correctly. Some gardeners use hair and even animal fur to support their soil. However, if you use many products in your hair, you might want to think twice about this option. The chemicals in hair spray, gels, and heat protection sprays aren’t necessarily suitable for your flowers and plants. So keep that in mind first!

Want to stop using products in your hair? Here are some other clever uses for a can of hairspray, so it doesn't go to waste!

What can you flush down the toilet?

Now that you know that you shouldn’t be flushing your hair down the toilet, let’s discuss what you can. The only things you should be flushing down the toilet are human waste products (you know what we’re talking about!) and toilet paper. You should avoid throwing anything else in the loo, unless you want to deal with some significant issues later. Even toilet paper alternatives can't be flushed. 

When you find that your toilet is blocked, you should not try to fix the problem yourself. Instead, you will need a qualified plumber to come and deal with it for you. Having a professional unclog a toilet costs between £75 and £150. Chances are, that’s not the kind of money you want to throw down the drain — pun intended — for no good reason.

5 other things not to flush down the toilet

Have you ever wondered what items you shouldn’t be flushing down the toilet? Okay, let us enlighten you. If you’re hoping to spare yourself the trouble and the cost of calling a plumber, you need to be on the ball here. While there are many things that you need to avoid flushing, people make some common mistakes. So, with that in mind, let’s look at five things you shouldn’t put in the loo. 

1. Tampons

You can see why some people would flush tampons down the toilet. These sanitary products are used in the bathroom, so it may be an obvious move. However, tampons are porous, meaning that they expand with liquid. Therefore, they will get larger when you put them into your pipes, creating a blockage almost immediately. 

Got some spare? Here are some unexpected uses for tampons and sanitary towels, that don't involve flushing them! 

2. Kitty litter

Do you have a cute cat in your home? Great stuff! Don’t make the mistake of flushing kitty litter down the toilet. You might think it's one of many great life hacks for cat owners, and that their waste is the same as human waste. It’s not. Moreover, kitty litter is often made of clay or wooden chips. These materials can quickly play havoc with your plumbing and clog your pipes. Avoid this silly move at all costs.

3. Dental floss

When flossing your teeth in the bathroom, chucking the dental floss in the loo may be a quick fix. Do this too often, though, and you may find that your toilet starts to clog up. The floss can screw up into a ball and create a blockage over time. The more this stuff begins to tangle inside your pipes, the worse the problem will be. Rather than causing yourself all of that drama, throw your floss directly in the bin when you’re done.

Check out these alternative uses for dental floss! You might be surprised by what else it can do. 

4. Wipes

Do you use wipes to give yourself that oh-so-fresh feeling? If the answer is yes, there’s something you should know. While wipes may seem similar to toilet rolls, they aren’t. The material is thicker and more likely to create a problem in your drains. Most toilet rolls are biodegradable and will waste away naturally in the pipes. However, the same cannot be said when it comes to wipes. You will need to throw these in the bathroom bin instead.

5. Bandages

Bandages are thick so that they keep your wounds safe. That also means that they shouldn’t go down the toilet. When undressing an injury in the bathroom, you may be tempted to flush it right down the loo. Don’t do it. It doesn’t matter whether these products are made from cloth or other disposable materials; the outcome will be the same.

The conclusion is clear: You must think twice before flushing your hair down the toilet. Don’t make this rookie error unless you want to come up against some annoying plumbing problems. You can keep your pipes free of blockages now that you know the answer.

Next up, read our guide on how to make facial how grow fast

Q&A

Have you got a burning question that we haven’t covered yet? Don’t worry. Here are some of the frequently asked questions that we might have missed.

What happens if hair gets flushed down the toilet?

As we have covered, this problem could ruin your pipes. Hair combines with other things in your drain to create a blockage down the line. You need to call a plumber and pay a hefty fee to get the drains unclogged.

Can short hair clog a drain?

Yes! It doesn’t matter whether you have short or long hair—you can still block your drains with it. You risk creating a clogged pipe when you flush any hair down the toilet. The best way to avoid this issue is to dispose of your hair another way.

How can you dissolve hair?

If you’re already dealing with a blockage, you might wonder how to dissolve the hair. One of the approaches you can try is using bleach. Pouring a cup down the drain may help you clear out your pipes. Of course, if that fails, you will need to call a plumber ASAP.

Why does my drain smell?

If you’ve noticed a funky smell in your drains, that could be a sign that it’s blocked. For that reason, it’s worth investigating the issue. Often enough, when there is debris in your drains, it collects bacteria, leading to a nasty aroma. When you notice this issue, you should speak to a plumber and get it sorted. Unfortunately, it will only get worse!

Learnt something new? Let us know in the comments below! 
Author

Joanne A

Editor

Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

  1. Author Susan Bowden on May 2, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    As well as ALL kinds of wipes, including those marked flushable, other things to not put down the loo when you run out of toilet roll are kitchen roll and tissues. These are both designed not to disintegrate in water!

    1. Author Joanne A on May 3, 2022 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Susan!

    Reply
  2. Author Sandy Nachenberg on May 3, 2022 at 2:58 am

    I'm back to glass jars, etc. What are we to do with them? Certain products ONLY come in glass to keep them fresh and have them last longer.. Talking about things like dill pickles, olives, Martini onions, etc. Some things won't work in plastic, which is another problem we have, too much plastic. Maybe each club house could have a receptible where we can throw glass and trucks can take them to the more desired place. I would hope that that cities have a place for glass. Thanks for listening, Sandy Nachenberg

    1. Author Joanne A on September 27, 2022 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Sandy! Is glass not easily recyclable where you are?

    Reply
  3. Author Janet Leslie on May 3, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Glad I read this. My hair is long and I've been cleaning my brush and chucking the hair down the toilet I should have more sense! It cost me £180 once when it blocked

    1. Author Joanne A on May 3, 2022 at 2:37 pm

      We're glad we could help, Janet!

    Reply
  4. Author jhjk on August 3, 2022 at 12:48 pm

    Glad I read this. My hair is long and I've been cleaning my brush and chucking the hair down the toilet I should have more sense! It cost me £180 once when it blocked

    1. Author Joanne A on September 5, 2022 at 5:28 pm

      Eek! We're glad to have helped prevent a future blockage.

    Reply

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