You CANNOT flush tampons down the toilet!
This type of misinformation is a home and business owner's nightmare. It is very expensive and it is NOT easy to fix.
Unlike toilet paper, tampons DO NOT break down in water. In fact, they are made to do they exact opposite. Made of cotton, rayon, and other fibres that are meant to expand and absorb liquids, tampons do an excellent job at staying put in wet slippery places.
Tampons do not immediately clog up your toilet after one flush so it may seem like they are safe to flush. Instead, flushed tampons build up over time. Once one gets stuck, it becomes easier for other tampons and non-flushables to get snagged and clog up the pipes.
This is why you see so many posters in public washrooms reminding patrons to throw away their tampons in the trash.
Flushing tampons not only risks clogging up your toilet and pipes but also pipes further up the system and this costs the water authorities billions per year to fix. As you can imagine, this is not an easy or fun job to fix. Just think of the poor guy that has to go down the sewer to clean up flushed tampons!
So what makes a tampon "flushable"?
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.
Tampon companies may say their tampons are flushable for convenience but more and more tampon companies are taking back those statements and encouraging users to properly dispose their tampons in the trash instead.
Can I flush tampons if I have a septic tank?
No, tampons do no biodegrade in septic tanks. They just accumulate at the bottom and can cause septic tank problems which again can be expensive to fix.
The RIGHT way to dispose of used tampons
It's the same way you dispose of used pads. You can properly dispose your applicator and used tampon in the trash bin or feminine hygiene disposal bin.
I like to wrap my used tampon back inside the wrapper or in toilet paper before throwing it away. I don't have a lid on my garbage can and I share my bathroom with others so wrapping it up is a courteous thing to do.
If you're in a public washroom, please remember that someone else is cleaning up after you. Be respectful and dispose of your used tampons properly.
Have you ever flushed a tampon?