Are Disposable Wipes Really Flushable?

toiletLet’s Talk About the Term “Flushable”

Have you ever thought about why wipes need to be marketed as flushable? That’s like food being marketed as edible. Shouldn’t a product’s use be fairly obvious? What does the term flushable really mean? Does it mean that wipes won’t cause clogs in pipes? As the term isn’t regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, it could mean practically anything depending on who you talk to. Since wipes are known to cause clogs, it is safe to say that flushable doesn’t mean clog-free.

Why Do Companies Sell Flushable Wipes?

If a for-profit business sells a product of any type, they do so because they believe people will buy their product. They most likely want to make money too. In order to accomplish both of these tasks, they do market research to learn what customers want. If customers want a flushable wipe, then it makes sense to create and market that product. Since the term flushable simply means an item can be flushed, it also works.


Flushable Wipes Versus Other Wipes

Do you know what else can be flushed down a toilet? Any wipe on the market today, “flushable” or not. The difference is that flushable wipes supposedly disintegrate once they have been flushed. This video from Kimberly-Clark shows how the disintegration occurs [], but it takes 32 minutes of constant agitation to make that happen. That’s definitely something to consider when you think about how stagnant many sewage systems can be.


Signs That Wipes Are Blocking Drains

If you have been using disposable or flushable wipes, you may want to check for signs of a clogged pipe. One sign is a gurgling toilet after it is flushed. Two more obvious signs are the smell of sewage and the collection of water around toilets and drains. If you notice any of these signs, investigate further and call a plumber.


How to Dispose of All Types of Wipes

No matter what type of wipe you need to dispose of, you can do so by throwing it in the trash. This will eliminate all possibility for clogged drains or backed-up sewage systems. This will also have less of an impact on the environment as sewage spills can cause extensive damage to groundwater, plant life and other natural resources.


Why Toilet Paper is a Better Option

Toilet paper is a better option for cleaning up in the bathroom because it disintegrates quickly and it is often made from recycled materials. If you can’t live without wipes, consider using toilet paper initially and a wipe at the end. Flush the toilet paper down the toilet and throw the wipe in the trash.