This Is Why You Should Never, Ever Flush Floss Down the Toilet

Don't burn it, either.

flossAfrica Studio

Flossing is no longer recommended by the government in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and although experts still have mixed thoughts on writing off the regular dental habit for good, it’s reasonable to say that the gossamer strands will be sticking around for a while. (Here are some other tips for keeping your pearly whites nice and healthy.) But there’s one thing that needs to be avoided by tooth traditionalists that are still flossing, according to, appropriately enough, Mental Floss.

Before you brush in the evening or in the morning, after you eat a buffet lunch or brisket brunch, never, ever toss your floss in the toilet. Floss is much tougher than one would think, frequently made from a mesh of Teflon and nylon with a wax finish. This results in a tough string of non-biodegradable waste which is plain and simply too tough for standard septic systems.

“Floss can combine with other items, such as single-use wipes (like baby wipes), and form balls that can grow quite sizable and can clog sewers and pumps,” Rosales-Ramirez, a spokesperson for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County,  told HuffPost. ”Sometimes these items also combine with tree roots and grease and create huge problems for sewer systems.”

Floss can coagulate with other out-of-place flotsam as well as the standard sewage to create fatbergs, which are masses of oil, fat, grease and other waste that former in septic systems. Dental floss can also get caught up in the moving parts of septic systems, which can lead to motor burnout, according to Today.  

The toilet may be all of two feet closer, but your pipes will thank you for making the extra disposal effort. And if you think you might have gone a bit overboard on your last floss purchase, try getting some extra use out of the stuff with one of these 21 brilliant floss hacks.

[Source: Mental Floss

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