We recently switched from a corn based litter to a clay based one bc of recommendations for clumping and odor control.

However I read that the litter should not be flushed because they may expand in the pipes.

So, now I'm paranoid about doing a full cleaning the litter box...I.e dumping the litter and washing the box.

When I dump the contents there are still some damp smudgy stuff on the walls. I would scrape off as much as I can.

Then I take it outdoors to rinse and dump the water bc I don't want to introduce a speck of clay litter into my pipes.

Is this the way people clean their litter boxes? What about the 'bacteria' that may be left on the ground, etc. ?

What's a safe (to pipes) and sanitary way to wash/clean the box?

2 Answers 2


I dump the litter and remove as much as possible with the scoop. Then I use baby wipes to remove the remains. Finally I wash the litter box in the bathroom with soap and vinegar (vinegar is a disinfectant and removes odour) and let it dry.

Also I always put a thick layer of litter. This way the box rarely gets wet and there is less sticky litter.


I just can tell you about how my flatmate has cleaned her litter box (with clay litter).

She dumped the contents and scraped off as much as she could. Afterwards she washed it. She did this using the bathtub. She used much water and flushed the pipes afterwards. We had never a problem with our pipes.

I found a website which says the following (https://www.thespruce.com/litter-box-maintenance-555200):

Empty the used litter into a sturdy plastic bag and tie securely before discarding it in the trash. Note that although some natural litters are flushable, the entire contents of a litter box should never be dumped into the toilet.

Next, wash the box thoroughly with detergent and hot water. Rinse completely, then spray inside and out with a mild bleach solution, about 1:32 (1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water). If it's sunny, let the box dry outside for an hour. Rinse again thoroughly, then dry with paper towels.

I highlighted the words "entire contents", because I think that this was meant when you read

that the litter should not be flushed because they may expand in the pipes

So in conclusion my tip is:

Remove as much litter as you can and than wash the litter box. If you are unsure if there is too much litter remaining, wash it by using a bucket and flush it into the toilet. Otherwise there should be no problem by washing it using a sink or bath tube. Just ensure that you flush enough water after the washing process.

  • I downvoted, because you are handwaving this easily. The "entire contents" part is about so-called "flushable" litter, which is in itself a big overestimation, municipalities and sewage facilities advise even against flushing small amounts of it, if they allow it at all. Clay litter, as stated in the question, is not flushable, and so it is not suited for entering the draining system, not even in the small amounts left after scooping.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 25, 2019 at 15:06

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