Can you flush gum down the toilet? – is the most trending question. It’s no secret that gum is a sticky mess and important to dispose of gum properly.
But, What if you accidentally Flush gum down the toilet? That is not the best option, as it can cause plumbing problems. Gum can cling to pipes and block water flow.
So today, we’ll discuss the best ways to get rid of gum, so you can avoid any costly repairs.
We’ll also clarify why it’s such a bad idea to flush gum in the first place. Keep scrolling for further details!
- Can You Flush Gum Down The Toilet?
- What happens when you flush gum down the toilet?
- Is it bad to put gum down the toilet?
- Is it safe to flush gum down the toilet?
- Is Chewing Gum Bad to Your Septic Tank?
- What to do if You accidentally flushed gum?
- Can gum go down the toilet?
- Is Gum Biodegradable?
- How Long Does Gum Take to Decompose?
- How Do You Dispose of Gum?
- FAQs Related to Gum Flush Down the Toilet
Can You Flush Gum Down The Toilet?
Most people should be aware of this, but I believe it is critical to provide a definitive response to the question, “can you flush gum down the toilet?” because other items should not be flushed.
Of course, flushing anything down a public water closet is likely ill-advised and sort of awful, if we’re being honest.
Flushing gum is something you really don’t want to do because it will clog the plumbing, which could be expensive to fix or replace.
Even though it’s bad for your pipes, it’s not terrible for your septic system if you’re on a septic tank (and not all homes are).
If you have a septic tank, be aware that gum will take much longer for your septic system to cleanse compared with human waste.
The problem is that there are synthetic fibers in gum that don’t break down very quickly.
Furthermore, the flavor may cause bacteria to form more easily, resulting in clogs forming faster than usual.
What happens when you flush gum down the toilet?
It takes years for a piece of gum (Depending on the type of gum) to decompose in a landfill, but when you flush it down the toilet or riverbed, it breaks down within some months. The process is accelerated by heat and slowed by cold.
Still, that’s plenty enough time for the gum to wind up clogging pipes and driving significant sanitation concerns.
Also, some paper products, such as tissues and paper towels, degrade in water after a few months. The truth is that your body also undergoes this type of disintegration (everything rots, after all).
But you already know that gum doesn’t break down like other organic matter; it sticks around, and it’s easy to see why.
Chewing develops rubbery particles known as “pseudoplastic substances,” which attach to the gum and form a kind of glue.- These particles are distinct from regular chewing gum, which fades flavor with time.
Is it bad to put gum down the toilet?
Put Gum Down the toilet is a very bad idea.
People often assume that once chewed gum is disposed of in this manner, it will simply stay in the sewage system and never decompose.
Many people think this means eventually causing a massive clog somewhere along the line and leading to a burst pipe.
In fact, all that is gum going down the toilet is that it will end up at a wastewater treatment plant where solids will be removed from the water and made into fertilizer for the soil. -This is obviously far better than allowing your chewed gum to decompose in a landfill and release harmful greenhouse gases.
Is it safe to flush gum down the toilet?
The short answer is no. It’s not safe to flush any kins of gum down the toilet. Still, according to our research, it seems that chewing gum poses a particularly large problem for sewer systems all over the world.
Is Chewing Gum Bad to Your Septic Tank?
Many people wonder if chewing gum is bad for the septic tank.
Septic tanks are mostly used to treat domestic waste before entering the main sewage system.
A septic tank’s primary function is to extract solids from water-soluble components, typically fats and oils that float on the surface of waters.
The presence of acids and bacteria liquefies the solids, making separation from the liquids easier. This pre-treatment cleanses the liquid to safely travel through a typical sewage system.
Chewing gum’s ability to resist the forces of nature is well-known. (Source)
So, is chewing gum bad for the septic tank?
Yes, It is so better to avoid it flushing. It doesn’t really matter because if you’re going to chew gum, you should probably just throw it away.
Read More- How to Remove Object from Toilet Trap
What to do if You accidentally flushed gum?
Gum may be flushed down the toilet, but its sticky mass could clog up drain pipes. Here are some solutions to help you avoid this uncomfortable circumstance.
First of all, don’t panic! The initial step is to try and remove as much gum as possible by hand. If you don’t succeed, you may need some tools.
2. The most simple is a piece of wire or even an old credit card that you can try to put between the gum and the toilet pipe wall.
The only thing that matters here is that you don’t damage any plumbing walls if at all possible.
3. If everything fails big time, you will need some wet wipes and hot water. Unwrap some wet wipes and remove gum by using them as a sort of “glue remover.”
After you successfully removed the major part of the gum, flush the toilet again to wash out those still remaining parts from drain pipe walls.
4. You can now add some hot water or boiling water mixed with baking soda. Pour this solution down the drain and wait for it to work.
5. For a more powerful solution, prepare a bucket with boiling water and pour some vinegar into it.
Mix the ingredients well and let everything stand for 5 minutes before flushing away with cold water.
The final step is to rinse everything off with hot water once again.
6. Mix baking soda and salt with a little water to remove the film of gum from the interior of your toilet.
The resulting paste should be directly applied to any remaining pieces of gum in the bowl. Leave it for 5 minutes before flushing everything away with hot water.
Can gum go down the toilet?
They certainly can. Because water damage is typically not covered by homeowners insurance plans, report any plumbing or sewer problems to your utility company immediately.
Depending on how far away your main drain is, it could take time for the water to work its way through this long pipe.
You can speed up that process by pouring some baking soda and vinegar down the bowl of your toilet.
Both are natural chemical compounds that act as effective drain cleaners.
Read More–Can you Flush Paper Towels to the toilet.
Is Gum Biodegradable?
Gum is not biodegradable, but it is recyclable.
Recycling gum removes it from circulation for a brief period, lowering the demand for raw resources to make fresh gum.
Most gum recycling locations also accept plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
When you drop your used gum in the correct container at these locations, it goes through a recycling process similar to plastic and aluminum.
Recycling gum accomplishes more than simply keeping it out of landfills. It can also help minimize the cost of producing new gum because manufacturers do not have to utilize as many raw materials.
Suppose individuals recycle their used gum instead of tossing it away. In that case, the demand for these materials remains low, resulting in higher pricing.
How Long Does Gum Take to Decompose?
The natural decomposition process of gum is dependent on many factors- including
· The type of gum,
· The temperature and
· Moisture levels in the environment,
· As well as exposure to bacteria.
In general, it can take anything from three months to two years or more for regular chewing gum to decompose organically. Depending on where the gum is dumped, this time range may vary.
How Do You Dispose of Gum?
Discarded gum can safely dispose of in designated trash cans. The wrappers are used; otherwise, they should be wrapped in paper and disposed of properly.
When implanted in public spaces such as sidewalks or streets, it may take longer to degrade since the sticky substance requires several years of exposure to warm temperatures and ultraviolet (UV) radiation to break down.
Disposal in the Ocean
Gum is not easily decomposable by nature. Hence it does not fare well when dumped into bodies of water such as oceans or lakes.
Suppose gum washes up on a beach and is removed immediately. In that case, it may not have as much impact on the ecosystem as if it was left alone for several years.
FAQs Related to Gum Flush Down the Toilet
Q1. What can I safely flush down the toilet?
Unfortunately, people flush all sorts of things down the toilet that they shouldn’t.
Note: Please do not flush anything besides these items listed below.
-Toilet paper (yes, please do put it in your toilet!)
-Feces (human or animal)
-Wet wipes (e.g., “flushable” wet wipes, baby wipes, cleaning wipes)
-Condoms -No! You can’t flush condoms down your toilet.
Condoms are very difficult to break down and can cause a clog in the sewer line or at the pump station.
-Cotton swabs/Q-tips -They can get stuck on top of tree roots that are digging into the sewer line. Cotton swabs are not biodegradable and will take decades to decompose.
Q2. Can you put chewing gum down the sink?
The short answer is NO.
Chewing gum can clog your drain or sewer line and cause problems for the local wastewater treatment plant.
You would be better off sending your chewing gum to a recycling facility.