Most homeowners deal with clogged toilets regularly due to improper use out of ignorance or unknowingly. One of the most common questions about condom disposal for many people remains: what happens if you flush a condom down the toilet? As a rule of the thumb, don’t flush condoms down the toilet. Stick to the 3 P’s—pee, poop, and puke. And toilet paper, of course.
There are many ways to dispose of used or waste condoms, and flushing them down the toilet and into the septic tank isn’t one of them.
So, what happens when you flush a condom down the toilet? Flushing a condom down the toilet leads to the formation of fatbergs—a congealed lump of waste usually found sticking in sewer systems. Continuous flushing of condoms into the toilet will clog your plumbing, besides endangering both aquatic life and the lives of other humans when they consume seafood.
Clogged plumbing poses serious health risks and will require you to hire a plumber or apply DIY skills to unclog. Read on for more about what happens when you flush a condom down the toilet.
Can you Flush a Condom Down the Toilet?
No. Flushing condoms down the toilet will lead to a clogged plumbing system especially if you do it more than once. Condoms do not dissolve in the sewer system which can cause backups into your home and to those of your neighbors.
Condoms are made not to leak or allow liquids in or out. This very trait is what makes condoms bad for your sewer system which is why you should not flush them down the toilet.
Why It’s Unsafe To Flush a Condom Down Your Toilet
Flushing a condom down a toilet has many associated dangers, including:
Clogging Your Plumbing
Do condoms clog drains? It is easy to form a habit of flushing used condoms in a toilet after going scot-free in the first few attempts. However, sooner or later, you’ll not be able to flush the toilet properly.
Condoms are mostly made from latex—a rubber material that may take up to 30 years or more to biodegrade. Continuous flushing of such rubber material down your toilet will cause large deposits in the plumbing, causing a blockage in the long run.
If you can’t do the unclogging yourself, getting a plumber to unclog your toilet can be costly. You bet you’re not ready for the shame of a plumber discovering condom deposits are preventing your toilet from flushing properly.
Endangering Aquatic Life
Condoms made from sheep caecum—extracts from the pouch connecting the large and small intestines are biodegradable. However, such condoms are not as safe as their rubber-made counterparts.
As a result, latex and polyurethane condoms are more popular. Unfortunately, they are non-biodegradable and include other additives that make them even difficult to biodegrade.
Condom usage statistics show that up to 450 million condoms are sold in the US every year. Suppose half of such non-biodegradable waste is released into the environment. Keep in mind that condoms flushed down the toilet finally find their way into large water bodies such as seas.
Such condoms remain in the water for many years. Unsuspecting aquatic animals may choose to consume them as food. And you wonder why fish today come packed with microplastics and tiny metals.
So, flushing condoms down the toilet threatens both the aquatic life and humans that consume seafood.
Troubleshooting Guide for Baby Wipe Clogs
The Toilet is Filled with Poop – What to Do
Exposing Your Kids To Dirt and Health Risks
Most non-human wastes are likely to pool at the edge after attempts to flush down the toilet. That is particularly the case with high-buoyancy wastes such as used condoms. And since kids love balloons, they quickly pull them out from the toilet bowl and blow in some air.
Think of the consequences of used condom fluid contents coming into contact with a child’s mouth. That thought alone should raise the alarm on why you need to dispose of your used condoms properly.
Away from drawing used condoms from a toilet bowl, you’ll need to find a clever way to show a kid who bumps on one by the house about its dangers.
What to Do if an Object Gets Flushed Down the Toilet?
The process of getting something out of the toilet when it flushes down is usually almost the same despite the type and size of the object. The following section explains in detail what you should do if an object flushes down the toilet.
What To Do If You Clog Your Toilet With Condoms
If you make flushing used condoms down the toilet a routine, clogging may occur any time when you least expect it. Try the following DIY techniques to unclog your toilet.
1. Use a Flange Plunger
Buy a high-grade, bell-shaped plunger with a thick rubber cap at its end. Place your plunger inside the toilet bowl and continue pushing and pulling outside and within the hole. Ensure the hole at your pot’s end remains covered. Repeat the process about fifteen times. You can then flush the toilet to unclog and start using the toilet again.
2. Plumbing Snake
Dip your plumbing snake’s long flexible wire into the toilet and pull up for any objects clogging the toilet. You can do this by moving the plumbing snake in a circular motion for about 20 minutes.
The plumbing snake will either push down the waste clogging the toilet down the sewer or break it down. Flush the toilet once done, and it should be ready for use again. A stretched wire coat hanger will do the work if you lack a plumbing snake.
3. Apply Homemade Drain Cleaner Technique
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Baking soda
- White vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Half gallon water
- Pour the water into a cooking pot to boil
- Pour in the vinegar or baking soda
- Leave the mixture to boil for about two minutes before turning off the stove
- Pour your ready cleaner into the toilet and let it stay overnight
- Flush your toilet in the morning, and it’s ready for use again
Note: Baking soda and vinegar creates a strong chemical to dissolve any blocking waste.
How Do You Dispose of Condoms?
Disposing of used condoms safely should last a few seconds. There are two ways you can do it. First, wrap it in a tissue, a paper bag, or an old newspaper and throw it in a trash can. Don’t worry about the condoms ending up on land, as they’ll degrade quickly.
The second effective way to safely dispose of used condoms is by burning them in an incinerator. The device then filters small particles and removes all the toxic gases.
Other Things You Should Not Flush Down Your Toilet
Keeping your toilet safe and free from clogs causing fatbergs goes beyond staying steer of used condoms. Below is a list of more waste you should never flush down the toilet.
- Cooking grease, fat, and oil
- Disposable diapers
- Children toys
- Cigarette butt
- Coffee grounds
- Cotton swabs or cotton balls
- Dental floss
- Razor blades
- Plasters and bandages
- Baby wipes
- Sex toys
- Sanitary and feminine hygiene products (tampon, sanitary towel, panty liner, wrapper, and applicator)
- Needles, unused medications, and syringes
- Food waste
- Contact lenses
- Plastic bags
- Paper towel
Flushing a used latex condom down the toilet not only clogs your plumbing but also endangers the lives of innocent people. When the condoms find their way into the sea, they become dangerous to aquatic life, such as fish, as they may end up consuming them as food.
The dirt then ends up in human bodies when people consume seafood. It takes seconds to burn a condom in an incinerator or wrap it in a tissue and dump it in a trash bin to save the environment and the human race.