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Jul 20,2023

Can Flushable Wipes Damage My Plumbing?

In recent years, a convenient and seemingly harmless product has gained immense popularity: flushable wet wipes. Marketed as "flushable," these wipes promise easy disposal down the toilet. However, there lies a hidden danger beyond the promises and beneath the surface. Despite the manufacturer's claims, plumbers and experts challenge the flushability of these wipes, emphasizing the risks associated with flushing them down the toilet.

In this brief read brought to you by Mr. Rooter Plumbing, we will dispel the myth behind the flushable wet wipes and explore the potential consequences that await those who treat their toilets as trash bins.

What Is a Wet Wipe Really?

To understand the controversy surrounding flushable wet wipes, we must first examine their composition. Unlike traditional toilet paper, which disintegrates rapidly upon contact with water, wet wipes are designed to maintain their structural integrity even when wet. This durability is essential for their intended use, but it poses a significant problem when they are flushed down the toilet.

Moreover, manufacturers argue that their products can be flushed down the toilet, as they eventually disintegrate. However, these claims often rely on ideal laboratory conditions that do not reflect real-world scenarios. In practical terms, the disintegration process takes much longer, if it happens at all, increasing the likelihood of clogs and other plumbing issues.

The Risks That Come with Wet Wipes

The first risk probably came to mind already. Wet wipes have a propensity to accumulate and form clumps, leading to clogged pipes. Unlike toilet paper, which dissolves quickly, wet wipes can create blockages in household plumbing systems, municipal sewer lines, and septic systems. In fact, our plumbers frequently encounter clogs caused by wet wipes, resulting in costly repairs and inconveniences for homeowners.

The flushable wet wipes myth extends beyond individual households too. When flushed en masse, these wipes can even overwhelm sewage systems. Municipalities across the globe have reported instances where wet wipes have caused sewer backups, requiring emergency maintenance and posing environmental risks. These backups can result in raw sewage overflowing into streets, homes, or even bodies of water, endangering public health and ecosystems!

Speaking of ecosystems: even if wet wipes do make it through the pipes, they still pose environmental threats. Unlike biodegradable materials, which break down naturally over time, wet wipes are made from synthetic materials such as polyester or polypropylene. Once in bodies of water, these non-biodegradable wipes persist for years, contributing to the growing problem of marine pollution. The detrimental impact on aquatic life, including ingestion and entanglement, cannot be overstated.

The Alternative to Wet Wipes

You don’t have to say goodbye to wet wipes altogether. Instead of treating the toilet as a trash bin, just dispose of wet wipes in a separate waste receptacle. This simple change can prevent clogs, protect sewage systems, and contribute to the overall well-being of our environment.

If you enjoy a thorough cleaning after the loo, you can consider a bidet. Call Mr. Rooter Plumbing to hire a plumber for a professional installation. Of course, we also offer professional plumbing service and toilet repair. Our live representatives are on standby to take your call today.

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