What I'm about to tell you might surprise you. Are you ready to get personal? You should never flush tampons down the toilet. If you do, it's likely you'll end up with major plumbing problems.
Most women are under the impression that flushing tampons are perfectly fine and normal. Out of sight, out of mind, right? The information below should convince you otherwise...
The nasty truth that few people actually discuss is that, even though it's out of sight, that seemingly harmless little tampon you just flushed down the drain will not disappear or disintegrate.
It's not really very surprising that consumers are under the impression that this is perfectly fine and normal. I mean, it says right there on the box, that the product is flushable.
Unfortunately, manufacturers of these products only add to the confusion and misconception. They'll tell you that you can't flush plastic applicators, which should be obvious. But it's understandable why some consumers might be confused after being misled to believe that cardboard applicators and tampons are perfectly fine to flush.
But when doing a more extensive search, the Kotex website gives an even more misleading answer.
One section says, it's fine to flush tampons in homes that have newer toilets.
The age of your toilet doesn't really matter. A tampon can clog old and new toilets alike, wreaking havoc on your home's drain line and sewer.
Another section on the Kotex website says it's okay if you only to flush biodegradable tampons.
If you really think about it, what's the actual difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable tampons? Maybe some different materials are being used. But when it comes down to it, they're meant to be used in the same way, and therefore, biodegradable tampons are just as bad for your drain as non-biodegradable tampons.
But one section actually references a plumber rather than just assuming it's okay.
In an article written by Tracy Moore for Jezebel, "Time to Accept Reality and Stop Flushing Tampons Down the Toilet," executive director for the Plainfield Area Regional Sewage Authority in New Jersey says, "...they don't break down in seconds like toilet paper, which breaks down as soon as you get it wet." (Watch this fascinating video to see how items you flush down the toilet break down over time).
The point is, yes, the tampons will flush, but no, they will not break down easily, and yes, they will clog your drain. Flushing a tampon down your toilet has the potential to cause serious damage, as demonstrated in these videos.
Tampons, luckily for those who use them, are made to not break down when they get wet. They're designed to expand and absorb liquids. This is exactly the opposite of what you want to happen when you flush something down the toilet.
So when you flush just one and it doesn't clog your pipes immediately, imagine everything you flush in the future snagging on it, expanding, and gathering together in your pipes. It's not going to be pretty, and it's not really going to be cheap or easy to fix, either.
Aside from all of this, everything you flush down the toilet that doesn't dissolve ends up at wastewater treatment facilities. Workers end up sifting through what's left in the water. This includes tampons, condoms, wipes, and more.
The trash in the water ends up where trash always does: the landfill.
The tampons (along with condoms, floss, chewing gum, baby wipes, and everything else) you're flushing down the toilet are damaging to your drain. They're going to end up in the landfill anyway. Save yourself the future headache and only flush the 3 P's down the toilet.
Put tampons and applicators where they're going to end up anyway: in the trash.