The construction of flushable wipes means they remain in one piece as they pass through the residential plumbing system and into the municipal wastewater system.

If you use flushable wipes, you may wonder just how safe they are to flush. With the relatively recent introduction of flushable wipes to the market, people have supplemented toilet paper use with flushable wipes or even completely switched from toilet paper to wipes. However, despite the claim in the product title, flushable wipes may not be suitable for residential, commercial, or municipal plumbing systems. Learn more about whether or not flushable wipes are flushable.

How Can Flushable Wipes Be Harmful if They Are Labeled as Flushable?

Even though the word “flushable” is on the label, there is no industry-regulated criterion to determine what does or doesn’t make a wipe flushable. Instead, flushable wipe manufacturers have come up with their own loose, in-house criteria to separate flushable wipes from standard toilet paper.

Without proper regulations to determine the viability of the claim, there is no way to know for sure whether a flushable wipe will be able to pass through a home plumbing system. Even if the wipe does flow out of the home, it can cause problems in the larger municipal wastewater management system. In other words, some flushable wipes may not actually be flushable.

The Research

To test whether flushable wipes are truly flushable, experts gathered 101 products, including 23 wipes labeled as flushable. They conducted a series of tests to determine whether any of these products would actually fall apart or disperse safely through the sewer system. Not one flushable wipe product passed the tests.

These findings indicate that a rigorous testing process needs to be implemented before a manufacturer can claim their product is flushable to help protect the local infrastructure and residential plumbing systems.

What Does Flushable Mean?

Toilet paper is defined as flushable because it loses strength when it comes into contact with water, causing it to break down into small pieces and rapidly disintegrate within minutes. On the other hand, flushable wipes are stronger than toilet paper because they are made with paper pulp bound together with non-degradable plastic polymers. The construction of flushable wipes means they remain in one piece as they pass through the residential plumbing system and into the municipal wastewater system. Another study showed that numerous flushable wipes contained PET, a synthetic polymer that slows the breakdown process.

What Can Be Safely Flushed?

It’s imperative to understand the short list of what can be flushed so you can prevent clogs and damage to your system:

  • Bodily wastes
  • Toilet paper

With flushable wipes posing a risk to residential and municipal plumbing systems, as well as the hazardous effects of microplastics on marine life, it’s clear that flushable wipes shouldn’t be disposed of by flushing them down a toilet but must be thrown into the trash bin for proper disposal.

What Not to Flush

The pipes in your home are narrow and made to handle only certain types of waste or they will almost certainly clog the pipes. In addition to flushable wipes, avoid flushing these items as well:

  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Period products
  • Family planning products
  • Cooking grease
  • Household waste, like paint
  • Hair
  • Food scraps
  • Medicine

Green Apple Plumbing and Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey are for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priorities. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your plumbing or HVAC needs call us today toll-free at 888-315-5564

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