Hair and other tiny objects don’t feel like a threat to your toilet. You know what they say — out of sight, out of mind.
Disposing of hair in the toilet may seem trivial, but it’s not good for the sewer and plumbing systems. So can you flush hair down the toilet?
You can throw hair in the toilet, but you shouldn’t do it. The shape and texture of hair make it catch on rough surfaces, so it becomes a chronic cause of clogged drains. Keep reading to see how to dispose of hair and avoid clogging.
3 Reasons Not to Throw Hair in the Toilet
Throwing hair strands in the toilet may come to you naturally, but we can name three reasons not to do it anymore.
Hair Hooks to the Pipes
Hair doesn’t dissolve, and it can easily hook to rough surfaces like pipes. If you have long hair strands in the toilet drain trap, they can wrap around other waste and form a clump that’s hard to remove.
The problem gets bigger in older drains due to many bumps and folds. In this case, hair clings everywhere and creates multiple obstacles in toilet pipes. It doesn’t take long before it builds up to block the drain.
Hair Breaks Down Slowly
Unlike human waste and toilet paper, hair doesn’t break down quickly. When you throw away hair strands, they remain in the toilet trap or drain for years. It creates a perfect setup for clog formation because hair traps other particles and debris.
It Forms Clogs
Both issues we mentioned above lead to the third problem — hair ends up blocking your toilet. If you flush hair consistently down the toilet, most of it gets stuck to the pipes to form blockages.
It will start building up and attracting other elements, creating larger chunks of debris. Sooner or later, your toilet will clog and stop working. You’ll have to shut down the water supply and fix the toilet, which can be a dirty DIY project.
What to Do With Hair Strands?
Flushing hair obviously doesn’t end well, so you better use a different garbage disposal plan. Instead of throwing away hair in the toilet, you can do these things:
Solution 1: Throw It in Trash
Throw hair strands in the trash where they belong. There are no special steps or disposal methods — just put them in a plastic bag and throw them away. That way, your hair will end in a landfill and decompose much faster.
Our advice is to buy a trash can and put it right next to the toilet bowl. It will serve as a reminder to throw hair in the trash bin instead of flushing it down the toilet. If there is no room to leave it there, put the bin in the corner of your bathroom.
Solution 2: Composting
Another option is composting, AKA an organic matter recycling system. Composting reduces organic waste that goes to landfills, produces healthier plants without chemical fertilizers, and improves soil fertility.
Hair is rich in protein, and it will make an excellent fertilizer for plants. If more than one family member has long hair, you’ll have quite some strands to dispose of in your yard or garden.
Solution 3: Burn It
We don’t recommend this solution, but it does serve as an alternative. You can choose to burn hair and make it disappear. The downside is the smell — burning hair smells pretty bad.
It can be a dangerous process, while it also takes more time to burn hair than to throw it in the trash can. For all these reasons, we believe it’s better to throw your hair in the garbage.
How to Unclog a Toilet With Hair Clogs?
Flushing hair down the toilet eventually leads to clogging. In such circumstances, the solution is to roll up your sleeves and unclog the toilet. Try one of these options:
Solution 1: Push It Out With a Plunger
You can try plunging first. Use a plunger that suits the size of your toilet — an adjustable one may not fit well into narrow drains. Pour a gallon of water in the bowl, insert the plunger, and wait until it seals properly.
Now it’s time to start plunging — push the tool up and down to create pressure that breaks hair clogs. If it doesn’t work instantly, try repeating the process several times until you push out whatever is stuck down there.
Solution 2: Break the Clog With a Toilet Auger
You may also use a toilet auger to unclog the pipes. It’s a metal wire with sharp edges, which is great for breaking through the clogs and removing excess hair.
Push the sharp end of the drill into the drain hole — rotate it clockwise until you hear a cracking sound or feel some resistance. Remember to apply enough pressure, but don’t overdo it, as you might end up cracking the pipe.
When you realize that the hair clog is not there anymore, slowly pull out the auger. Clean it after work because the auger often collects debris on its way out.
Solution 3: Use Dish Soap to Lubricate the Clog
After plunging and using a toilet auger, you still can’t unclog the toilet? Then it’s time to change your strategy. You can use a commercial product like dish soap to lubricate the clog and help it slip through the pipes.
Pour soap into the bowl and add a bucket of hot (not boiling) water. Let the solution sit for 15 minutes — it should make the clog slippery and ready for a new push. Now you can flush the toilet and wait for it to remove the clog.
If you see that the toilet is working properly, you’ll know that dish soap works and your pipes are clean again.
Solution 4: Use Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda will start reacting with water quickly, but you must leave them in the toilet for 15 minutes. This combination should dissolve the clog and tear it into little pieces. After that, you can flush the toilet and watch the water running smoothly.
Other Items You Shouldn’t Flush
Toilet clogs are more common than you think, so you should think about how to prevent them. If your hair is long, tie it up before entering the bathroom to avoid accidental sprinkling. Don’t pull it, and don’t flush it down the toilet.
The general rule of thumb is to flush only toilet paper and human waste — feces and urine. Nothing else should enter the toilet bowl, but you probably dispose of some items from time to time. Here are some objects you should never flush:
- Food waste, particularly hard and greasy leftovers
- Hygiene products and paper towels
- Baby wipes and Q tips
- Tampons and medications
- Condoms and rubber items
- Cigarette butts and toilet tissue
- Cat litter and paper
The Bottom Line
So can you flush hair down the toilet? The answer is easy — no, you can’t. Don’t flush anything but human waste and toilet paper if you want to avoid clogs in the bathroom.
Use a trash bin for disposing of stuff. It’s an easy solution, and it’s much eco-friendlier than throwing things in the toilet. But if you still end up with hair clogs in the toilet, use an auger or a plunger to break the obstacles.
Did you like our article? Read more posts to learn other toilet maintenance tips — we will help you keep the toilet clean and functional!
What happens when you flush hair in the toilet?
When you flush excess hair down the toilet, it ends up clogging the drain and causing a backup. Sometimes it takes a while for the clog to compose, but throwing your hair in the toilet frequently will block the pipes sooner or later.
Can you flush pubic hair?
Pubic hair is less likely to clog the toilet because it’s typically shorter than head hair. However, it still ends up collecting in the toilet drain holes and causing obstructions. This is why you shouldn’t flush body hair down the toilet.
Can you flush beard hair?
Beard hair is stiff and thick, so it’s not a good idea to flush it down the toilet. The basic rule of toilet maintenance is not to flush anything but toilet paper and human waste.