Can You Flush Hair Down The Toilet? (Find Out Now!)

Paige Hanawalt
by Paige Hanawalt

An average human person has 100,000 hairs on their head. The average person has an estimated hair loss of 50 to 100 hairs a day. Most of us would find hair clumps on our shower floor. Those of us who cut and shave our hair from our heads to our armpits do so in the bathroom for hygiene and disposal purposes. Some of us would be tempted to dispose of it in the toilet but can you flush hair down the toilet?

Never flush hair down the toilet as it can compromise the utility of your plumbing. Liquified hair becomes dense, and can easily clump together and clog your pipes. Professional plumbers also advocate not flushing down hair-like products like dental floss because of their tendency to get stuck and entangle foreign matter that could destroy your toilet pipes.

Whether it is a person’s hair or a pet animal’s hair, it is not advisable to flush it down the toilet. If you do haircuts in your own home, do not flush down the large amount of cut hair. If you groom your pet, do not flush your pet’s hair.

Hair strands will cling and entangle together to form a barrier along with other materials in your pipes to cause a blockage. It becomes like a net in which other materials get caught. Furthermore, when you get hair wet, it becomes heavier and denser. Hair in your pipes could become a bigger mass and be troublesome to get rid of. This is especially true for old or pipes that may have defects.

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Why Is Flushing Hair Down The Toilet A Bad Idea?

Your toilet has a water tank that has pipes that flush out waste into a septic tank or a larger sewage system in your neighborhood and in your city.

These pipelines also connect with what you put down your kitchen disposal. Because hair is not water soluble, it is also resistant to drain chemicals that could normally break down any other blockage. When the grease from your kitchen meets the hair from your shower drain or toilet, it can create a full-on blockade for your sewer line. These blocks will require professional plumbers to fix and also can cost a lot of money.

One or two strands of hair won’t be a problem for your toilet. A build-up of hair strands over time though can cause major damage. As mentioned before, unlike other organic waste like feces or tissues, hair does not get dissolved or get broken down by water. Hair just gets stuck and gathers your flushable wastes to clog up your toilet.

If you have a septic tank, then the build-up of hair can lead your septic tank to be drained more regularly than needed.

All of these outcomes cost time, money, and frustration. The toilet can be said to be the throne of the house. Take care of your throne and there will not be a needless hassle.

How To Dispose Of Hair In The Bathroom

It is normal for people to shed hair, especially in the shower. Look at the entangled mess of hair in your shower drain. You do not want that happening in your toilet. For your shower and sink, use a cover drain. When you see hair in your cover drain, gather it and throw it into the garbage.

What Can You Flush Down the Toilet?

If hair is not a good thing to flush, then what can you flush in your toilet? The New York City of Environmental Protection has the 4 P’s;poop, pee, puke and paper.

The 4 P’s of Flush!

  • Poop
  • Pee
  • Puke
  • Paper (Toilet Paper)

Aside from these four materials, the department advises not to flush it but to trash it. To add, wet and/or baby wipes are also not allowed to get flushed because of the gel these materials have which can clog the drainage system and cause problems to the sewage system.

Hair can be from a living being, but it is not an organic material. It does not disintegrate like poop, pee or puke. Paper is made out of fibers that can easily deteriorate. Strings like hair, dental floss and tampon strings can easily cause build up by entangling with human waste that would have passed through if not for them.

Environmental Risk

A clogged toilet or a broken plumbing system in your own home sounds like an individual problem. But these problems pile up and become a concern for the environment on a larger scale. When you flush things like hair and other foreign objects, then you are causing unnecessary water waste. Wasting water can cost money and public resources, especially when in a drought and water supply to the public is low.

Related Questions

What To Do When You Have A Clogged Toilet Due To Hair?

If your toilet is clogged, try following these steps:Step 1: Plunger: Using a plunger is a great way to try to reverse the blockage. 

  • Push the plunger onto the toilet hole opening, hard enough to create a tight seal. 
  • Then pump the plunger but do not break the seal. 
  • When you pull the plunger up, it should cause the water to drain. 
  • Repeat this process until the drain is cleared. 

Step 2: Baking Soda and Vinegar: These non-toxic cleaners can deodorize and break down materials.

  • Add a cup of baking soda to the toilet.
  • Allow to settle for five minutes.
  • Slowly pour in the vinegar. The vinegar and baking soda will cause a fizzing reaction. This is normal. 
  • Leave the mixture for another ten minutes and try to flush.

Step 3: Plumbing Snake: Plumbing snakes can be found at hardware stores like Home Depot.

  • Put the head of the auger down the toilet hole.
  • Turn the handle clockwise.
  • The attachment should catch on the clog. When you feel the catch or any resistance, turn the auger counterclockwise.
  • Flush

Drain Cleaners that do not use harsh chemicals: There are certain drain cleaners you could try that do not have the harsh and extensive chemicals that can damage your pipes.

  • Bio Ben drain cleaner. This cleaner can be added to a toilet and allowed to stay there until it breaks down enough material to be able to flush. 
  • Eco Punch from Lowe’s uses non-toxic enzymes to break down unwanted material. 
  • Green Gobbler is another brand that utilizes enzymes to break down hair and other matter. 
  • EC30 has a toilet cleaner that is carbon neutral and utilizes non-toxic cleaners.
  • Earthworm utilizes the power of citrus and bio enzymatic processes to remove build-up.
  • Xion Lab is an industrial strength formula that is biodegradable, odorless and nonflammable. It is also safe for your septic tank.

Small amounts of hair will not clog a working toilet. However, if you know that you have a clog likely due to hair, you’ve tried to flush several times throughout the day with no success, and a plunger is not working, nor did the plumbing snake or baking soda and vinegar, then it is better to call an expert like a professional plumber.

Chemical Cleaners Are NOT Recommended.

If you try chemical cleaners, it can cause respiratory problems by the fumes it gives out. Chemical cleaners are also highly corrosive and can cause burns and injury for a lifetime.

These chemical cleaners can also damage your pipes. It can cause gas reactions and warping of pipes that are made of PVC and aluminum. So by using these chemical cleaners, you might be worsening the condition of your pipes yourself.

It is recommended that you consult a professional plumber to know the accurate state of one’s toilet. If the clog is further down the pipe system, then the chemical cleaner might be too diluted to ease the build up.

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Do Not Flush Hair Down The Toilet

From plumbing experts to governmental environmental agencies, their advice is not to flush hair down the toilet. Throw clumps of hair in the trash where it can be safely disposed of. Hair, even though you would think of it as a human waste, is not biodegradable and unlike the 4 P’s, it will not deteriorate and can cause major damage to your plumbing.

Paige Hanawalt
Paige Hanawalt

Paige is an elementary school librarian with a passion for writing. Her hobbies include reading an exorbitant amount of fantasy, slowly teaching herself to draw, and home decor. While she isn't the most talented artist or interior designer, what she lacks in skill she more than makes up for in enthusiasm. When she's not curled up with a book, you can certainly find her curled over the keyboard.

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