Can You Flush Milk Down the Toilet? (And Safe Ways to Dispose of)

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If you’ve been to public restroom toilets, then you must have come across the following instruction, “Please Do Not Flush Anything But Toilet Paper.” But do you consider this? Well, a single paper towel may not harm the toilet. 

But picture this: 

Someone flushing debris down your toilet, potentially damaging your drainage pipes. Of course, you wouldn’t like it. So before flushing anything in a public toilet, think about your own home. 

And let’s face it – we’re all guilty of draining leftovers down the sink rather than cleaning them up. While your drains can tolerate this for some time, it’s only a matter of time until all this debris clog your drainage pipes for good.

That said, there are some things we flush down the toilet when that shouldn’t be the case. So without any further ado, let’s get started.  

Can I Flush Milk Down the Toilet?

NO. Flushing milk or any other dairy products down the toilet isn’t eco-friendly. Apart from having a severe environmental impact, some states might impose charges for doing it.

This is because milk requires adequate oxygen to be broken down, denying other organisms the air they need for survival. Even worse, large quantities of milk can suffocate the entire ecosystem.

Can I Throw Milk Down the Drain? And if so, What Are the Effects? 

NO, dumping expired milk down the drains isn’t recommended. Some states might sue you for this. Although many people are unaware of this, milk must be disposed of through an ABP contractor. If you’re running a business, you may have to undergo a financial or custodial sentence for businesses. 

Milk is a high-pollutant, which is why it’s grouped under Category 3 ABP (Animal By-Product.) More often, it’s considered harmful due to its high oxygen demand – bacteria that feed on it and exhaust the oxygen consumed by aquatic life

Again, dumping expired milk down the drain can cause a profound environmental impact in many ways. Due to its high oxygen demand, disposing of milk can suffocate aquatic life and even harm the ecosystems. This is especially true with dairy products such as cheese and yogurt. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you should let fresh milk down the drains. Milk has a quick expiry, and when poured in small quantities, it accumulates over time. The process of breaking down milk requires large amounts of oxygen, and when that oxygen is exhausted, other organisms relying on it start to suffocate. Sadly, there have been cases of large-scale milk spills wiping off the aquatic population. 

READ  Can You Flush Wipes Down the Toilet? (And How to Dispose of Them)

Similarly, dairy products such as cheese, butter, yogurt, and cream can have the same environmental impact, which is why programs have been put in place for such disposals. More often, these programs are commercial-based, so what do you do with yours? A little tip: Stock just enough while checking out the expiration dates to enhance eco-friendly habits. 

How to Dispose of Milk (Safe Ways to Dispose of Milk)

1. Use it to Bake 

Did you know that you can always utilize sour milk for baking? Well, along with other ingredients, you will eliminate any unpleasant taste, and your milk doesn’t have to go to waste.

There are tons of recipes that sour milk comes in handy, so you might intentionally let your milk go sour. For example, you can prepare pancakes, cornbread, scones, among other bakes products. 

2. Use it to Prepare Creamier Dinner

You must be wondering how sour milk can be used in cooking. Like with baking, sour milk will mask any unpleasant taste. For the most part, it can be used as a thickener for soups and casseroles.

If your soup has a blunt taste, consider adding a little sour milk to give it a richer taste. Meanwhile, don’t make the sour taste too pronounced as it may interfere with the food’s flavor.  

3. Use it as Meat Tenderizer 

Sour milk contains lactic acid, ideal for tenderizing steak. For efficiency, soak your meat in sour milk before cooking. You can also incorporate sour milk in marinades, just like you’d do with buttermilk. If you’re a vegetarian, sour milk will again come in handy for dried grains such as barley and wheat berries. 

4. Make Some Homemade Cheese

Traditionally, sour milk would be used for homemade cheese. If your milk gets sour unintentionally, use it to develop cottage cheese at your comfort, which perfectly blends fruit salads and snacks. 

5. Make Your Face Glow

The lactic acid in milk goes a long way for smoother and firmer skin. Dilute a little quantity with water and splash on your face. Gently rub into your skin and use plain water to rinse your face. This will help eliminate the sour smell throughout the day. 

6. Take A Skin-Boosting Bath

Not only does sour milk help your face glow, but also your entire body. Add two cups to a bath for skin makeover. If you can’t mask the sour smell, incorporate a few drops of essential oil to eliminate it once and for all. 

7.  Enhance Your Plants’ Growth

Apart from water and organic fertilizer, sour milk can be an excellent source for your plants’ growth. Dilute a little amount of sour milk with water and pour it into your garden beds or flower pots for calcium.

Like it does for you, calcium enhances plants’ growth. Much research shows that this is especially true for tomato plants. When used in the garden, the sour smell will often keep away the deer. 

8. Make A Salad

In case of a limited supply of sour cream, sour milk will come in handy as an alternative to enhance rich dressings like blue cheese. If you intend to use raw milk, the thick sour lumps that result from sour milk are great for salads. If the milk is pasteurized, toss the lumpy stuff before using it for salads. 

READ  Can You Flush Cigarette Butts? (And Can They Be Recycled?)

9. Feed Your Pets

You don’t have to utilize your sour milk in the kitchen alone – you can always feed it to the pets if the taste becomes unbearable. By incorporating little quantities of milk into your pets’ diets, you’ll be adding protein as well as calcium into their diets.

For the most part, it’s an excellent additive to pet food, and they wouldn’t mind the taste. Consider adding some milk into your pets’ food for additional calcium and protein. 

Things That You Should Not Flush Down the Toilet

1. Baby Wipes

Regardless of the type, refrain from flushing wipes down the toilet. While some are considered flushable, they might cause potential damages to your drainage system.

According to Boulden Brothers, a plumbing company, these are the possible cause of a blockage and should always be disposed of in a trash can. Mike Agugliaro, a co-worker of a plumbing company, reiterated that even the wipes termed flushable don’t disintegrate like toilet paper, which can ultimately clog the drainage pipes.  

2. Q-Tips and Cotton Pads

Whether they are indicated “labeled,” Q-tips, cotton pads should never be flushed down the toilet. Q-tips and cotton pads don’t break down easily in water like toilet papers, making them unsuitable to go down the drain. Instead, these items can easily clog your toilet and cause you more trouble than you may have thought. 

3. Menstrual Products

Again, some people would consider flushing sanitary pads down the toilet, which is wrong. Sanitary towels, just like any other item, cannot get broken down by water easily. This means that they will clog your toilet when you flush them. Ideally, sanitary pads absorb water instead of being broken down by the water, making them unsuitable for flushing down the toilet. 

4. Condoms

I get it; it can be quite embarrassing to dispose of condoms in an open bin, perhaps that you share with your neighbors. However, flushing them down the toilet is the worst mistake you can ever make. Condoms cannot break down in the water, which means that they’ll end up clogging your toilet. 

5. Diapers

Just as menstrual pads, diapers don’t break in the water. Instead, they absorb more water, which can lead to clogging of your toilet. If you successfully flush diapers down your toilet, there are chances that the diaper flushed wi; get caught up somewhere in the pipes, which may lead to more complications. 

6. Dental Floss

Dental floss is not appropriate to flush down the toilet. Not only can they clog your toilet, but they also lead to environmental damage. Dental floss usually forms a net-like structure, which then traps debris in your septic tank. 

7. Paper Towels 

It’s easy to buy the perception that paper towels and toilet papers are the same. However, paper towels aren’t designed to break down in the water like toilet paper. This is what differentiates them from toilet papers, thus unsuitable to use as an alternative. Paper towels can clog your toilet and endanger the ecosystem if flushed down the toilet. 

8. Medication

The chances are that you have pills you no longer want to use, so you are thinking about flushing them down the toilet. However, toilet water can’t break down capsules, which will hinder them from getting flushed completely. Additionally, flushing your toilet can cause toxic severe environmental hazards. 

READ  Can You Flush Newspaper Down the Toilet? (And What Not To Flush)

9. Cigarette Butts

Cigarettes contain toxic substances, and when flushed down the toilet, cigarettes incorporate toxic chemicals into the water. Additionally, this is a waste of water than you’d have disposed of properly in a garbage can. And yes, cigarette butts can clog your drainage pipes if you make it a habit to flush them down your toilet. 

10. Kitty Litter

Most kitty litter brands are termed flushable, but according to Agugliaro, many toilets don’t accommodate enough water to drain litter into your pipes completely. More often, these products will only harden the water for purification. Avoid flushing cat waste from the litter box as they dehydrate waste rather than flushing them. 

11. Hair

Hair tends to form a net-like structure when flushed down the toilet, just like dental floss. Also, it floats on water and doesn’t dissolve easily, no matter how long it stays there. Again, throw any form of hair into the trash.

12. Gum

Chewing gums don’t break down in the water, so what happens if you flush them down your toilet? It will often cling inside your drainage pipes due to stickiness, build-up, and eventually clog your septic system. Always embrace the culture of disposing of chewing gum into the trash can.  

13. Cooking Grease

I’m guessing that you already know you shouldn’t pour greasy substances down the drains. The same should apply to your toilet. According to Boulden Brothers, cooking grease will often coagulate upon cooling and eventually clog your drainage pipes. 

14. Fish

This is common to fish breeders. When a fish pet dies, they resought to flushing rather than disposing of it appropriately. Despite being biodegradable, whole fish doesn’t break down quickly, and if they do, it’ll take a couple of weeks. Alternatively, bury your pet fish decently, just like you’d have done to any pet. 

15. Food

While food is broken-down human waste, flushing undigested food debris can cause potential damages to your septic system. Unsurprisingly, it can also lead to plumbing issues despite being biodegradable. This is because food that isn’t properly digested takes time to break down even though it will eventually, causing clogs, according to Agugliaro.  

16. Bleach

Finally, bleach is one of the most surprising things you shouldn’t let down your toilet. While this might be your daily cleaning routine, bleach can be too harsh to your toilet as well as the drainage system. Mike Agugliaro, a co-worker in a plumbing company, recommends using vinegar instead of bleach for stain removal. 

Sarah Walker
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