Stay Away from Flushing Your Wipes Down the Toilet

Stay Away from Flushing Your Wipes Down the Toilet

Why Flushing Regular Wipes Will Clog Your Drains

The wipes market is an exploding industry. If you visit any supermarket, you are faced with wet wipes for toddlers’ noses, makeup removal, floor cleaning, adult burns, and toilet cleaning promising the users extra clean and freshness.

Most wet wipes in the supermarkets have messages that are eye catchy on their packages such as “flushable” making the customers more interested. To the customers, it means you can toss it and flush the toilet after using the wet wipes.

Reading, PA diy-wet-wipes-1Is “Flushable Wipes” Really Flushable?

The problem is that most of these wet wipes are not flushable. The point is that just because something is flushable doesn’t mean it can break down. Think about it for a moment; you can flash small pieces of hard materials such as metal, wood or even your phone but all these cannot breakdown during flushing.

The problem is that while the makers of these wet wipes claim to be making flushable wipes, they are not “designed to dissolve and separate” or “break up like toilet paper.” If you ask the plumbers about most of the wet wipes, they will tell you a different story.

Cost of Removing the Clog

Most of these wipes don’t even get off from the property they were flushed. Wet wipes may clog your drains and hence the owner has to pay a plumber to clean the pipes. Many people have had to pay a high cost to contract plumbers for toilet repair and drain cleaning. In fact, many people are surprised when they realize the flushable wet wipes caused the damage. The cost of the blockage can be as high as possible depending on the extent of the problem.

Many people believe that if disposable wet wipes are labeled flushable, it means they can be flushed, and not clog in the toilet. From the plumber’s perspective, calling something that can dissolve and not break up flushable is insane because, in many cases, they do not move out of the pipes. The problem is that many households are using more and more of these household wipes and baby wipes.

Companies’ Perspective

According to many companies that make these products, they are very convenient to use. Indeed, they are, but it is the disposal that is problematic. If for instance, the wet wipes clog the sewer lines, it may cost homeowners hundreds of dollars to remove them from the sewer system. For Sewer systems, the most problematic wipe types are the personal wipes that are increasingly being used by adults. Baby wipes that spearheaded the wipes revolution represented a mere disposal problem.

Many consumers of these wipes are reluctant to put the used wipes in the bathroom trash can. It is the reason the demand for flushable wipes has increased. The problem with these types of wipes is that they don’t biodegrade quickly enough to avoid clogging the drains. Plumbers understand that these wipes clog the drains because they get caught up in the pipes with imperfections.

Once they are stuck, the wipes create a blockage. Others objects and garbage fill in and before you know it, you have to call your plumber for toilet repair and drain cleaning. Part of the problem is created by the fact that consumers are confused about which wipes are flushable and those that are not. Given the marketing benefits of the flushable types, manufacturers are forced to tell users there are flushable to ensure they accrue the advantages that go with it.

The new problem is that, even the supposed “flushable” wipes are too thick and stiff for sewer systems. Indeed, some companies have developed flushable wipes that dissolve and break up in water. But even with the best circumstance, customers get confused when they visit the local supermarket to buy wipes.


The government has a role in controlling this problem. The government should bring the consumers to the attention of the problem and make sure legal action is taken to companies who have violated the role of insufficient labeling. Another way of to control this issue is through restricting wipes industry via legal guidelines.

Although it’s hard to implement such legal action, continuous attempt to create a regulation will create a sense of harmony in the industry for fear of such regulations to go through.

DIY Wet Wipes

Even with all the problems with most wipes, wet cleaning wipes are very convenient in the car, at home and just about any occasion something spills on you. However, they are very expensive especially with increased use these days. Since vinegar and water are not that expensive compared to using wipes.

  • All you need to make your wipes is a soapy solution and a spare roll of paper towels from the mega-pack. This method is quite efficient because it reuses an old wipe can for the DIY wipes which works well with a notched top making it easy to allow you only to pull one wipe at a time.

Reading, PA diy-wet-wipes-2If you have doubt on how to do it, a little try and error are necessary for this method. If you need your wipes with bleach, you may also add a little bleaching solution on the solution. This approach also gives the choice of using vinegar and water instead of chemicals in commercial wipes.

  • Once you are done with this step, let the roll soak up the solution but observe what happens just in case you may need to add a little more solution in it’s too dry. It is important to remember that you can always add more, but you can’t take anything away without letting it dry first.
  • You may remove the cardboard roll from the center and pull your wipes in that position, or you may add that from around the sides.
  • Remember to use decent and good quality paper towels because otherwise they might melt away when wet and it will be all but a waste of time.
  • If all turns out well, you would have made your cleaning wipes at a fraction of the cost of buying a can, and have the advantage of another half-roll of paper towels for use when it run out.

If your home is located in Reading, PA and your toilet or drainage has clogged and you need plumbing services, call The Plumbing Works.