3 Pro Tips for New Parents to Practice #FlushSmart Habits

Babies… the sweetest bundles of joy that never fail to put a smile on your face… except  when they have a blowout. A messy, all encompassing – stop what you’re doing right now and open the windows – blowout.

No matter the scenario, navigating the world with a newborn is no easy feat. In between diaper changes and the next feeding, the last thing new parents need is a clogged toilet wreaking havoc at home. So, when you’re dealing with the everyday childcare duties or doing a code-red cleanup, knowing what to flush and what NOT to flush is critical.

Gnarly clogs can create a health hazard for your little ones, spilling waste across the bathroom floor – not to mention the costs of hiring a plumber along with replacing flooring, cabinets, and pipes! We’re bringing you a few quick tips on how new parents can best practice #flushsmart habits the next time a blowout or messy mealtime occurs without adding one more unnecessary headache.

Keeping Baby Clean Without Clogs

Babies and toddlers come along with the gift of more surprise messes than you could ever imagine. Luckily, disinfectant wipes are there to clean up spills along the way. Their long, often synthetic fibers ensure the durability needed to wipe an array of hard surfaces and hold together. But what keeps these wipes sturdy also makes them a danger to your plumbing. Never flush cleaning wipes in the toilet. Instead, toss them in the nearby trash bin.

Baby Wipes: Gentle on Skin, Rough on Plumbing

We totally get it – we’re parents too! Baby wipes are a parent’s greatest asset when it comes to quick clean ups. These wipes are soft and sturdy, which makes them great for baby bottoms and bad for bathroom pipes. Always place baby wipes in the trashcan, NOT the toilet.

Pro Tip: While baby wipes can never be flushed, if you’re ever unsure where a wipe goes, you can always check for the “Do Not Flush” symbol on product packaging. Just remember, baby wipes go in the bin, not in the bowl.

P.S. The same can be said for diapers! They never belong in the toilet.

Public Restrooms Still Count

Baby changing stations in public restrooms give parents on the go the space they need for emergency clean ups. They can usually be found in the bathroom or in a stall to allow for privacy. You may think that the proximity to the toilet means public infrastructure is strong enough to withstand a stray wipe.

But think again!

Sending non-flushable wipes down the drain, whether at home or in a public place, can damage your community wastewater infrastructure. Baby wipes can get caught in wheels and spinners at sewage treatment centers until the equipment slows or stalls altogether. The result? Your taxpayer dollars are reallocated to avoidable repairs, straining municipal budgets.

Keeping these quick tips in mind may seem daunting at first, but remember: to flush properly now can save you a big Clog Monster shaped headache down the road. The easiest way to stay Flush Smart is to check for the “Do Not Flush” symbol on any wet wipe packaging. Below, you can find a quick list of other products that should never be flushed.

  • • Baby wipes or household cleaning wipes
  • • Paper towels, facial tissue, makeup wipes
  • • Fats, oils, and grease
  • • Food, trash, plastic bags
  • • Rags, cloth, disposable gloves
  • • Cotton balls, cotton swabs, dental floss
  • • Feminine products
  • • Hair/hair weaves
  • • Medications/syringes

The Responsible Flushing Alliance is leading the way with its #FlushSmart consumer education campaign. RFA is dedicated to keeping homes and communities healthy through proper flushing practices. This includes supporting clear and prominent labeling of all items that should not be flushed, including promotion of the “Do Not Flush” symbol on non-flushable wipes.

For more information, go to https://www.flushsmart.org or @flushsmart on Twitter or Facebook.