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Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Posted by Brandywine72 (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 9, 14 at 9:24

This is an odd conversation to have online but even more so in person. I need suggestions.

Our house is 160 years old and the plumbing very delicate. After a girlfriends weekend recently, we had major plumbing problems. The plumber fished out three tampons which were the culprit. Yick! I always grew up learning not to flush but to pitch instead. Probably because I grew up in an old city house. It was only through this incident that I have learned some people always flush.

What is an appropriate way to phrase or say don't flush your tampons here? We thought we could put out a little sign when our guests come. But it makes me feel a bit like our bathrooms are being turned into a restaurant restroom. I also don't know how to phrase it in a way that is effective but not too graphic.

We have three bathrooms and I could put out signs in all three when we have out of town guests, but what about dinner guests, or the friends that stop by unannounced? I would hate having to keep these signs out all the time. What is the best solution?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

It's not the old plumbing. Or new plumbing. It's the inconsiderate and (obviously) clueless guests. No plumbing accepts tampons.

How about a large copy of a framed plumbing bill with the notation that the next person who flushes something that shouldn't pays that bill plus a nuisance charge tacked on!

Presumably your girlfriends are close enough to you to give the little speech about where the trash can is located for their personal trash and be very pointed about it without having to call them out for being uneducated about ordinary practical matters. Someone somewhere didn't teach them well enough, so it's gonna be up to you to be frank about if you have to be.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I love the idea of posting a plumbing bill! Excellent. And yes, I can give a talking to my closer girlfriends but what about people I don't know as well who are in my house? Like when we hosted my husband's office party here?

I too was astonished that my friends had never been taught not to flush. After this incident, I posted on yelp talk asking women generally if they flush or pitch. I was shocked that more than 50% of the many people who responded really had never heard of pitching and it just had never crossed their minds. Many of them said that they have tampon boxes that read "flushable". I can school my closest girlfriends, but how do I school everyone else?

I love making collages. Maybe I can make a funny collage and include the plumbing bill as part of it. Perhaps the humor will over ride the gross out factor.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

You could get some cheap disposable famine hygiene disposal bags on Amazon. That way nobody has to feel odd tossing a mess in the trash.

Just put them in a pretty little basket with a few emergency spare pads and tampons (just make sure the bags are displayed so their purpose is clear). Maybe add a travel lint roller and other supplies. Let guests know as they arrive where the bathroom is located, and that the little basket should contain anything they need for feminine or other issues.

Or just leave a stack or box of those bags on the toilet tank lid with a place card that says "Ladies, for your convenience (please, don't flush)". If they are readily available and clearly visible, should be obvious.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Geez...that would piss me off, having to pay a plumber's bill for that! Grew up with 5 sisters, so believe me we were taught what to do with that stuff!

Rather than posting the bill, which I think is a little too cruel, and really maybe no one would notice/read it, what about a nicely laminated sign with wording something like, "We have old pipes - please do not flush any products other than toilet paper."

Could also frame it in a really nice antiquey type frame?


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Wow, I can't believe someone would do that in another person's home. I was raised to never flush feminine products anywhere, but it shocks me especially that someone would do that a the home of a friend. Admittedly I see signs all over town in business's restrooms about not flushing tampons. So I suppose there must be a whole lot of people out there that either don't realize or don't care that they may be clogging up sewer systems.

In any case, I am sorry this happened to you. And I'm doubly sympathetic to the awkward situation in which you are now placed to try to find a way to communicate this information that should already be obvious to any adult woman. I suppose a small framed sign might work. Alternatively, perhaps you can find a way to casually mention to the group of friends (together or individually) that your toilets were recently clogged by tampons and you just want to make sure all your friends know that your plumbing cannot handle anything other than toilet paper (and of course human waste).


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

As we do with many questions here, we turn to the manufacturer's instructions. Tampax does not recommend flushing; see link.

I've taken many charter boat fishing expeditions and in many heads (boat bathrooms) you'll see a sign that says "Don't put it in this toilet unless it's been in your mouth first."

I think the problem comes because many women flush tampons into modern systems without problems for years. If flushing always caused problems no one would do it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tampax


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

People are growing up in a disposable flush down the toilet generation. It's not just feminine products, its wipes too. And not just toilets, garbage disposals too.

These women who flushed their products are not educated or do not care about the consequences. I think you have to spell it out for them. I vote for a posted copy of the bill with the tampons highlighted along with the total $ amount on the wall above the toilet when you have guests. I would place a nice little sign on a folded piece of cardpaper sitting on top of a stack of sanitary bags on the back of the toilet. Make sure you include the word wipes too because both sexes are using wipes these days. This way you don't have to personally confront people (although I personally don't have a problem if it's my house and my money). So that's my vote.

This post was edited by Anna_in_TX on Thu, Jan 9, 14 at 11:58


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Wipes??? Like when you change a baby's diaper? I must have missed the memo on that.

I am no longer in the tampon generation. Aging does have its rewards. :) Back in the day (60s and forward) we always flushed tampons. It was considered one of its many benefits. I guess our toilets also had deeper throats in those days because all our plumbing survived.

I think a note along the lines of raehelen's would enlighten most people, plus having suitable disposal options in plain sight.

Trebruchet: LOL


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

How about this one, in a nice frame, mounted above the toilet (or perhaps directly in front where your eyes will see it when seated).

Don't Flush Sign.

This one is also funny:
Don't Flush Sign.

This post was edited by aliceinwonderland_id on Thu, Jan 9, 14 at 12:48


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Tampons (and other things) don't generally get stuck in the toilet. They get stuck further down, in the drain pipes. It's a shame that the marketing departments don't live in the real world (or they don't care about the real world) and keep advertising products as flushable when they aren't really. Most people think it's ok to flush facial tissues (kleenex), but they're not made the same as toilet paper. Even a lot of toilet paper these days shouldn't be flushed. Try putting a piece in a glass of water, and if it doesn't dissolve, you shouldn't flush it.

Here's what I post in my rental properties:

The toilet is not a trash receptacle.
Only three materials can be safely flushed down the toilet:
Human waste, wastewater, and toilet paper.
Flushing anything else will result in clogged drains.

DO NOT flush these items:

Feminine hygiene products
Disposable toilet brushes
Cleaning wipes (even if it says flushable)
Cleaning sponges
Paper towels
Kitty litter
Tissues
Aquarium gravel
Cotton swabs
Food or food wrappers
Hair
Condoms or latex gloves
Syringes
Underwear
Contact lenses
Cigarette butts
Dental floss
Towels


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I guess I had a different upbringing than most. We were taught what you can and can not put down the disposal, sink, bathtub, toilet. For example, no celery or onion peels down the disposal. No paper towels or Kleenex down the toilet. I used tampons for 40 years starting in the 70's and never heard or read that they were flushable. We were taught by our parents and grandmother that when we visited relatives with septic tanks to be very particular what we put down the kitchen sink and toilet. My grandmother for the longest did not have a disposer. When I went off to college we got mini lectures from the custodial staff to not flush sanitary products including tampons down the dorm toilets. But my parents also taught us to clean, cook, mow, fix things around the house and with the car, etc. My dad was an engineer and my mom was a teacher, both very practical people.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

We swapped out our open-top trash baskets in the guest bathrooms with lidded ones, the rotating/flip lid type. I think people are a bit more comfortable with enclosed lid versus an open can.

When we have overnight guests, and we do a fair amount of hosting, we have a little print out. It tells where the coffee and tea are in the kitchen. "Make yourself at home" things like that.

You want to go swimming? The pool towels are "here", when you're done please put them "there" and we'll collect them at the end of each day. You want to take the boat or canoe out? Do this. You want to fire up the hot tub? Do that. Etc, etc.

Towards the end of the letter is the bathroom and septic nitty gritty. Spare rolls over toilet paper are located in this pantry. There is a note that we are on our own septic system, so please don't flush disposable diapers or feminine hygiene products down the toilet, to use the lidded receptacles instead. If you feel uncomfortable using the receptacle in the bathroom, you can toss things in the outdoor trash bin located "over there".

We do have a number of day parties too, near each "public toilet" is a poem. The original version was hand written in calligraphy and framed, it was in our cottage when we bought it:

You now have lakeside plumbing
Which needs such special care
There are no massive sewers
Like in the suburbs fair

Use sparingly the tissue
And Kleenex keep away
You’ll be a welcome guest here
If you’ll please obey

Modify it as needed. Some have changed "lakeside" to "country", "rural", or "septic".


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I looked up Kotex Tampon directions.

The company says that they are flushable but steps aside when it comes to contributing to clogs. I put them in the same category as the flushable wipes - not a good practice.

• Directions for use enclosed.
•Flushable - Biodegradable
•Tampax tampons, cardboard applicators and wrappers are flushable and biodegradable.
•Any toilet and drain line can clog if overloaded with bulk waste.
•For best results flush tampon and applicator separately from bath tissue.
•Do not flush plastic applicators or wrappers.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

This is just a fascinating conversation.

Grew up in the country w three older sisters- must have missed the memo. As an adult still was under the impression it was flushable but you better keep a plumber on speed dial because you're going to need one sooner or later.

I vote for mongo's poem.

Lisa


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

wow! i grew up flushing tampons and the cardboard applicators and everyone else i knew did too! it was a huge advantage of tampon use! i do remember reading the 'do not flush PLASTIC applicator' warning on some brands, but that wasn't a concern with tampax...

it wasn't until moving into a house with a septic system that i read that tampons shouldn't be flushed into a septic system-- yuck! that took some getting used to!

so, prior to this house (and the huge prevalence of septic in this area...), it never would have occured to me that certain plumbing systems or areas of a city couldn't handle tampons.....

i guess you could make up a sign for when you have large groups of people over, but i would think just a friendly 'btw' to houseguests/visitors would be enough... with me, i never would have thought twice about flushing a tampon in someone's year round house with regular flush toilets, but would certainly have respected someone's wish that i didn't!!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I like Alice's first sign. I also wouldn't judge people (WOMEN) too harshly.
Just to put this into context: In some parts of the world, you can't flush toilet paper (I know, gross!), so there are signs for "dumb foreigners," 'cause everybody else obviously knows.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I bought this for my friend's summer cabin and we posted it directly across from the toilet so it would be read while seated:


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Seriously, I like brandywine's idea; use the bill and add some humor.

Something like "tampon + toilet = plumber = $400."


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

This is a very interesting thread and it sounds like I need to revise my criticism of women flushing tampons. I had never read on the box that they were flushable. I'll be reading the box when I get home since I'm now curious. I suppose I never thought to be embarrassed to use an open waste can in the bathroom. Just as I wouldn't be embarrassed to blow my nose and throw away the kleenex, I'm not embarrassed to place a (wrapped/covered) tampon in the trash either. It sounds like the paper covers plus a sign would be a nice touch. Now I'm hoping my friends haven't been flushing tampons regularly such that I'm due for a big plumbing bill soon.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Back in the day, everybody I knew flushed their tampons. Sometimes there was no other option, know what I mean? I think we knew not to flush the cardboard part.

pricklypear: I'm not the least bit embarrassed to blow my nose in public, in full view of the world. Used tampon disposal, not so much. :p


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Wow, surprising to come back today and see so many responses. All quite interesting.

I have a trash can with a swing lid in one bathroom and will place similar ones in the other two bathrooms as well. And, will place a little sign in each too.

Here is one I found on etsy, that is quite charming. I embroider and might make a different embroidered sign for each bathroom: one similar to this, stitch one with the tampon + flushing = $200 plumbing bill, and stitch a version of girlie things go in the trash.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I'm also from the flushable generation who no longer has to buy such things. After the first few posts here, I thought I was raised by wolves!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

may_flowers LOL. Back then, the crime was flushing pads. Ask me how I know.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

lol mayflowers!

i should add that i think it is tacky to mention your plumbing bill - that would be akin to having a sign telling people how much replacement glasses have cost due to breakage instead of just replacing or offering plastic to your guests, having a sign stating how much it cost to refinish the wood floors in your house that were damaged by spiked heels rather than just simply asking guests to remove shoes, displaying the chair replacement cost instead of just asking teenagers not to leap onto the chairs, etcetcetc---
accidental/unintentional things happen- that's the risk of having people over..... if you make the person aware that something happened/was damaged, they'll probably offer to pay, but that too is tacky, imo.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I think a lighthearted sign when you have company is perfect. I agree with those who think you shouldn't post the plumbing bill.

I wouldn't think of flushing anything other than tp. When I first started using tampons, my mother shared a story of when she was newly married in the early 1960's. They had a plumbing problem so they called someone to come take a look. When the plumber came up from the basement, he had a handful of used tampons in his gloved hand. As a 22 year old, my mother had never been so embarrassed. She learned her lesson and passed it on to her daughters. ;)


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I like a bathroom sign I saw recently. It advised people to flush only tp and mother nature. I don't recall the precise wording, but I liked that it was neither graphic nor punitive. It just made sense.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

LOL May-flowers! I agree with your comment about being raised by wolves--I always, always, flushed tampons and the cardboard applicator. I've lived in lots of houses and to my knowledge, never caused a problem. No longer my problem, but interesting to know.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

OK, I confess I always flushed tampons - unles there was a sign specifically telling me not to.

First saw a sign at a B&B; thought the owners just had really bad, old plumbing and did not believe it was a serious problem.

Then I moved from a big city to suburbia, with a well & septic system - stopped flushing tampons @ home.

Maybe a basket of tampons with a note on it saying, "Free tampon - if you promise not to flush used ones. :-) "

This post was edited by mdln on Fri, Jan 10, 14 at 23:52


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

A girlfriend can simply be asked to not flush products down the toilet. Anyone staying in our home is a guest and we treat them as such. Sheesh....


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Another wolf child here. I actually converted to tampons because I read they COULD be flushed. I don't know if it's because I live in the city or because my 100+ year old home is setting me up for a horrific explosion but five years in and no plumbing problem yet.

I'm almost positive I read another post here about this very thing and when I get to my actual computer, I can search for it. I recall a few useful suggestions being offered.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

But Sasafras, the OP stated she has groups over like for her husband's office party; you can't keep telling new arrivals about the bathroom protocal!!! A simple but direct sign seems the obvious solution for larger gatherings - problem with the girly sign is that it does not address the wipes issue which are clearly being pushed in the market, and people could bring their own supply! Maybe just tell close friends, and only put the sign out for bigger groups?


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I'm still in the dark about wipes. What are they, a little bidet in your pocket?


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I am a licensed contractor in two states and write a column. I like to think I'm a good contributor here, but I have yet to start a thread that gets 34 comments.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

@ trebruchet - will you post a link to your column?


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Here's an off topic but similar thing--I just found out from "my cousin the plumber" that you shouldn't put a garbage disposal in a house that is used infrequently, because although the material goes out of your house, it doesn't keep getting pushed down the line because there isn't enough water used daily.

Back to tampons....I wonder if the new low-flow toilets have something to do with this--I've never had one in any of the houses in which I've lived, so maybe the extra water is what has prevented the problem.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I think a lot of women just don't realize flushing tampons can be a problem with plumbing, because the packaging says it is ok to flush. Certainly tell your g.f''s not to flush them, they will understand if you tell them its a plumbing issue. I would not show them the plumbing bill though, no need to make them uncomfortable and embarrassed.) And I like the idea of a small basket with disposal bags and a few extra tampons/pads. Also a cute sign, like the one in the frame, is a good idea. This way, with the sign and the basket, anyone who hasn't been told of the "no flushing policy" will see it for themselves when they use the bathroom.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Don't women carry their own tampons any more?

Linelle, yes, they're wet wipes.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I'm with Trebruchet, about the responses :) I am totally amazed. But I think it is a discussion that is important and where else can it take place?

I like the simple sign idea, that says something like: Our specialty TP only, into the toilet, everything else into the trash. Maybe also mention that due to your particular plumbing setup this is imperative.

Several weeks ago after last DS graduated from Iowa State University, we were helping him get his last few things out of the apartment. Muddy feet tramping around needed toweled up before we walked out the door. I threw him the paper towels for the upstairs bathroom floor. He wiped the floor prints up. I yelled up to him as an after thought "and don't throw the paper towel in the toilet!" His response was a yell back "too late!" as I heard the toilet finish flushing. Guess what, it over flowed...where's the plunger! In roommate Justin's truck, heading home to Minneapolis. Dang!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Last weekend I helped my daughter move to a new apartment in San Francisco. We were almost done and had to use the bathroom one last time. She'd already packed the toilet paper. We tore a paper towel into small pieces and use that. I'm sorry. :(


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

"@ trebruchet - will you post a link to your column?"

mdlm:

Gardenweb is mighty fussy about advertising, but I'm sure my double secret probation is almost over. Google countertopiq and you'll probably find me. If not, email me and I'll send a link.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I agree with a lot of comments above.
I am 49, and back in "5th grade" we were taught that both the tampon and the card board applicator were flushable. I even remember the little pamphlet from the feminine product company our mothers gave us with the information presented in a non-threatening "3 friends who are pen pals writing letters to each other" about this whole topic. And it was right there that both the tampon and cardboard applicator were flushable, and that Susie didn't know that and she wrapped them and put them in the trash.

It wasn't until I lived in a house with old plumbing that there was ever a problem that I was taught by a plumber about these things.

So I guess our suburban toilets in the 1970s with there huge water tanks and relative new plumbing apparently could handle it.

I will also add that I worry if I am at someone's house and they only have an open trash can that a pet will get into the trash and eat the product and have a huge vet bill. So in that situation I am forced by this thought to wrap wrap wrap and then find the kitchen trash. So people, please put in a bathroom trash can with a lid.

And I think men are guilty of flushing things like Q tips and paper towels, and probably condoms. So if you go to the trouble to make a sign, say only TP and #1, #2. Everything else in the trash.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

When I was a kid, my brother (8 years older) and I shared a bathroom. Like clockwork, he would cause the toilet to clog.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Yet another wolf girl here. I go back to the '60's when you could flush ANYTHING! I recall watching a builder put sheetrock (wallboard) down a toilet. 5+ gal flushes could take almost anything. Our original toilets were builder Kohlers in 1964. Once after washing the bathroom floor, I dumped the bucket into the toilet...forgetting to remove the terry cloth wash cloth I used from the bucket. The force of dumping the water from the bucket immediately emptied the bowl before I could grab the towel out. I expected to have to call the plumber, but never had to. ;-)

I wouldn't want that to happen now with my 1.2 gal potties. Put up a sign. Your call on how cute or matter-of-fact you need to be. Do what feels comfortable for you (and your checkbook!).

-Babka


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Just remembered using flushable kitty litter in the '80's. It was great and never had a problem.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I remember this exact question being asked on a mommy board I was on and literally 50% of the women being completely flummoxed that you are not supposed to flush tampons. In fact, many posters were completely grossed out by the notion of wrapping up a used tampon and placing it in a trash can and came right out and said they would never do it. :\

Like a PP, I too had the mortifying experience of a plumber waving a used tampon he had snaked out of the pipes at me. I was 14 at the time and I never once flushed a tampon down the toilet again.

A couple of years ago, I hosted a baby shower. Twenty-five women in my house, no cute sign prohibiting tampon flushing in the powder room, 50 year old cardboard (yes, cardboard - google Orangeburg sewer pipes) sewage pipes with a mass of tree roots growing through them, well, ... you know where this is going. Needless to say, 2 days later, we had an eruption of raw sewage spewing out of the toilet onto our powder room floor, which seeped into the carpet and baseboards of the powder, family and play room. We had to rip out and replace 1 foot of drywall and all the baseboards. I like to call it the $40,000 tampon. Luckily insurance covered the repair which was $23K. The other $17K was new upgraded flooring and new furniture which decided to replace just because. But hey, we wouldn't have had a reason to get new furniture if the tampon(s) hadn't been flushed in the first place.

We moved to a new house that has a septic system and will be putting a sign on the powder room door. Sorry, I don't care who is a guest at my house, once you experience raw sewage erupting from a toilet (and cleaning up the mess *ick*), that pretty much emboldens you to say or do anything to get women to not flush tampons in your house!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Growing up in a small NE city in a house built in 1954, we had four tampon flushers, three males, and one bathroom that could handle it all. We never had an overflow.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

"I like to call it the $40,000 tampon."

That's funny right there.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

"I don't care who is a guest at my house, once you experience raw sewage erupting from a toilet (and cleaning up the mess *ick*), that pretty much emboldens you to say or do anything to get women to not flush tampons in your house!"

I agree. I've lived with a septic tank for many yrs of my adult life and flushing tampons is a major no- no!

yesterday while searching on Amazon I saw a tiny wastebasket with a swing top. It was something like 5" x 7" - great size to set on the tank of the toilet just below your beautiful framed sign (warning) not to flush those things. It was by simplehuman I think and around 10.00 (or even less).
or keep an empty kleenex box to put on the tank for them (the sq kind that pulls out from the top). Then the whole box can just be tossed later.

for those who would absolutely refuse to wrap a tampon and put in waste basket - what would you do with a pad? flush it?


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

We, too, had an expensive tampon repair. Ours didn't clog anything, it got hung up in our pump.
This is a peeve of mine, though, because I believe that if women designed toilets, toilets would handle tampons.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Do you honestly believe women aren't involved with toilet (and everything else, for that matter) design?

The toilets can handle them just fine - it's the pipes that can't, particularly with low-volume flushes. Even if the pipes could handle them, it would still be a bad idea to flush them. Go to a sewage treatment plant sometime and see all the extra measure that need to be taken because people flush tampons and other stupid things.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

"I believe that if women designed toilets, toilets would handle tampons."

annpat:

Yours is an example of the logical fallacy or relevance, ad hominem circumstantial, to be specific.

It is as illogical as believing that having a vagina somehow gives one superior tampon designing power as purveyed by the ads for OB brand.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

grew up in a new home built in 1971 that my father who was in the commercial building industry (skyscrapers) had all of his commercial friends build for us. tampons were always flushed. in junior high, the health nurse came and spoke to us and we got a freebie bag with brochures, and samples by the tampon and pad giants. yes, they were advertised as flush-able. everyone who used them flushed tampons. i even had a friend who showed me how to flush a pad when she was in a bind - remove the fluff from the plastic. I don't recall toilets out of order in junior high, either. i think the plumbing was able to handle it.

moved to the US as an adult and lived in a 1940's cape-ish bungalow on the east coast with original everything - all flushed just fine.

moved to a 1940's cape-ish bungalow with a 1990's master reno and new kohler and nothing would flush, not even the usual stuff. this bungalow was in a town with water table issues. same goes with the house I currently live in which was completely rebuilt - issues with sewer due to water table issues - this is michigan which is surrounded by lakes and you cannot buy flood insurance here in most places. when we rebuild the home, extra money went into complete gut of the sewer system which was completely clogged with tampons from the previous owner. we now get the drains snaked regularly in the spring and autumn and have had no further issues.

except when my preschooler empties an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet for fun then flushes.... but that is an entirely different issue.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Did anyone mention paper towels? I may have missed it.

Never flush paper towels. We have a paper towel holder in our downstairs (main full bathroom). People use it when they don't want to wipe their hands on the communal towel or when a quick clean up is needed.

When my daughter was about 4 years old she was "cleaning" something and flushed about 4 paper towels down the toilet. My DH said it became like cement. Completely blocked. He had to take off the toilet to remove the blockage.

None of the females in our house use them but I don't think I would ever consider flushing them.

While I might consider a sign that said something like..."The package lies. Its NOT flushable." I think the men in our house would have a fit.

If you use a sign you better make sure everyone will see and read it before its too late. Perhaps a information campaign is in order. Such as a facebook post of things not to flush down any toilet.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

It's all about the plumbing. Because I live fairly close to the Mexican border, I can tell you with authority that there is much plumbing south of the border that doesn't even take toilet paper. They'd think all of you that throw the TP in the toilet were brought up with the wolves. How do I know this? Check the trash can near the toilet in public restrooms.

I think we can agree that toilets that connect to septic tanks and toilets in houses with old plumbing, and maybe located in MI (?) are off limits. In fact, anywhere where there is a doubt should be off limits. Signs to that effect can be helpful, cute or otherwise, but maybe not the plumbing bill. You can come to my house, and it hasn't been a problem for the last 40 years. I've also never had trouble with onion skins or celery in the garbage disposal, although my mom and SIL do/did. I could have used a sign on that one - oops. How was I to know?


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

For those wondering about wipes, some of us have issues and need to use wet wipes. They are not flushable. They are dirty. You do not want them in your garbage just wadded up, and since they are "wet" wipes, balling tissue around them still is gross and lets the germs get all over - yuck!

I have gone online and purchased waxed paper bags for such disposal. I figure that the waxed paper will keep things contained, but by the time it gets to the landfill, can decompose better than plastic (which doesn't).

I also will sometimes use empty toilet paper cardboard rolls that might be sitting on the counter waiting for someone to take to the recycling center. I just fold up the used wipe and tuck it into the roll and throw it in the trash container, where it will stay isolated in its little cardboard tube until the trash is emptied. Yeah, we recycle even those little cardboard tubes, but someone has to carry them to the other end of the house, and that does not happen every day!

In the OP's situation, I advocate for a little sign, no bill, and a stack of little sanitary bags on the back of the toilet in a basket (with other hygiene products if you like). The bags will make it easy for your guests no matter what their needs are, and if you entertain large groups at least a few times a year, it will prevent issues for you. I took a stack of sanitary bags to work with me and shared them in the restrooms there, since I bought them online and had so very many of them!

In the end, though, I simply purchased what my Middle Eastern neighbors would call a "shattaf," or Europeans would call a "bidet wand." Now I use far too much TP drying!

Here is a link that might be useful: Biodegradable disposal bag with dispenser


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

As a matter of fact, these little bags I linked to above can stick to your wall or vanity with enclosed double-sided tape. So you can put them up when needed and not when it is just the usual folks at home. The dispenser gives all the info needed, no need for a second sign! It really is a neat system.

One of the reviewers noted, " This is a lady-like way to take care of disposing of your sanitary napkins or your used incontinence pads without the accompanying odor issue." THAT was one thing that was not discussed as an up-and-coming disposal issue for guests on this thread. Now this gives even the post-menopausal women and their male generational cohorts a need for bathroom disposal discretion.

Many said that they hung the dispenser right next to their TP holder and that family and guests loved it. If you go to the company's ste, you can even choose from different styles of cover for your dispenser!

Here is a link that might be useful: Scensible Source


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

For those wondering about wipes, some of us have issues and need to use wet wipes. They are not flushable. They are dirty. You do not want them in your garbage just wadded up, and since they are "wet" wipes, balling tissue around them still is gross and lets the germs get all over - yuck!

I have gone online and purchased waxed paper bags for such disposal. I figure that the waxed paper will keep things contained, but by the time it gets to the landfill, can decompose better than plastic (which doesn't).

I also will sometimes use empty toilet paper cardboard rolls that might be sitting on the counter waiting for someone to take to the recycling center. I just fold up the used wipe and tuck it into the roll and throw it in the trash container, where it will stay isolated in its little cardboard tube until the trash is emptied. Yeah, we recycle even those little cardboard tubes, but someone has to carry them to the other end of the house, and that does not happen every day!

In the OP's situation, I advocate for a little sign, no bill, and a stack of little sanitary bags on the back of the toilet in a basket (with other hygiene products if you like). The bags will make it easy for your guests no matter what their needs are, and if you entertain large groups at least a few times a year, it will prevent issues for you. I took a stack of sanitary bags to work with me and shared them in the restrooms there, since I bought them online and had so very many of them!

In the end, though, I simply purchased what my Middle Eastern neighbors would call a "shattaf," or Europeans would call a "bidet wand." Now I use far too much TP drying!

Here is a link that might be useful: Biodegradable disposal bag with dispenser


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Just put a sign up and leave it up. I keep nonflushable wet wipes in the guest bathroom and wrote in magic marker "do not flush" on the dispenser.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Wow, thanks for bumping this up, Nancy. My mother, grandmother, and I were all raised by wolves, apparently. We always flushed, unless on septic, traveling in an RV or boat, or visiting a third-world country.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

How strange. I always flushed the tampons -- that was part of the point of using them. I never, ever heard that you couldn't, and I assure you I considered myself educated. Never had any plumbing problems associated with them.

Too late now. Yay!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Ditto everything Violet said!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I grew up flushing tampons, but not the cardboard applicator. Wrapping them and putting them in the garbage - gross. We never had any plumbing problems, either. My mother never told me to do anything different. Of course, she never told me much about "feminine" things, either. Not something you talked about in those days.

I like the signs that aren't too graphic and cover every possibility. Tampons aren't the only problem - some people think the toilet is a type of garbage can, it seems.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I think flushing issues are more common with older homes and when you don't have town septic.

We recently remodeled our beachhouse. In every bathroom, I had the carpenter custom make a very small cubby recessed between the studs, with a door, near the baseboard. Each one has a pretty knob on it. The kind you can't resist peeking.

Inside the cubby are extra feminine hygiene products, and a few small opaque wax paper disposal bags (bought online, very simple ones but you can get them with designs ... lifetime supply for like $7.99).

When we have a new guest and they ask to use the bathroom, I walk her to the bathroom, gesture to the cubby and say "and here you will find anything extra you will need, as well as a little bag for disposal please".

If we were to have a party, I would make up a little sign that says the same, and frame it and leave it on the sink. Ostensibly it's a gesture that is about providing an amenity for your guests, but hopefully at the same time it gets them to do the right thing and gives them what they need to do it with a minimum of fuss. I think by combining the messages that way it seems more pleasant and less awkward.

(I can snap a photo of the cubbies when I have a chance; in our primary home I only have one, in my water closet)

Here is a link that might be useful: I didn't want flowers or long haired maidens...


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

We had an older home - with septic. I don't recall plumbing issues despite my flushing tampons...maybe we were just fortunate?

Ick. I am *so* glad that I no longer have to deal with that stuff!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Wolfpack Gal here, started using tampons in the late 1970s and that was the big selling feature over (once-belted) pads: you could FLUSH. I had no idea this was a problem for normal houses/pipes; I've seen signs on boats and with in-home macerating toilets and of course not flushed there, but didn't think at all about flushing, as a guest or at home, in a regular home toilet.

The things you learn. I like those Scensible bags, nice idea.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Count me as one who never knew that tampons were not to be flushed.
When I was at that time of life, I stopped using tampons years ago anyway, and used a silicone cup. I highly recommend that instead of tampons or pads.

I remember Mom being mortified when my brother and I were small kids. He had fished out the cardboard applicators from the garbage and came out to the kitchen pushing his cast-iron tractor and wagon toys with it's load of "logs". LOL


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I am AMAZED at this discussion. I never never EVER flushed a tampon. We always lived in old houses and I knew this could be disastrous. Besides, just think about it - a tampon is designed to hold a lot of liquid, expanding to get the job done. Seems to me that it would easily become sluggish in the plumbing. (not that I ever experimented - I'm just guessing) We didn't flush toilet paper, either.

But on the other hand, I remember feeling really embarrassed about putting a wrapped used tampon in somebody else's trash. I used to avoid that at all costs if I possibly could. These new disposal bags that have been mentioned seem the perfect answer.

But, thank goodness I don't have to worry about it anymore. One of the benefits of having a hysto.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I love Mtn's cubby! I will add one of those when I do moms old house. It is about 120 years old and pretty sure the septic tank is only a bit younger. Even paper is an issue, that is a fun one to explain-I may need a much bigger cubby than Mtn.

For the funnest thing ever put down a disposal and clogged, a tenants husband bought her a few dozen roses for an anniversary, she thought the disposal was for grinding long stem rose cuttings.

Of course, if you pour grease down the drain, expect a bill. But pasta, rice and beans will make one nice clog after the disposal too (not enough water to flush them through the pipes)


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

I found a photo of the cubby in my w/c at home.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Here it is close up...


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Can we see inside :) is it a drawer, a shelf?


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

Hi enduring,

This is the one I have in my personal water closet in my MBA.

The cubby I just put in in the PR in our beachhouse, for example, is organized a little differently ...with a little silver vase and a little box inside so when you open up the door you see what's there right away.


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

It looks perfectly functional. Thanks!


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RE: Getting guests not to flush tampons?

"I remember Mom being mortified when my brother and I were small kids. He had fished out the cardboard applicators from the garbage and came out to the kitchen pushing his cast-iron tractor and wagon toys with it's load of "logs"."

That is too cute! Gross, but cute!


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