Illinois Commerce Commission Reminds Residents Not to Flush Sanitary Wipes, Facial Tissues Down Toilet

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While Illinois residents are being more aggressive in their use of cleaning supplies because of the coronavirus pandemic, a state commission is warning that those supplies must be disposed of properly.

In an email sent out Wednesday, the Illinois Commerce Commission encouraged state residents to toss trash into garbage cans, not try to flush it down their toilets.

“To avoid the spread of COVID-19, many of us are using more cleaning wipes on our hands and hard surfaces,” the commission said. “A shortage of toilet paper may tempt some residents to use and flush tissues, paper towels or baby wipes down the toilet, but despite what some packaging might say, these items are not flushable and can result in serious toilet clogs and do damage to sanitary sewer systems.”

The commission says that flushing those types of items down toilets can lead to costly plumbing repair bills, and could have widespread problems in the sewer system.

Residents should avoid flushing:

  • Grease
  • Cleaning and baby wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet seat covers
  • Diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Dental floss
  • Cleaning brush refills
  • Q-tips
  • Cotton balls
  • Engine oil, chemicals and paints
  • Food waste
  • Razor blades
  • Latex materials
  • Medicine
  • Bandages

In addition to the damage those items could do to sewage systems, certain cleaners, chemicals and medicines could adversely impact aquatic and marine life in streams and rivers.

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