You have probably dealt with a clogged toilet at least a few times in your life, which means that you probably know just how messy, disgusting and annoying they can be. Although it might seem inevitable to have to deal with a clogged toilet every now and then, there are ways to reduce the risk of this common plumbing issue. If you follow these simple tips, you can help prevent your toilet from becoming clogged in the first place.

1. Use Thinner Toilet Paper

It might seem nice to purchase the thickest toilet paper that you can find, but thick toilet paper can be more likely to clog up your plumbing. It's best to purchase one-ply or two-ply toilet paper, which breaks up much more easily when tossed in the toilet and flushed. Also, avoid flushing baby wipes, since they can also clog up your plumbing.

2. Avoid Flushing the Wrong Things

One of the main things to be careful about is flushing the wrong things down your toilet. You probably already know that things like feminine hygiene items and paper towels should not be flushed, but it might be a habit to toss chewed-up chewing gum, a Q-tip, a cigarette butt or another small item into the toilet. However, nothing should really be flushed down your toilet other than human waste and toilet paper, so avoid flushing other items, no matter how small and harmless they might seem. Also, have a talk with your kids about what should and should not be flushed -- a surprising number of clogs come from things like toys being flushed, so this is something important to address.

3. Flush the Toilet More Frequently

Although you might try to flush less frequently to conserve water, it's generally best to flush the toilet before it becomes filled with toilet paper. By avoiding flushing large wads of toilet paper at once, you can help prevent costly and disgusting clogs and overflows. 

4. Pay Attention to Clogs Immediately

A small, slow-draining clog might not seem like a big deal, but it's important to take care of any clog before it becomes too serious. As soon as you notice that there is even a small clog in your toilet plumbing, use a plunger or call a plumbing professional. By addressing and taking care of the problem now, you can help prevent much more serious clogs later.

Toilet clogs can be messy, annoying and expensive to fix. Although there are a lot of different options for getting rid of toilet clogs, it is truly best to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Follow these four tips, and you shouldn't have to worry about the mess of a clogged toilet at all.

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