Recently, we shared a two-piece post on Facebook on how to keep a toilet clean. It generated a lot of questions on how to avoid toilet clogs so we decided to created a blog post instead. As always, we hope you find this of value.

What You Put in Your Toilet Matters

Candidly, your toilet was meant to get rid of human waste. Therefore flushing anything else down your toilet, will greatly increase the chances a toilet clog is in your future in your home. As you might imagine, there are some ordinary things that people put in their toilet and flush that seem inconsequential. In reality, they are very likely to create a toilet clog. Here is a list of items that are often the origin of many toilet clogs, so please avoid them at all cost:

  • “Flushable” wet wipes (NO, they are not really flushable, no matter what the box says!)
  • Anything Cotton (i.e., swabs, balls, q-tips) This does not mean products like Cottonelle toilet paper
  • Female sanitary items (We know it’s how most females were taught to dispose of them but they do not dissolve.)
  • Paper Towels meant for hand drying. If you don’t have a small covered trash can located near a toilet, buy one.
  • Anything that is hard, no matter how small. Even hard candy can get “stuck” and make the drain narrower.
  • Kids! We don’t mean children, but kids love to see if they can send their “Aquaman” action figure back to the sea.
  • Anything that you don’t want to pour down the kitchen sink. Used frying oil, once cooled, is like glue.

Experienced Plumber WantedThink of why drains clog in your home, including the toilet, as a matter of build up over time. Sure, you think,  one cotton ball is not going to clog my toilet. When it’s following a host of human waste and the list of products listed above, a 3″ pipe quickly ends up with a 1″ diameter and the next human deposit just can’t make it’s with through that small a space. And, as we have seen many times, it gets expensive if we have to take the time to not only clear the clog, but also replace the old wax or newer non-wax seal that keeps the toilet water and it’s contents from leaking to a lower floor.

The Toilet Lid is Your Friend

Commercial Plumbing ServicesWe’ve all seen toilets when visiting friend’s homes and needing to use their facilities, whether it’s called their powder room, bathroom, water closet or simply “the loo”.  Rarely do private home or apartment owners put the seat lid down after use. This part of the seat has a singular purpose – to keep things that could have accidentally fallen into the bowl unnoticed. And as mentioned earlier, if something drops in like a toothbrush or a small bar of soap, many people, especially kids, think they can simply flush it away rather than (ugh) put their hand in the water to retrieve it.  If the lid was down, problem avoided. Special note, if you have overnight guests with children, consider purchasing a lid lock (see photo). A simple push button releases it for adult use, and when closed, 2 year old hands cannot get in trouble.

Trees Are Not Your Friend

Well, technically it’s not the trees fault, but if you happen to live in a beautiful tree lined street that were planted 50 years or more, it is possible for their roots to make their way into your sewage lines where toilet contents are sent to sewage treatment centers.. No matter how much time you put in avoiding the issues previously mentioned, tree roots can play havoc with your toilet. That’s because one day a “wad” of toilet paper will have landed in just the right place to make the next flush a failure. But as that wad dissolved, it clears enough space for the next flush to execute flawlessly. Frequent clogs might not be caused by your plumbing or what you’re flushing. It might be a problem with what’s in contact with your sewer line. A major problem that we see with homes in older parts of #BergenCounty is problems with tree roots growing into your plumbing line underground. Tree roots grow in a way that’s pretty persistent. Tree roots are the natural enemy of any pipe underneath the ground. Whether your toilet or entire home has constant clogs, there comes a point where your best bet is to contact a professional. They have special tools and videographic equipment to see what is going on inside the pipes. If tree roots are the cause, the pros know how to fix it and avoid damaging the tree’s health.

Root Intrusion


Like most inconveniences related to your home’s heating, plumbing, drains, cooling or ventilation, one call does it all. Just call #BergenCounty’s BEST HVAC problem solver – Muccia Plumbing at 201-588-5907 or via email at