If you have a septic system in your house, then you're probably aware that it's a little bit of a different beast than a regular plumbing setup. Septic systems operate by storing the waste in a tank buried underneath the ground; as such, they're extremely prone to clogs. Regular septic system cleaning is not just a good idea, but an imperative if you're going to keep your septic system operating at peak efficiency.
But in between septic system cleaning services, it's a good idea to keep certain things from entering your tank. Normally the items on this list are flushed down the toilet, but it can also be put down the drain in the sink, or even the shower. Regardless, keep them away from your septic system!
Even if you don't have a septic system, flushing medicines down the toilet is a terrible idea. The jury's still out on whether or not it's potentially harmful to the environment, but there are other ways to dispose of medications if necessary, such as putting them inside coffee grounds and throwing them in the trash. However, if your medicine is not expired, or the label says explicitly to not flush them down the toilet, there's a good chance it could do damage to the local water supply or even your septic tank, depending on the drug. It's better to dispose of it properly than to put it in your septic system.
Many homeowners believe that they can flush baby wipes down on the toilet, especially since the ones that are flushed have the word "flushable" written on the side. In reality, there is no such thing as a "flushable" baby wipe, and putting them in your septic system can result in a massive clog that can stop up your pipes in a hurry. Even the most robust residential septic system cleaning services can have trouble unclogging it, so this is one habit to stop ASAP.
These should never go in the toilet anyway, but this applies double if you have a septic system. In fact, feminine hygiene products like pads are built to actually absorb water, making them potentially more harmful than just about anything else. The same applies to anything latex or cotton. Items like Q-tips and cotton swabs can wreak havoc on your system, turning that regular septic system cleaning process into a full-blown septic system replacement.