The Truth Behind "Flushable Wipes": Why You Shouldn't Flush Them

Grayson Larkspur

Updated Monday, October 9, 2023 at 3:36 AM CDT

The Truth Behind "Flushable Wipes": Why You Shouldn't Flush Them

The Deceptive Marketing Tactics of "Flushable" Wipes

If you've ever used "flushable" wipes, you may have wondered why they can't be flushed down the toilet like regular toilet paper. After all, they are marketed as being safe for flushing. However, the truth is that "flushable" wipes are not as flushable as they claim to be.

To understand why "flushable" wipes should not be flushed, we need to look at how they differ from regular toilet paper. Toilet paper is designed to break down easily in water. When soaked, it falls apart into small pieces, making it safe to pass through the plumbing system without causing any issues. On the other hand, "flushable" wipes are made of a fibrous material that does not disintegrate as easily as toilet paper when exposed to water.

According to Reddit user RhynoD, wet wipes are specifically designed to be durable and not fall apart like regular paper. While this may be convenient for their intended purpose, it poses a problem when flushed down the toilet. The fibrous nature of "flushable" wipes makes them prone to shredding into long strings that can get tangled in pipes and pumps. Additionally, these wipes provide an ideal surface for fats and oils to stick to, leading to the formation of fatbergs, solid masses that clog up sewer systems.

So why are they called "flushable" if they cause so many issues? As user RhynoD points out, the term "flushable" is a marketing deception. Manufacturers use this term because it is not a protected word and can be defined in any way they choose. While you can physically flush these wipes down the toilet, they are not compliant with what sewage systems can handle, and they can cause significant problems in the long run.

User ledow explains that the term "flushable" is used to mislead consumers into thinking they are buying the right product. Manufacturers know that these wipes can block sewers, but they use the term "flushable" to differentiate themselves from competitors. However, the reality is that nothing "flushable" should be flushed down the toilet if you want to avoid clogging your pipes and incurring costly repairs.

Another user, PharaohOfWhitestone, adds that "flushable" wipes are made of biodegradable material and will eventually decompose over time. However, the issue lies in the fact that they do not decompose quickly enough to be considered safe for flushing. Waste can build up before the wipes have a chance to fully decompose, leading to clogged pipes and plumbing issues.

The term "flushable" when applied to wipes is a misleading marketing tactic. While these wipes can physically be flushed down the toilet, they are not designed to break down easily in water like toilet paper. The fibrous nature of "flushable" wipes and their slow decomposition process make them a major culprit in clogged pipes and sewer system blockages. To avoid costly plumbing repairs and environmental damage, it is best to dispose of "flushable" wipes in the trash rather than flushing them down the toilet.

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