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

man-holding-condom-after-used

How do you dispose of your condoms after use? Do you throw them in the trash or flush them down the toilet? 

Men and women are advised to wear condoms when having unprotected intimacy for pleasure (with to interest of getting pregnant). Using condoms can also protect one from having STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases). However, abstinence is the best way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STDs. 

So, condoms (male and female condoms) are crucial devices. But then, how you dispose of each of your condoms after use matters a great deal. Is it safe to flush condoms down the toilet? Continue reading for more information on how to dispose of your used condoms.

Can You Flush Condoms Down the Toilet?

The simple answer is NO. You shouldn’t. It’s normal to want to dispose of a condom quickly after intercourse with your partner. But the most honorable way or place to dispose of a used condom is not flushing it down your toilet. 

The toilets work under the same principles, whether you’re in a hotel or your own house. So, even if you’re in a hotel, you still need to be responsible and not throw your used condoms down the toilet. 

If you flush your used condom down the toilet instead of doing so the right way, keep in mind that someone else may have to dispose of it for you one day, maybe not this year, but someday. Now, imagine how disgusting that would be.

You may have to hire a plumber to work on your toilet because sooner or later, the used condoms will clog the toilet. And as such, it might be challenging to flush down other items after use.   

No offense, but if you have the time to wear a condom, you should also have the time to throw it away adequately after use. There are many ways to throw used condoms away, and one of them is not by flushing them down the toilet. 

You should also not store your condoms after use. Ensure you dispose of them immediately after use. Again, keep in mind that male and female condoms are disposed of the same way. And they are created by the same non-biodegradable materials, though many companies have started producing biodegradable ones.  

Since condoms are non-biodegradable, they will only pile up in your sewer once flushed down the toilet. And the worst part is they won’t sink to the ground. When the sewer is finally emptied to the sea, you would find these condoms on top the water. Now, imagine how disgusting this is.

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So, if you have been flushing condoms down the toilet after use, you have to put a stop to it. 

Is it Safe to Flush Condoms Down the Toilet?

No, it’s not safe. If you’re in the habit of flushing condoms down the toilet, please stop doing that immediately. 

One of the reasons people dispose of used condoms in the toilet is because of the discreteness. But if you may think no one would find out, keep in mind that they will somehow. 

So, why is it unsafe to flush condoms down the toilet? 

1. You’re endangering aquatic animals

Although most companies have started producing biodegradable condoms, many are still not biodegradable. And being non-biodegradable mean the condoms won’t decompose for a long while, probably thousands of years. 

Many latex condoms on the market come produced with additives that makes breaking them down much harder. Polyurethane is another material used for condom production, and it is non-biodegradable.   

What makes condoms dangerous to our environment, as you can see, is not how often we use them. It’s more about how we dispose of them after use. Millions of condoms are sold in the United States yearly. According to a statistical report, over 450 million condoms are sold in the United States of America each year. 

Imagine having such a massive amount of condoms being sold to the masses, with more than half the number disposed of inappropriately. Having such an enormous amount of non-biodegradable materials released into the environment isn’t safe in any way.  

Another reason flushing condoms down the toilet is unsafe is that toilets end up in the sea. And because condoms are non-biodegradable, they may remain in our waters for many years or wash offshore. Aquatic animals may also choose to eat them as food, an action that could endanger their lives. 

You should also know that many fishes today come packed with heavy metals and microplastics due to how we dispose of these non-biodegradables. So, we’re not only endangering aquatic life but ourselves because these fishes would end up in our stomachs. You won’t have the time to check if the fish you’re consuming has these microplastics or heavy metals.     

You seriously would cringe at the site of a used condom. And it’s even worse when the whole family is out on a picnic and comes across used condoms washed offshore. You need to be a genius to convince kids of these days that the item isn’t a condom but a balloon.

2. Your kids could accidentally find and play with them

Kids love balloons and wouldn’t waste time to get one inflated with air, irrespective of the source. And condoms are just like balloons. With air blown into a condom, it will become inflated like a balloon. 

So, how can a used condom become unsafe for kids? 

A used condom can become unsafe for kids when it’s not disposed of properly. If, as a parent, you’re around when your kids find a used condom by the side of the house, then you’ll be able to convince them not to play with it. 

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What happens when you or other adults are not around when the kids finds the used condom? It would be a disaster. They could treat it as a balloon, which is unsafe. 

So, before you dispose of your used condom, think about the consequences. Your kids or the ones next door could pick them up.  

3. Clogging your plumbing

You may have been dumping condoms down the toilet and going scot-free. But keep in mind that a time would come when you won’t be able to flush your toilet properly due to blockage from dumped condoms. 

Many condoms are manufactured with latex and other materials that make it hard for them to break down. Therefore, the used condoms you keep flushing down your toilet will keep piling in your plumbing.

Condoms are one of the few items that can clog your plumping. And getting a plumber to fix such a mess could be costly. It will also be shameful for the plumber to discover that used condoms are the reason your toilet can’t flush properly. 

So, keep in mind that as you continue to flush used condoms down your toilet, even when you know the best way to dispose of them, someone is going to be responsible for dumping them the right. It will eventually happen, sooner or later.    

What Happens if You Flush Condoms Down the Toilet?

When you flush condoms, it will form what is termed ‘fatbergs.’ The fatbergs is an industry terminology used to describe a congealed lump of waste you will find stuck in the sewage system. And when this happens, workers would have to remove the congealed condoms manually. 

The condoms you continuously flush down your toilet may also clog your plumbing one day. When this happens, then you need to hire a plumber or apply some DIY skills to unclog it.

How to Unclog the Toilet if it Gets Clogged by Condoms?

Is your toilet clogged due to the flushing of used condoms or other materials? The dreadful thing about clogged toilets is that the incident may happen at an unexpected time.  

 But if you know your way around, you won’t be affected by it. Here are ways you can unclog your toilet by yourself. 

1. Drain cleaner technique

You would need the following for this toilet unclogging technique. 

  1. Vinegar (apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
  2. Baking soda
  3. Water (half a gallon) 

Start by pouring the water into the cookware and boiling it. Now pour in your baking soda and vinegar. Give the mixture at least 2 minutes or more to boil and turn the stove off. 

Your next step should be to pour the drain cleaner you just made into the toilet bowl and leave it overnight. Flush the toilet in the morning and start using. 

Note: Adding vinegar and baking soda would create a powerful chemical that can dissolve waste blocking your toilet. 

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2. Using a plunger

You may need to purchase a plunger for this technique. And remember to get a high-grade plunger for this. Such plungers usually boast a thicker rubber cap at the end part. 

Place the plunger in the pot. Ensure the hole at the pot’s end is covered, and continue pulling and pushing water within and outside the hole.        

You should try this process ten to fifteen times, to unclog your toilet. After that, flush and start using the toilet again. 

3. Using a plumbing snake

You only require one item for this process, and that is the plumbing snake. This device boasts a flexible wire, which is long enough to go deep into your toilet and remove whatever is blocking it. 

Here’s how to use a plumbing snake. 

Insert the plumbing snake entirely into the hole. Now start moving the wire up and down and in a circular motion. Repeat this for fifteen to twenty minutes. The plumbing snake would either break up the waste that’s clogging your toilet or push them down the sewer. Once you’re done, flush the toilet, and you’re good to go. 

Note: If you don’t have a plumbing snake and can’t get one from your neighbors to use, you can make your own using a wire coat hanger. 

4. Using dishwater detergent

See the five things you would need to get use this toilet unclogging technique.

  • Water
  • Detergent
  • Bowl 
  • Heat source (stove)
  • Cookware (cooking pot or kettle)

To use this technique, pour a few cups of water into the cookware. The kettle or pot should be almost filled. Pour in your detergent and pour the water into your toilet (after allowing it to boil for some minutes). Let the toilet remain unused overnight. You can flush and start using it in the morning.    

Ways to Dispose of Used Condoms

Properly disposing of a condom after use won’t take more than 10 seconds. You need to wrap the condom in a tissue, old newspaper, or paper bag and throw it in the bin. That’s it!

Know that latex condoms stand a better chance of degrading much quicker and adequately on land. So, even if the condoms you threw in the bin ends up in landfill, there would be no cause for alarm.  

You can also use incineration. There are two types of incineration techniques based on the temperature used. The high-temperature incineration ranges from 1100 to 1400 degrees centigrade, while the second is the medium temperature incineration (750 to 900 degrees centigrade). 

This incineration process involves burning the used condom in an incinerator. The device has filters to remove toxic gasses, including smaller particles. 

Conclusion

Condoms are items we should always dispose of carefully after use. Never flush a condom down the toilet. It’s not safe for you and our environment. 

We hope you learned a thing or two about disposing of used condoms. So, start doing the right thing if you aren’t already doing so. 

References:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/275455/us-households-usage-of-condoms/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ACondom/Archive_2

https://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/resource-pdf/Safe%20Disposal%20and%20Management%20of%20Unused%20Unwanted%20Contraceptives_2.pdf

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.