As most homeowners can attest, there are many things that can break in your home. And generally, they all require a licensed expert to come and fix.

Some can break easily. Others may require the hard work of young children or even a lack of knowledge by most adults.

One of the most common of breakable items in your home is the toilet.

The reason it’s so easy is because it often seems harmless to drop something in the toilet that can cause serious problems.

In reality, there are only two things that should go down the toilet – human waste and toilet paper. If you (or more likely your children) decide to use it as a garbage disposal for any other things, you are likely going to have to call the plumber. And who knows how much that will cost.

Here’s a small list of things that might seem harmless but can be problematic.

  • Cotton balls
  • Tissues
  • Hair accessories
  • Toys
  • Paper towels
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Bandages and wrappings
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic and paper wrappings
  • Cat litter
  • Diapers
  • Dental floss

And here’s one you might not expect. If you have to use too much toilet paper, consider multiple flushes.

Also, you want to avoid using the toilet to dispose of any hazardous chemicals, paints or oils. They can end up clogging the pipes or reacting badly with metal piping.

Under normal circumstances, the toilet can have a lengthy lifespan, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That being said, the components in the toilet tank may need maintenance on occasion.

In order to keep maintenance to a minimum, it is important to perform regular maintenance on the toilet. That includes keeping it clean and fresh from odor. A periodic flush with a mixture of hot water and vinegar or an approved toilet bowl cleaner can also help. Avoid using abrasive materials or cleaners.

So, while this may not be the most pleasant of home maintenance requirements, it is important to take care of it. That’s especially true if you happen to live in a home with only one toilet.