Written by Lacie Wever, HRSD Community Education and Outreach Specialist
Published on November 30, 2021

Now that I’m a mom of a toddler, the word “no” is used pretty frequently in my household. 

toddler and baby at toilet
“No, you can’t go outside without your jacket.”

“No dessert before dinner.”

“Please, no, do not jump from there.”

And most recently, “No, that doesn’t go down the toilet.”


My son, who is newly potty trained, has discovered the fun, swirling magic of flushing away the contents inside the toilet. He’s now eager to flush the toilet (even where there is nothing in it!) and especially likes to ask if he can throw objects into the toilet to see them disappear. 

Of course, I use this as a teachable moment to let him know exactly what he can flush down the toilet. Since he is two, I keep it in his terms: only pee pee, poop, and toilet paper can go into the toilet. 

However simple, this is true whether you’re a potty-trained toddler or an adult – the only thing you should flush down the toilet is pee, poop, and toilet paper. 

What NOT to flush down the toilet

Anything other than pee, poop, and toilet paper cannot be flushed down the toilet. This is true even if something is labeled flushable! Unless it comes from your body or is labeled toilet paper, it should not go down the toilet. Why? HRSD’s wastewater system is made up of more than 500 miles of pipes and more than 100 pump stations. Anything other than pee, poop, and toilet paper tend to clog up our sewer system and can cause backups. 

Here’s a great visual showing how items can clog pipes:


Here is a list of 14 items you should never flush down the toilet:
1.    Baby Wipes
2.    Cotton Balls
3.    Cotton Swabs
4.    Dental Floss
5.    Diapers
6.    Dirt
7.    Flushable Wipes
8.    Food
9.    Goldfish
10.    Hair
11.    Keys
12.    Menstrual Products
13.    Paper Towels
14.    Toys
askhrgreenwhat to flush
Remember – ONLY FLUSH THE 3 P’S

To help you (and you little ones!) remember to only flush pee, poo, and toilet paper, we’ve created free, easy-to-download signs for you.

What To Flush Adult Poster
What to Flush Kid Poster

Download these WHAT TO FLUSH signs to help keep the water flowing to our treatment plants!
what not to flush poster examples