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Can You Flush Hair Down the Toilet? (And What’s the Best Alternative?)

Can You Flush Hair Down the Toilet? (And What’s the Best Alternative?)
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We all shed hair on a regular basis. In fact, it’s considered completely normal to lose 50-100 hairs every day. With all that hair falling out, where should it go?

If you have pets, you’re probably used to seeing even more hair, or fur, all over the place. We have two dogs that shed like crazy. We can brush them one day and still pull clumps out of them the next.

We’ve always thrown our excess hair or fur into the garbage bin or simply swept up any unnoticed hair that happened to make it to the floor. While this is pretty typical, are there any better alternatives?

One option that you may have considered is to flush that hair down the toilet. After all, much worse things make their way through your plumbing without issue, right?

So, is it safe to flush hair down the toilet? Let’s find out.

Can Hair Be Flushed Down the Toilet?

Flushing Toilet

Although it might be tempting, it is not safe to flush hair down your toilet. In fact, hair is one of the most common causes for a clogged drain pipe. While the toilet itself likely won’t get clogged by hair, the pipes further downstream most definitely can over time. There are several reasons for this.

First, hair tends to snag on anything in its path. If you have brand new pipes, you might not have many imperfections in them, but for anything that’s had some wear and tear or has been repaired, there are likely some rough areas or areas of buildup that will catch any hair that comes its way.

Next, long hair tends to ball up really easily. When it does so, it creates a nice web that catches anything trying to pass through. This netting can cause a clog over time as more and more debris is caught by the web.

Also, unlike other biological materials, hair actually breaks down really slowly. As a result, if some hair starts clogging your drain, don’t expect it to simply break down over time. Instead, it will simply stay there getting worse and worse.

Lastly, if you have a septic system, you could end up with more issues than a clogged drain, as the components are much more difficult to access and repair. Septic system repairs can be very costly, so the only items that are safe to flush in this case are human waste and septic-safe toilet paper.

What Should You Do With Excess Hair Instead?

Since it’s not a good idea to flush your hair down the toilet, what should you do with it instead? Well, you have two basic options to choose from:

Compost It

Kitchen Compost Container

It comes as a surprise to most people, but hair is compostable. In fact, it’s a good source of nitrogen for your soil. Simple mix it in with the other items in your compost pile in small amounts. The same goes for fur from your pets.

Throw It Away

Kitchen Trash Can

If composting doesn’t work for you, you can always resort to the trash bin, like most people likely do. While it might not be the most environmentally-friendly option, it might be the only one that makes sense in your situation.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s not a good idea to flush excess hair down the toilet, unless you like the idea of having your pipes eventually clog. While small amounts probably won’t cause any issues, the less you put down your pipes, the more likely you are to keep your plumbing working properly.

If you don’t like the idea of throwing away the hair that you shed, consider composting it instead as a more eco-friendly option.