Companies heavily advertise their "flushable" wipes, but plumbers make a lot of house calls that involve clogged toilets, backed up sewer lines, and flooded basements caused by moistened wipes. Most wastewater experts will tell you that there's no such thing as a flushable wipe. Flushable wipes may flush down the toilet just fine, but so will your keys, phone, or jewelry.
While clogs can develop from any number of items, plumbers will now tell you that one of the most common causes of clogs today are moistened wipes (non-flushable and flushable).
These wipes simply do not disintegrate as they move through your plumbing system. While one or two may move through the pipes, when you send multiple wipes down over time, the clogging begins.
To illustrate this point, Consumer Reports did a "disintegration test" on three brands of flushable wipes and found that after 30 minutes of simulated swirling (just like a toilet bowl) the wipe was still intact.
Wastewater experts are asking people to follow the "Three P's" rule when it comes to what you can safely flush — flush only pee, poop and (toilet) paper.
Follow the 3 P's rule and use the following list of what not to flush to help keep your plumbing safe from backups and clogs.
- Baby Wipes/Wet Wipes/Flushable Wipes
- Feminine Products
- Dental Floss
- Q-tips/Cotton Balls
- Paper Towels/Tissues
- Cigarette Butts