Flushable wipes are the forbidden fruit of plumbing. They sound oh so nice, don’t they? And, after all, the packaging does say they’re “flushable”- heck it’s even in the name! But don’t listen to big flushable wipe bosses trying to sell you the promise of a clean bum. “Flushable” wipes are about as flushable as plastic is biodegradable. Sure, plastic does eventually make its way out of our ecosystems, but can we really say its good for the environment? In the same way, “flushable” wipes certainly will flush, however user be warned…
Look, we get it, we really do, the wipes just sound like such a better option than toilet paper. But, something to keep in mind is by industry standards, companies are in no way held to any standards to prove the “flushability” of their products. Companies aren’t even legally required to pass testing to prove that the product is safe for plumbing. This is an entirely self-employed idea from their marketing departments that rely almost solely on the brands integrity.
The problem with flushable wipes, through and through, is the clogs that result from the wipes trying to make their way through your plumbing system. The wipes don’t dissolve in water the same way that toilet paper does and can take more than a year to completely disappear. This means that the wipe that gets flushed down your toilet probably isn’t leaving your house when you think it does. More times than not the wipes will get caught in the turns of your pipes and stay there. The more that are used the more likely they’ll get stuck, and then another, and then another. The obvious buildup here is a clog. And quite a nasty one at that, that’ll need to be snaked out and removed by plumbers. If the wipe is lucky enough to make it out of your pipes, there’s still a likelihood that it’ll get stuck somewhere else along the way to the sewer system.
This is of course not all brands though, and some are much, much safer than others to use. When buying flushable wipes, we suggest testing before using. It’s super simple. Just take a singular wipe out of the pack and stick it in a jar of water. Wait a day and come back to check it out. If it’s dissolved, it’s probably safe to flush. Or, at least, safer than others. It’s still probably better to use wet toilet paper, or a bidet, however, if you need to use a wipe or two in a pinch, you’ll probably be alright. Just be sure to test before use!
At Faulstick Plumbing, we specialize in installs, repairs, and inspections for all of your well, water, and plumbing needs. Our family-owned and operated business has built a reputation as the best-doing things the right way with the customer in mind, every time. Give us a call at 570-992-0447 to discuss your needs today!