Can You Flush Alcohol Down the Toilet? (And What to do with Unused Alcohol)

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It’s not the best feeling to see liquor bottles everywhere. They not only limit your storage space but could also get dangerous when broken. So you need to get rid of these liquor bottles. But you need to empty them first, but how? 

Some people may opt to consume the liquor if still consumable; others will offer it as a gift to charities, among other ways. In this post, I’ll answer some of the most disturbing questions regarding this topic – can you flush alcohol down the toilet? 

Is It Okay to Empty a Bottle of Alcohol Down the Drain?

NO, it is not okay to empty a bottle of alcohol down the drain. While there is no harm, doing this will create some insects or bacteria hangover. Instead of pouring the remaining liquor down your toilet, it would be best to offer the alcohol to people who need it.

If you have friends and relatives who drink, offer them the remaining liquor as gifts. You can also check around your neighborhood to see if there are any parties and need more alcohol to supplement what they already have. 

But as I said, you can still empty a few bottles down your drain, but you need not to do it frequently. Take some time and see what happens. Of course, it won’t harm your septic tank, but the chances are that it will create insects and bacteria hangover. It will even be safer if you live next to a public sewer system. 

The chances are that your drain is connected to a sewer treatment system, which can handle little amounts of alcohol. It would still be acceptable to empty a few alcohol bottles down the drain if your drain is directly connected to a waterway. You will indeed be polluting some nutrients, but this will not have a prolonged impact. Instead, it will be used as an energy source. 

So, What Can You Do With Old Liquor? 

It would help if you collected your liquor bottles and put them in one place. Feel free to pour a few bottles down your toilet. Take a few weeks before you pour the next ones if you need to. This will help you know if there will be any issue with your septic tank. Also, you could recycle old liquor bottles and use them for daily home activities. 

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Most liquors should always stay for more extended periods. If you don’t need the alcohol anymore and are still consumable, please offer it as a gift to friends and relatives

There are a couple of other liquor uses. Alcohol has quite good antiseptic qualities, which makes it very useful around your home. For example, Vodka can be a good substitute for any chemical spray used to kill mold. Additionally, Vodka can be helpful when you need to get your fixtures shining. You can also use Whiskey together with honey, lemon, and sugar to make a home remedy for coughs. There are many more uses of alcohol. Just dig more in-depth on the internet to find others. 

Will Coke Help Unclog a Toilet?

Yes, to some extent, Coke can help unclog your toilet. To test this, Purchase a bottle of Coke drink, then allow it to cool for a couple of minutes. Pour the Coke down your drain, let it fizz for about an hour, and then pour hot water down the channel. Coke has phosphoric acid, which helps in unclogging your clogged drain. 

Can You Flush Wine Down the Toilet?

Yes, it is okay to empty only a few bottles of wine down the drain. However, you need to know that emptying many bottles of wine could be dangerous. If you make wine at home, it would be best to dispose of excess wine appropriately. You can choose to offer your friends and relatives or donate your excess wine to a party nearby. 

Does Alcohol Harm the Septic System?

Yes, though, in large quantities. However, that shouldn’t give you the option to continue emptying alcohol bottles down your drain. Your septic tank is not a bin, and you should avoid flushing down any chemical substance. 

Effects of Putting Alcohol Down the Drain

When you flush chemicals down your drain, whether medical or non-medical, they go straight to the wastewater system, after which they are filtered into the treatment plant. Unfortunately, these chemicals would persist and end up out of the treatment plant to the groundwater or the surface. 

The worst part is that these chemicals, when in large quantities, can lead to a disruption in fish. This can cause behavioral and reproductive disorders in fish, cancer, and neurological problems. When humans and other animals that feed on fish consume fish with these chemicals, the toxicity increases and the cycle continues leading to more danger. If this cycle continues, the entire ecosystem can be affected. 

What to Do With Unused Alcohol (Safe Ways to Dispose)

1. Take to a Hazardous Waste Site

Before you set out to the waste site, you need to make sure that the alcohol bottles do not look and have no cracks. If the alcohol container wasn’t labeled, you need to mark it “rubbing alcohol,” ïsopropyl alcohol.” You can buy labels online and use them for this process. 

Also, you need to research and see if there is any drop-off center or a collection entity near you. If you find that there are any, stop over and issue them with the alcohol. These entities know how to dispose of these alcohol remains so that they don’t hurt the ecosystem. 

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2. Flush Into Sewer System If Diluted 

If the container has less than five percent rubbing alcohol, you can empty it down the drain, then pour a lot of water to dilute it. For example, if you have poured 240 ML of alcohol down the drain, you must pour around 4700 ML of water to dilute the alcohol concentration. However, it is also important to note that pouring rubbing alcohol into your storm sewer is a bad idea. This is because rubbing alcohol is fifty percent concentrated. 

3. Check the Government’s Recommendation

You can also visit your city’s waste management center and see if they could help with disposing of your unused alcohol. It would also help if you checked your local government’s website to see if they have any recommendations or guidelines on how you can dispose of unwanted liquor. Other websites also offer free resources in encyclopedias to help people know how best they can dispose of excess alcohol. 

4. Keep In a Cool Place

Alternatively, you can decide to keep the excess or unwanted liquor somewhere in a cool, dry place as you figure out how best you can dispose of them. Ensure that you keep the alcohol far away from any heat source to avoid explosions. A closet is an example of a place you can keep your excess or unwanted liquor for the time being. 

5. Absorb Spills Using Soil

You can pour the alcohol in dirt or sand, wait until it is fully absorbed, then transfer it to an airtight container. Dump this container in a bin or take the container to the nearest waste plant within your locality. 

6. Wash and Recycle

Another alternative is to empty the liquor into the soil, but away from your garden, wash the bottles and drop them in the recycling bin. When cleaning the liquor bottles, make sure that no alcohol leftover or smell is coming out from the bottle. 

If you accidentally spill any alcohol on your skin, you need to wash with clean water and soap. If it mistakenly goes into your eye, rinse thoroughly with clean water. If you still feel some irritation after doing any of these, visit your doctor for further recommendation. 

Things That You Can Safely Put Down the Toilet

You should only flush toilet papers down your toilet. Toilet papers are usually made of paper pulps, so they can dissolve in water, limiting your toilet clogging chances. Tissue papers are harmless to sewer systems, and that’s why they are recommended for use in the toilet. 

When you flush a toilet paper down the toilet, it goes straight to the wastewater treatment area where it is filtered; the waste taken out while the treated water is let out to the rivers and lakes, where they can be used to serve various purposes. 

However, it is not advisable to flush other items apart from toilet papers down the drain. For example, don’t flush condoms, diapers, sanitary towels, or any other thing labeled “flushable.” In most cases, these items are not even flushable. It’s just indicated there to entice you to buy. 

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Why is Toilet Paper is the Only Recommended Item?

Toilet papers are the only recommended items that should go down the toilet. And some people may indeed find it hard to believe that there is no other thing that should go down the drain except the toilet paper. Below is a simple experiment you can do to ascertain that tissue paper is the only safe item to flush down the toilet. 

Have two bowls full of water. Place a toilet paper in one of the bowls and choose any other item you may think is safe to flush down the drain into another bowl. Swish both of these items in separate bowls with water and wait for approximately one or two hours to see what happens. You should see that the toilet paper will have soaked and disintegrated even before then one hour elapses. On the contrary, the other item will remain intact. 

If the item you choose soaks and disintegrates in water, consider it flushable in the toilet. However, it would still be essential to read recommendations from wastewater treatment facilities to know their recommendations before trying out the item. Otherwise, you may risk clogging your toilet for no good reason. 

Ways to Unclog the Toilet if Clogged

1. Heat Wave 

The first easy way to unclog your toilet is by using the heatwave method. Pour some water in a cooking pot and heat, but don’t let it hit the boiling point. Remove the boiled water and pour it down your toilet, then let it rest for some minutes. You’ll know that the method has worked if you start seeing the water draining. When this happens, flush a few times. 

2. Dish Duty 

If the first method doesn’t work, get some soap from your kitchen or bathroom and squeeze about ¼ into a separate bowl. Pour the squeezed soap into the toilet and let it sit for a few minutes. Next, boil some water (allow it not to reach the boiling point) and then pour it down your drain. The soap should act as a lubricant, which will help things get flowing again. 

3. Fizzy Fix

This is where the science you learned in school comes to your rescue. Get a cup of baking soda, a cup of vinegar, and let them down your drain. Vinegar and soda usually react, and the bubbles that come from the reaction will help unclog your toilet. If it is successful, well, and good, if not, repeat the process once more. 

Sarah Walker
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