Can you flush tampons down the toilet? We investigated so you don’t have to
We here at HelloGiggles are no strangers to pondering life’s big questions. Why are we here? Is there intelligent life in the universe? And perhaps most importantly: Can you flush tampons down the toilet?!
But seriously. Can you?
It seems everyone we know has a different opinion on the matter. We’ve heard everything from, “Absolutely never do it,” to, “I don’t think you’re supposed to do it, but I do it anyway,” to, “I’m pretty sure they’re meant to be flushed.”
Instead of getting bogged down by the rabbit hole of “facts” commonly found on the internet, we decided to go directly to the source on this issue to get the most accurate answer possible. We reached out to both Tampax (because, well, basically everyone and their mom uses the brand) and a professional plumbing service to get the real deal.
And here’s what we found.
“I really thought everyone knew how to dispose of a tampon by now, but since they don’t, I am so glad you are writing this story!!” wrote Lisa from the “Tampax Team” in an e-mail to Hellogiggles.
She followed it up with, "Our tampons are not flushable. All used tampons, applicators, or wrappers should be disposed of with household waste. One should never flush them down the toilet."
So that’s a hard no on flushing tampons!
However, if you’re currently sitting back thinking, “Yeah, yeah…I know you’re not techically supposed to, but what’s the worst that can happen?” we called a plumber to find out exactly that.
Joe from Einstein’s Plumbing in Brooklyn, New York was kind enough to answer our questions when we called to inquire about the “tampon issue.” Upon being asked if his company has ever encountered tampon-related plumbing problems, he quickly responded with, “ALL THE TIME.”
He continued, "At least seven times a month. They don't dissolve. They're not disposable. And when they do get flushed, they end up in the sewer and clog the pipes to buildings."
Okay, another HARD NO on flushing.
Now at this point, some of you may be asking, “But what if my tampon box says they’re flushable?!”
We’ll now refer you to this post about “flushable” tampons from The Period Blog, a site devoted to all-things period-related:
"To be considered "flushable," the tampon must pass the Brunelle Flushability Test. This test is completed in a laboratory with a modern toilet where a tampon is flushed to see if it passed the U-bend. If it passes through then it is considered "flushable." However, even if a tampon passes the U-bend, this test does not account for the rest of the pipes the tampon passes through which is where most tampons get stuck."
And there you have it people. DO NOT FLUSH YOUR TAMPONS! Even if you’ve flushed tampons in the past and haven’t (yet) experienced a serious plumbing issue, that absolutely doesn’t mean you won’t at some point in the future.
Now on to the next big questions: Is there life on Mars? And how will Game of Thrones end?!