Feminine hygiene products, such as sanitary napkins and tampons, are made of fibers like cotton and rayon that are non-degradable. They are designed to absorb liquids instead of breaking down like toilet paper. Tampons, on average, absorb about 10 times their size in fluid. This makes them hard to dissolve and can cause serious plumbing problems later, especially in older plumbing systems if there is already and grease build up or if roots have grown into the pipes. Flushing these products can easily result in a clogged sewer line.
Toilets are not designed to handle materials other than toilet paper and human waste. Household items, such as wipes, cleaning cloths, paper towels, feminine hygiene products, and personal care products may lead to a clog in the toilet that a plunger might not be able to fix. Plumbing problems are often caused by flushing material that are not flushable. Many household products do not break down like toilet paper. Toilet paper is designed to start breaking apart as soon as it contacts water, making it less of an obstruction to toilets and the pipes below.