Woman flushes a toilet

Can You Flush Hair Down the Toilet?

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Leslie

November 24, 2021

All people shed hair every day. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing wrong with losing even 100 hairs every day. But can you flush hair down the toilet? If not, what’s the best way to get rid of it?

Those who own pets such as cats are well-acquainted with having hair all over the house. With dogs, it can be even worse – no matter how much you brush them, they will still shed hair all over the place.

A lot of people tend to deal with this issue by simply collecting excess hair and throwing it into the garbage bin. That’s one way to solve the problem – other folks will simply flush the hair down the toilet.

And why wouldn’t they? Aren’t there a lot of other, much worse things, making their way through the waste pipe without causing any issues? As it turns out, flushing hair down the toilet is not something you should do – here’s why:

Why Shouldn’t I Flush Hair Down the Toilet?

Dog next to a toilet

While it’s certainly tempting, flushing hair down the toilet is not safe. Believe it or not, hair is one of the most common causes of clogs in pipework. In most cases, the hair won’t clog the toilet itself, but over time, it can build up in the pipes further downstream. There are a couple of reasons behind this.

It Snags on Anything

The first of these is the fact that hair can easily snag on anything that’s in its path. If the pipes in your home are brand new, you don’t have much to worry about. However, in most homes, the plumbing is old and has seen quite a lot of wear and tear, with the pipes being full of small imperfections. And it is exactly these imperfections that can pick up hair and cause major clogs.

It Balls Up Easily

The second reason why hair shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet is the fact that it balls up very easily. When that happens, it creates a sort of web that will catch almost every object passing through the pipe. As you can already guess, this netting can catch a lot of debris over time and cause clogging.

It Breaks Down Very Slowly

Thirdly, hair dissolves very slowly when compared to other biological materials. So, when hair starts clogging a pipe, one should not expect that it will break down anytime soon. What you should expect is that it will stay there for a long time and only cause more and more problems.

It Can Cause Major Issues in Septic Systems

Lastly, those with septic systems should be aware of the fact that they can end up with issues that are far more serious than clogging. Due to the septic system components being a lot harder to reach and fix, the repairs can be extremely costly. If that’s something you’d like to avoid, make sure to only flush down human waste and toilet paper.

If there is hair causing a clog in the pipework, here’s a guide on how to unclog a toilet.

So, How Should I Get Rid of Hair Then?

Man holds pet hair

Now that you know that flushing hair down the toilet isn’t such a good idea, you’re probably wondering – well, what should I do with it then? Here are two suggestions:

Compost It

Yes, hair is compostable! A lot of people find this to be very surprising. In fact, hair is among the best sources of nitrogen for one’s soil. Mix small amounts of hair with other items in your compost – it’s as simple as that. The same can be done with the fur from your four-legged friends.

Throw It Away

If composting doesn’t sound that appealing, you can simply throw the hair into your trash bin. After all, this is what most people do once they find out about the dangers of flushing hair down the toilet. In fact, it may be the only option that actually makes sense in your situation, even though it’s not exactly environmentally friendly.

You also may be wondering: Can you flush baby wipes down the toilet? And how about food?

The Conclusion

In the end, throwing excess hair into the bowl and flushing it away is not something you want to do. Unless you find the idea of having to deal with major clogs appealing, that is.

While it’s true that small amounts of hair aren’t that likely to cause problems, the less hair you flush away, the safer your pipes – and your wallet – are going to be. Just throw the hair into your trash bin instead, or compost it if you’re looking for a more eco-friendly option.

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