Why You Should Never Flush “Flushable” Wipes


Many of us, especially those with families of their own, have come to appreciate how useful wet wipes can be. And why not? Wet wipes are often perfect for performing simple cleanups, they’re easy to use, and according to the packaging, they are often flushable for easy disposable.

Let’s reexamine that last bit, though. Are disposable wipes really safe to flush down your toilet as advertised? The answer may surprise you.

Courtesy of Ben Franklin of Levittown, your prime source for water treatment in Montgomery County, take a look at how wet wipes aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.

Why Wet Wipes Aren’t So Flushable, After All

 


We admit, it’s confusing to hear that a product marketed as “flushable” should actually never be flushed. The problem, however, is that even though wet wipes will break down and dissolve eventually, they take a much longer time to do so than does toilet paper. Because the dissolution process for wet wipes takes significantly more time, they can easily lead to clogged pipes, blockages, and even clogged sewer systems.

Indeed, wet wipes are at least partially responsible for the majority of blockages in our cities’ sewers, and municipal sewer management teams are constantly battling this massive problem. Because of their tendency to stick and intertwine together (known as “ragging”), it’s common to find tremendous blockages composed of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds of flushed wet wipes.

If you ever experience a clog or blockage of this kind in your home’s plumbing, be sure to get in touch with our team immediately for assistance.

Backed By Research

In April, Ryerson University published a new report on the first ever test of single-use wet wipes against strict criteria for flushability. The report comes out of Ryerson’s Flushability Lab at Ryerson Urban Water, and showcases the testing of over 100 single-use products, of which 23 are currently labeled as “flushable” by their manufacturer.

Results indicated that not a single wipe was able to fall apart or break down safely via the sewer system test, negatively impacting everything from household plumbing and municipal sewage infrastructure wildlife and the environment.

So, What Should I Do?

Although wet wipes are not the conveniently-flushable items manufacturers often make them out to be, that doesn’t mean you need to stop using them entirely. If you are using them for the purpose of washing off your hands or face, you can just as easily toss them into your bathroom waste basket, no harm done.

However, if you plan cleaning something that requires flushing afterward, it’s best to reach for the toilet paper. Toilet paper is the only household item that is specifically designed to be flushed down the toilet drain, and it’s best to keep it that way if you want a clear and functioning plumbing system.

Interested in learning more plumbing dos and don’ts? Check out our video below on common plumbing myths!


If you ever find your home’s plumbing clogged or blocked up, you know who to call. To get in touch with your source for top-notch water treatment in Upper Darby, don’t hesitate to give our crew a call today!