Feminine products like tampons don’t belong in a toilet drain as that could lead to. However, oops! You accidentally flushed a tampon down the toilet and panicking by the thought of blocking your toilet.
If you accidentally flush a tampon down the toilet, you can remove it with an auger or pour a bucket of water down the toilet to push the tampon into the drain. Alternatively, remove your toilet, find and remove the tampon with tongs or plumber’s snake then reinstall it.
Tampons are problematic to plumbing systems since they don’t easily disintegrate like toilet paper and fluids make them grow in size.
So, avoid a catastrophe by finding out what to do if you drop a tampon into the toilet, the number of tampons it takes and how long to clog a toilet, and the signs of a toilet clogged by tampons in this post.
I Accidentally Flushed a Tampon Down the Toilet: What to Do!
Tampons don’t disintegrate easily implying that if it gets stuck on something on its path down the drain, it will not dissolve. In reality, the tampon will remain in the pipe, allowing additional material to accumulate around it until you need to hire a plumber to remove the clog.
If you accidentally flushed a tampon down your toilet, use the following methods to fix the problem.
1. Auger the Toilet
- Start by getting a pair of rubber gloves.
- Collect as much water as you can by hand from the toilet. You can use a shop vacuum or fill a cup with toilet water and dump it into a bucket.
- Take out the bolts that hold the toilet bowl in position with an adjustable wrench.
- Take the toilet bowl out of the workspace. Experts suggest placing the toilet bowl close to a drain since water trapped inside your toilet may leak.
- Thread the plumber’s snake into the aperture. Drive the snake through the drain until you encounter resistance.
- Turn the handle clockwise to attach the hooks to the tampon. When the resistance on the plumber’s snake increases, you’ll know the tampon is connected.
- Take the plumber’s snake out of the toilet drain. It could take a few tries.
- The plumber’s snake may shatter the blocked tampon into pieces. If you feel resistance and no tampon fragments are coming out of the drain, flush the toilet.
- Flush all the remaining pieces down the toilet drain.
2. Pour a Full Bucket of Water into The Toilet
Pouring water into the toilet applies considerable pressure to drive the clogged tampons down the toilet drain. However, this procedure does not guarantee 100% success because it could force the clog deeper down the drain and out of your reach.
3. Remove the Toilet
If the above methods fail, use this approach as a last resort since reinstalling the toilet requires expertise and takes time.
With that in mind, follow the steps below to remove the tampon from your toilet drain:
- Shut off the water supply to your toilet. Close the water pipes from the toilet or the primary supply valve.
- After that, flush your toilet and drain the tank to stop water from leaking into the toilet bowl. Failing to do that will cause water to flood your restroom.
- Next, drain water from the toilet bowl using a cup. Dry it using an absorbent sponge.
- Remove the bolts holding the toilet to the floor with an adjustable wrench.
- Lift the toilet from its current location and move it away from your workspace. It should make you see beyond the trapway.
- You can insert your hand into the drain to check for any blockages.
- If you haven’t taken all the water from the toilet bowl, wipe it off.
- Use the plumber’s snake once more to get into the drainpipe; it could be deeper than you expected.
- If you find the tampon, extract it with the snake or tongs if you use your hands.
- Try to reassemble the toilet by realigning it.
- Attach the toilet bowl with a new wax ring, then secure the bolts to the flooring.
- Restore the water supply.
Removing the toilet is challenging, and it would be best if you hired a professional to handle it. If you don’t reinstall it correctly, you risk having problems such as leaks from the base of the toilet, bubbling sounds whenever air escapes through gaps left during the reinstallation, and an imbalanced toilet.
Can You Flush a Tampon Down the Toilet?
Flushing could be the easiest and best solution for women and those who maintain public facilities. However, given the numerous issues it raises; this is not be an ideal approach to getting rid of our tampons.
Ladies typically wrap used tampons in face tissue or toilet paper before disposing of. Tampons can induce plumbing clogs and cause sewage backflow, health concerns, and costly repairs.
As a result, there are signs in public toilets reminding people not to flush anything other than toilet paper. Additionally, experts advise you to flush only human excrement and tissue paper down the toilet.
What Happens If You Flush One Tampon Down the Toilet?
Tampons are ultra-absorbent and expand when they come into contact with fluids. They stay in one piece inside your body for approximately eight hours- so they won’t disintegrate into smaller pieces like tissue paper does as it passes through your pipes.
Tampons are minuscule enough to go down your toilet without posing a blockage, but they can occasionally clog your house plumbing. However, if it does not, and the tampon finds its way to the waste treatment facility, it might still create problems.
Tampons cause long-term clogs in sewer systems and pose an environmental concern when they enter water bodies. In addition, dealing with sewage blockages caused by sanitary products like tampons and other “unflushables” costs businesses over £100 million every year.
Can I Throw Away My Tampon in The Toilet?
Experts concur that you shouldn’t throw away tampons in the toilet. Tampons comprise highly absorbent substances, so when you flush them, they soak up the liquid and swell.
Tampons don’t degrade like toilet paper; they create blockages that might harm the wastewater treatment system. It explains why, although tampons are biodegradable and may be flushed, they take longer to break down than other waste.
It might result in a very unpleasant backflow of sewer water into your toilet. Additionally, you might need to have your drainage fixed, which can be an expensive endeavor.
You might believe that since it is a cardboard applicator, recycling it will be simple, but tampon applicators cannot be recycled. Tampons have come into contact with blood, and because blood is human waste, many recycling streams will not accept them.
How Many Tampons Does It Take to Clog a Toilet?
A single tampon may block your toilet, and the more it piles up, the worse the harm becomes. According to this notion, a tampon can obstruct the drainpipe and, eventually, the sewer system.
Can One Tampon Clog Toilet?
Tampons do not block the toilet after one flush, so they might appear harmless. Nevertheless, flushed tampons accumulate.
Once one becomes entangled, it becomes easy for extra tampons to become entangled and block the pipes.
How Long Does It Take for Tampons to Clog a Toilet?
Tampons hardly disintegrate while in use but other sites claim it might take up to 6 months which is quite a long time. If a tampon becomes stuck in your sewage system for even a few hours, it might induce a backup of domestic waste that can back up into your home.
How To Know If Tampon Clogged Your Toilet
Don’t freak out if you accidentally flush a tampon down the toilet. The following are signs of a blocked toilet caused by a flushed tampon:
- Water backing up or pouring from your toilet
- Bubbling sounds coming from the plumbing system
- The odor of raw sewage wafts from the drains.
How To Prevent Clogging Caused by Tampons
- Avoid flushing tampons down your toilet.
- If you intend to flush a tampon down the toilet drain, use a bucket full of water to exert considerable pressure on the material. It will force it into the sewer line and thus minimize clogging.
- Invest in toilets with large trapways. They avoid blockage by offering bigger trapways for thicker wastes to pass through.
- Dispose of tampons immediately after use regardless of whether they are compostable or biodegradable.
How To Properly Dispose of Tampons
Since manufacturers employ cotton, rayon, or plastic to make tampons, experts recommend you discard them. Wrap the tampon with tissue paper or its original wrapper before throwing it away.
If you’re in a public toilet, put it in the sanitary napkin container. However, if you use an organic cotton tampon, you can compost it.
Final Remarks on I Accidentally Flushed a Tampon Down the Toilet
Hopefully, this post came in handy to help you deal with clogs that resulted from tampons thrown inside your toilet. Experts advise against flushing them down the toilet drain to avoid clogging problems.
In the case of tampon blockage, use the methods discussed here to fix the mess; otherwise, contact a professional.