What to Flush

COVID-19 Message

Important reminder!

Cleaning/disinfectant wipes, facial tissues, disposable gloves, and paper towels all go in the garbage. Please prevent sewer backups. Only flush toilet paper and human waste.

Ever experienced a clogged toilet or sewer backup? If so, you know it’s not only unpleasant, but can also cost time and money. To avoid clogs and backups remember:

Toilet paper is the only thing that’s safe to flush. Everything else is trash, including products that claim they are “flushable.”

Where does it go diagram


  • Only toilet paper
  • Human waste

Do not flush:

  • Wipes of any kind (even if labeled flushable)
  • Facial Tissues
  • Disposable menstrual products
  • Condoms
  • Diapers
  • Dental Floss
  • Paper Towels
  • Medications

If it’s not toilet paper, it doesn’t break down. Trash flushed down toilets not only puts your pipes at risk, but is also an increasing problem for the city’s sewer system and equipment, and can lead to sewage overflows into Lake Washington and other local waters.

Watch this video to see what it takes to clear wipes from Seattle’s Pritchard Beach pump station.

What to flush diagram

What can you do?

  • Flush only toilet paper at home and in public restrooms
  • Keep a lidded trash bin in your bathroom
  • If you must use disposable wipes, do not flush them (even if the packaging says flushable)
  • Own a business? Download the Where Does It Go? restroom stall sign or trash bin labels to post in your customer or employee restrooms. Contact SPU’s Green Business team for onsite support and education at (206) 343-8505 or greenbusiness@seattle.gov.