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Shortages of toilet paper and other household items are common right now. Unfortunately making substitutions for these hard to find items can cause expensive damage to your water pipes, washing machines and dishwashers. Flushing paper towels, using the wrong soap in your dishwasher and overstuffing your washing machine are just a few actions that can lead to leaks and flooding in your home. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to avoid damage while stuck at home.

What Not to Flush

During this uncertain time, a shortage of toilet paper could have you thinking of alternatives. Unfortunately, there isn’t a flushable alternative to toilet paper. Paper towels and baby wipes are not interchangeable with toilet paper. Using replacements for toilet paper can cause sewer backups and clogs. Not only can this damage cause thousands of dollars to repair but it also isn’t convenient to be stuck without a toilet. Here is a list of some of the most common items that are flushed but shouldn’t be:

  • Diapers
  • Menstrual products
  • Hair
  • Nail Clippings
  • Food
  • Cooking Grease
  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes
  • Floss
  • Q-Tips

Dish Washer

Unfortunately, cooking every meal at home means that dirty dishes pile up quickly. Your dishwasher can lighten the load but make sure you’re giving it what it needs to function properly. While you’re stuck at home, you’re probably using your appliances more than ever. Take care of them by avoiding common but harmful substitutions. If you run out of dishwasher detergent and can’t get any more for some time, don’t turn to a substitution. Even replacing dishwasher detergent with regular dish soap can cause a disaster. Dish soap creates suds and when you use it in your dishwasher, you run the risk of leaks.

Washing Machine

Another appliance you may be using more than ever while stuck at home is your washing machine. Make sure you treat it with care to keep it running strong. Try not to overstuff your washing machine. This can put stress on your appliance and in some cases keep your washing machine from draining correctly. You should also be careful about the items that end up in your appliance. The following items can cause irreparable damage to your washing machine:

  • Embellishments
  • Flammable stains
  • Comforter
  • Zippers
  • Coins

ServiceMaster of Germantown is your local fire and water damage, restoration expert. We hope these tips help you avoid at-home damage. If you do experience water damage, contact us at 901-854-6225. Rely on our team of experts to walk you through the entire process, even communicating directly with your insurance provider. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration services. Our team also provides extreme cleaning, floor care and more. The sooner you call, the more damage we can prevent.