Sanitary Stuff Disposal

Updated on August 07, 2013
J.H. asks from Westfield, NJ
17 answers

Okay, this is kind of gross but in light of the "fatberg" found in the London sewer I figured I'd ask the group how do you dispose of your tampons?

I've always wrapped mine in toilet paper and put in the trash, but I've recently found out a lot of people I know flush theirs and were surprised I didn't. I don't know if my method arose from being raised in a house with a septic tank vs connected to the city sewer system (we were in the country). And I remember in college the fraternity I was a little sister for had to have a plumber out to fix clogged lines (I think they may have had a septic system too?) and one of the guys telling me how the plumber said "Well here's your problem" and held up a handful of tampons that had been flushed by girls (during parties I suppose).

I know they are supposed to be biodegradable, but at least one of the comments I read regarding the nasty London sewer story said that alot of stuff other than toilet paper just doesn't disintegrate fast enough to keep from getting stuck in pipes, etc.

Weirdly, I've been thinking of the whole flush vs no-flush situation for quite a while now :)

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So What Happened?

Yay - I'm so glad I'm apparently not in the minority with wrapping & throwing away vs. flushing!

And more power to you women with the Diva Cup - I know tampons are icky but I'm not sure I could handle rinsing a cup out each day.

Nicole P. - you made me laugh out loud about your husband being mock thrilled. That is exactly what my husband would have been like too!

Featured Answers



answers from Baton Rouge on

My plumber told me that the most common cause of clogs that he removes are tampons, and that they should never be flushed, whether you have sewr or septic.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

They get wrapped in paper and thrown in the trash, whether on septic or sewer. Any plumber will tell you that toilet tissue is the only thing that should be flushed down the toilet. Nothing like having to get Roto-Rooter to come down and pull a bunch of tampons out of you drain for you!

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chattanooga on

Toilet paper and trash can. :)

I still remember my first period, I didn't wrap it well enough and some blood soaked through the toilet paper... My little brother had to take out the trash, saw it, and HAD to run through the house screaming, "TAMPON! There's a TAMPON in the TRASH!!" (Which led to a very awkward conversation with my single father, as to whether I needed any 'supplies' or not. Lol. Luckily, one of the leaders of my church youth group had stepped up to make sure I knew about and was prepared for puberty when she realized there was no woman in our household.)

Doesn't it even say on the packaging NOT to flush them?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I grew up with septic, so flushing wasn't an option.
Out of habit, I guess, I always have wrapped & put in a trash can.

Oh--and a little public service announcement for office workers: No O. ever wants to see your bloody tampons or pads in the small receptacle in the office bathrooms! (I mean WHO does that!!??)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I have never heard of a diva cup until this post. I always thought there were only two ways to deal with your period. (Three, if you were just gross and didn't wear anything...)

I just ordered a Diva Cup! Aside from that, I only wear tampons when I go swimming, and I haven't been swimming in a long time while also on my period. I'd always been taught to flush tampons and wrap pads in toilet paper and dispose of them in a garbage can.

I was so excited about hearing about the diva cup that I almost called my mom to tell her about it so she could get one, then recalled my mother hasn't had a uterus for about six years. So I called my husband to tell him all about it. He was mock-thrilled for me.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Wrap in toilet paper and put into trash can.
If you use a Diva cup, you just rinse it out in the sink and use it again.
Only pee, poop, barf, sparing amounts of toilet paper (no other paper or cardboard) and the occasional dead goldfish go down the toilet - nothing else.
I'm amazed that some people pour grease and oil down the drain - it's a big no no.
My Mom had to have her house evacuated once because she smelled gasoline fumes from her sump pump.
Turns out a neighbor thought it was ok to dispose of old gasoline down his sump pump and with it being in the ground water it spread to neighbors houses.
It took awhile for the hazmat team to clean it up and that neighbor was fined for improper disposal of a hazardous material.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I wrap with toilet paper and put in trash can too. I am always paranoid about overflowing toilets for some reason.....

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I have always been taught to never flush anything but toilet paper. EVER..

I do like you and wrap them in TP and then throw them in the trash.. Hopefully now with the Diva Cup we will soon not be so prone to using so many tampons either ,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Wow. I was always taught to flush my tampons and had been doing so since the beginning. Oops. Now, I use the diva cup and have been for years so it's something I haven't had to think about in a really long time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I use Diva Cup. I have for 4 years now. No flushing or trashing necessary. I find tampons and pads to be GROSS and am so glad I don't use them!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I don't flush it down the toilet.
I put it in toilet paper then in the trash can.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I can't help but wonder about the effect of flushing fish....


Denise, my office, that is who, gross!! I could go on but I like you guys.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I've always lived in houses with municipal sewer systems and have never had a clogged line due to tampons. My parents' house was built in 1917, and even with 3 women in our home, we never had any issues.

I feel even better about it now that we have those Champion toilets from the commercial where the guy is trying to find a way to clog his toilet so he can have the attractive female plumber come fix it, but to no avail. Nothing gets stuck in our lines now that we've installed those toilets.

I would never buy a home with a septic tank and well water. I like to flush it all out.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I have always been told not to ever flush tampons because they clog the sewer pipes and if you have an in-ground septic tank, that can cause a hellish nightmare as the traps and filters will clog from the feminine products. The same goes for baby wipes or any type of wipe that doesn't state that it is biodegradable. All of us ladies at my workplace got a huge talking to recently when three of our maintenance guys had to spend four days cleaning out the septic tank filter that was badly clogged. It backed up all the toilets in our whole company and caused a huge issue. The problem was tampons that were flushed and then caught in the filter system. These poor guys had to pluck all the nasty tampons and wipes that had been flushed out of the system and discard them properly. OMG! I wasn't one of the offenders but I felt so bad for these guys! That is major gross and not a fun job! The moral of the story....that is why we have personal hygiene disposal containers in the bathrooms. That is where everything is supposed to go! I usually wrap tampons in toilet paper to discard them and I take the applicator and place it back into the wrapper, push both ends into the center hole of the applicator and throw that away in the hygiene containers as well. As the maintenance guys have told us all here at work....we know you ladies have your business to tend to but we'd rather dump the containers from the bathrooms then clean out the septic trap any day of the week!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

On a city sewer and wrapping, due to plumber's recommendation.



answers from Anchorage on

I too have heard of tampons clogging lines, but on the rare occasion I use them I do tend to flush them, although I know I should not. But, since switching to the Diva cup I almost never wear tampons, with the cup I have shorter lighter periods and less cramping.



answers from Raleigh on

I have a septic tank, so I have a metal flip-top trashcan for my girly things. The inside comes out easily, so it's a no-mess situation. However, before living with a septic system, I have to admit I flushed them all down the toilet. I thought it was ok. THey should teach this stuff in school. lol

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