Septic System and Tampons (Maybe TMI)...

Updated on September 07, 2011
M.P. asks from Asheville, NC
30 answers

We moved recently to the country from the city. We had sewer in the city, but now have a well and septic system. I know that certain things are not good for the septic system, such as tampons, food waste, bleach, etc. So for those of you with a septic system, do you wear tampons or pads? If you wear tampons, what do you do with the used ones? I have been putting them in a plastic bag inside the trash (and tying it put before throwing it out), but my husband is grossed out... lol I am thinking switching to pads (ugh), which are less of a mess as far as disposal goes. Sorry if this is TMI. This whole septic system thing is new to me, and I don't want an expensive back-up all in my yard!! Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Just when you think you know everything (lol)... I had no idea that you couldn't flush them with sewer! I just assumed when I saw signs in bathrooms asking not to flush feminine products, that it meant the applicators or pads. Good thing our old house had so much water pressure that it was never an issue.
There are some great ideas here. Thank you so much!! You ladies rule.

Featured Answers



answers from Louisville on

I am no longer using tampons, but when I did I would put an empty detergent bottle in the bathroom for their disposal that keeps them sealed and out of sight and makes for easier disposal.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I just used to wrap mine in more toilet paper and take the trash out a little more often.
I remember visiting my dad one year and I flushed one and it clogged the toilet, he snaked it out and much to my dismay dangled it in front of me and said "dont flush these white rats down the shi**er anymore please".. lol.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I have a sewer system , and my plumber told me not to ever flush anything but body waste and toilet paper. When my daughter changes her tampon, she puts the used one in the wrapper from the new one, and drops it in the waste basket next to the toilet.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Columbia on

I'd like to suggest the Diva Cup. I used to be a tampon user in a house full of boys. Before you get grossed out, check it out and read the reviews. It's amazing. I haven't bought a box of tampons or pads since April.

I don't sell these, and I'm not getting anything for telling you about it. It's truly the cat's meow when it comes to being on my period. I don't dread it at all, no leaks, no trash, and no worrying about what absorbency to use. Fabulous.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Lansing on

Too bad for your husband! I don't think you should be forced to use pads because your husband is uncomfortable. And really what is the difference between a pad or tampon in the trash???

Throw them away and don't think twice about it!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

I hate pads. I use tampons, wrap them up, and put them in the trash. I try to keep it "hidden" ya know, so there just isn't a bloody tampon sitting on top of the trash.
I have sewer and I still will not flush tampons.
I always feel gross that time of the month. One time I left a tampon wrapper on the sink, not the actual tampon, just the applicator and wrapper. My husband walks up to me and says "You left your cork on the sink" I could not stop laughing. Thankfully my husband isn't grossed out by that.
Ya know, after him watching me give birth to two babies, I don't think there is much that grosses him out lol

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Why not use the little brown paper bags like the last person recommended. Or just get yourself a mini-garbage can to keep in your bathroom that your husband never has to open. Sorry if he's grossed out - but guess what - all husbands have to deal with that. Don't switch to pads on his account. Definitely no flushing down the toilet - when I was a teenager we had problems with that even without a septic system.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Your husband married a woman, with that comes blood once a month. Buck up, buddy. That said, if you are wrapping them right, he wouldn't even know they were in there.
I throw all of it in the trash because we live in the city in an old house with old sewer lines to the street and I don't need any more clogs than the tree out front blesses us with.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Even when we had sewer I never put a tampon down the toilet.
You can wrap it in a piece of toilet paper and place it in the bathroom trash can.
If you want you can try using a Diva cup, then you'd pour the blood down the sink.
Your husband is grossed out by a little blood?
Poor baby.
Digestion, reproduction and life in general is a messy business.
Tell him sex grosses you out till he's over his blood thing and see how long it takes for him to get over it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Tampons swell in the pipes. Doesn't matter if you have the best water pressure in the world.

Anywho... The only time anyone got grossed out in my home is when the dog got ahold of my used products and they were chewed and scattered throughout the house. *YUCK* (dog is gone now though, he was nearly 15)

I always use cardboard applicators (more environmentally friendly), and you can stick the used one into the cardboard and pinch the ends... Nothing to see at all!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I have never flushed them. Even if we lived in the country or city (have lived in both). I have never known anyone else who did either.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Basically only tp goes in the toilet. Even if it says safe for septic don't believe it. We were flushing those cottonelle wipes and it started to flush slowly. Also get the enzyme treatments and use regularly I think the name is ridx. Other than that you should be good.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

Do not flush those suckers - you will back up the septic system. I grew up on a farm with septic and I was taught not to flush any feminine products. When I moved to "the city" I thought I'd never have to put icky tampons in the trash again. Not so much. $200 later, I have learned a lesson from our very nice plumber. I live in an older house (built in '50's) and our plumber told us NEVER to flush them. He said that tampons can really plug up older plumbing, septic systems and even the plumbing in newer homes with the new low flow toilets. He also said he had 3 kids getting ready for college, and please keep flushing tampons so he can send them to college. Har de har har.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

If you get the newspaper wrap it in paper then put it in a plastic bad. The newspaper helps to eleviate the ordor and a good way to dispose if the tampon. Tell your husband and boys that it's just a part of life. If you like tampons then you should continue to use them. They will get used to it soon enough.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I have a septic system, and like someone else posted, I use a Diva Cup. I've used it for years and love it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lexington on

The best for your situation would be a diva cup. Personally I use cloth (re-usable) pads. Cheap, easy, good for the enviroment and your plumbing :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Get some little brown paper bags, and you can open it up put them in there and kind of close it, and repeat. Yeah it is kind of gross, but hello, it's life.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Luckily I don't have to worry about them anymore, YEAH!!

At my house, the ONLY toilet paper goes in the toilet. We are in the city and it is just common knowledge that tampons do not get flushed. That is why all the little boxes are located in women's restrooms.... tampons and toilets don't mix well.

My daughter has a special waste basket beside her toilet. She wraps the tampon and puts in in the bag lined basket and it goes in the trash.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi Mama duck! Remember me!! Hope your son is feeling well and that his allergies are under control.

I always flushed tampons in the City. But, when I moved up to the burbs, I found a house with a septic. Ugh!!

I keep a ziplock in the garbage and wrap them up good with toilet paper and put them in the ziplock to mask any odor.

You can also go to the dollar store and buy those used diaper bags and put the used tampons in there.

Personally, I'd think that divorcing my husband would be more acceptable than switching to pads cause he is grossed out. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I use both and just wrap them in toliet paper several times before I throw them into the toliet. Then I take the trash out daily. Why does it gross your hubby out? It's not like he can see any of it or anything?



answers from Dallas on

Get a trash can with a lid. The kind with a lever to step on to make it open. Use a trash bag in the can. Then wrap the tampon with a little toilet paper or some cut up newspaper and put it in the trash can. Then he won't see them every time he goes to the bathroom. You have to admit it is gross. Haven't you ever seen someone else's in a public restroom and thought, Eww, Yuck!!??



answers from Lexington on

it does not matter whether you have a sewer system or a septic field - Tampons should NEVER be flushed. They can be wrapped in toilet paper and put in the trash. How on earth do you think a pad is easier to dispose of than a tampon - a tampon is considerably smaller. As to your husband being grossed out - sounds like his problem not yours. If you wrap the tampons and place them in the trash, they should be fine. If you do not think this is a viable solution, wrap them, then put them in ziploc sandwich or snack bags, close them up and then put that in the trash.


it does not matter whether you have a sewer system or a septic field - Tampons should NEVER be flushed. They can be wrapped in toilet paper and put in the trash. How on earth do you think a pad is easier to dispose of than a tampon - a tampon is considerably smaller. As to your husband being grossed out - sounds like his problem not yours. If you wrap the tampons and place them in the trash, they should be fine. If you do not think this is a viable solution, wrap them, then put them in ziploc sandwich or snack bags, close them up and then put that in the trash.



answers from Detroit on

We have a septic system, and I have a small garbage can (with a lid) next to the toilet that always has a bag in it. I just put them in there. I do usually wrap them in toilet tissue before dropping them in there.
Personally, I couldn't even consider switching to pads (always felt like I was walking with a brick between my legs on the rare occasion I have had to wear one). I don't think pads would be any less gross either.
I think your husband will just have get used to it. It can be very expensive if you have a back-up of your septic system.
P.s we used to be on the sewer system and I used to flush my tampons until we had to call a plumber because of a back up. It turns out my feminine products had got caught up on a tree root that had grown through the sewer pipe. I'm so glad he had to tell my husband what the problem was, and not tell me to my face. I would have been very embarrassed.



answers from Wilmington on

Too bad if your hubby is grossed out. When I started my 'time', I was sat down and told to never EVER flush anything that is used for my 'time'. You do not say if you wrap your items in tissue (if you don't, start!) yes, absolutely put them in a plastic bag (either walmart plastic bags, or even going to the dollar store and getting those diaper bags, which are smaller, but see through).

An idea would be to keep some air freshener (like oust, febreeze) and spray it directly in the trash bin when you are about to leave the bathroom. I have a rather large trash bin in the bathroom. It has a lid that has a button and the lid opens like a flip phone so I can put the lid down and the trash is not in view, and the smell is very minimal.

But switching to only pads can be very (here we go with TMI) messy, and keep us running for the bathroom almost every time we turn around. I'd just tell him to not look in the trash. You could keep some newspaper or magazine pages in the bathroom, crumple them up just before the trash is to be taken out, spray the air freshener, and that way all he sees is the top layer of crumpled paper, and all he smells is the air freshener. Just an idea.

FYI: I was told that since fem pro (feminine protection) does not break down such as bathroom paper or waste, it will clog your pipes and a plumber gets the vacation he wants to take his family on with what he'll charge you. Look on the box your fem pro comes in and I am sure it'll say not to flush under any circumstances. I hope I helped.



answers from Asheville on

definitely dont throw any of them in the toilet! i have my own seperate trash can for pads and tampons. (i wear both depending on the day) it has a lid and i put a grocery bag in it as a liner and throw it away at the end of my period. i put it in the bathroom closet in between periods so it is out of the way when im not using it.


answers from Washington DC on

I have always just put them in the trash. You are not supposed to flush them.



answers from Los Angeles on

It costs hundreds of dollars to clean out a septic tank. It costs nothing to throw your feminine products in the trash.

I've lived on a septic tank system for over 25 years. I've never had to clean one out or have it pumped.

The septic works well when the bacteria inside "eats" the waste you flush down to it/them. They don't eat the feminine products unless you use a cotton "rag" exclusively. (Remember the old phrase, "being on the rag"?)

To keep our septic system working well, we NEVER use caustic products like "2000 Flushes". It kills the bacteria. If my wife uses lots of bleach, we "start" some yeast and flush it down the toilet or sink after a couple of showers or baths to dilute the bleach in the septic system.

BTW, my dad owned a Roto Rooter Franchise. He said he made a good living off feminine products clogging sewer lines.

Good luck to you and yours.



answers from Boston on

Interesting. I have septic and have always flushed them. Then again, our system has failed (not due to flushing these lol) so we get the whole thing pumped every three months anyway. I've certainly never had one clog a pipe. I guess when we get a new system I'll wrap them tightly in TP and put in the wastebasket. As someone else mentioned, if you're wrapping things up discreetly enough, unless your husband makes a habit of rifling through the bathroom wastebasket he wouldn't know anyway.



answers from Minneapolis on

Wow- I've never heard of NOT flushing them before reading this! I've always lived in the city, and have never had a clog, so I guess I've been lucky? I had no idea...



answers from Chicago on

Sorry if TMI back but....I have septic and just flush 'em. :)

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