A lot of people have switched from using toilet paper to these so-called ‘flushable’ wipes over the past few years. While a lot of people like them because they are moist and soft to use and provide a hygienic cleaning solution, the truth is when compared to regular toilet paper, these wipes can cause a lot of problems.
The bottom line (pardon the pun) is that flushable wipes are simply not really flushable. While the manufacturers CLAIM they are and they do say “FLUSHABLE” on the pack, the truth is they are nowhere near as flushable as traditional toilet paper.
This fact has been proven in court. The ACCC recently handed down a ruling that these flushable wipes were causing enormous problems in blocking people’s toilets. In fact, one manufacturer was even fined $700,000 for making a similar claim.
As professionals in the drain clearing business, we have to agree. Flushable wipes are NOT flushable and any labels saying that should be removed! Every year we are called out to dozens and dozens of homes and businesses to clear blocked toilets and sewer drains and when we do, we discover the cause of the problem is these damn wipes!
1 Are flushable wipes really flushable?
In order to really be flushable, anything you put down your toilet needs to be designed to break down so as not to cause a blockage. Traditional toilet paper is specially designed to start breaking apart once it is used and goes into your sewerage system. This actually happens quite quickly and so long as you don’t create giant balls of toilet paper, it alone won’t tend to cause a blocked toilet. Now while these wipes are designed to break down, the problems is they break down MUCH SLOWER than toilet paper. Loo paper starts breaking apart within 24 hours, but we’ve found wipes in people’s drains that have been there for MONTHS and they’re still not breaking apart.
2. What about baby wipes? Are they flushable?
Baby wipes are just as bad as these so-called “flushable” wipes. In fact the manufacturers of baby wipes are to blame for the trend to flushable wipes. They discovered that some people were using baby wipes for themselves as adults because they feel so nice to use. And they realised there was a whole new market for them. They took baby wipes, changed the scent on them, put them in new packaging and started marketing them to adults. So baby wipes and toilet wipes are basically the same thing and they both cause the same problems because they BOTH don’t break down like toilet paper. You wouldn’t flush a disposable nappy down the toilet, so please don’t flush baby wipes down there either. Wrap the used baby wipes up with the disposable nappy, put in a plastic bag and dispose of in the regular rubbish.
So that gives you a clue about what you should do with any wipes – don’t flush them, no matter what it says on the pack or the TV ad.
You might discover by reading this article that if your home has started getting blockages in the toilet more often than before, then maybe it’s because you started using flushable wipes. They can take a while to develop problems because the wipes don’t cause blockages immediately. One or two them can dry out and get stuck to the inside of your sewer drain. Then a couple more get added, then a few more. And eventually this all ends up blocking the drain. Or if you have a small tree root intrusion in your drain, the wipes can start getting stuck to these and not falling apart like toilet paper.
Also, if they get scrunched up in a big ball because you use too many at once or you only the half-flush when you should use the full flush, then the wipes will get stuck in the drain.
But if all this is too late for you and you already have a blockage then please call The Drainman right away on 1800 843 372. Or to send an enquiry, click on this page https://www.thedrainman.com.au/contact
We will come to you and clear your blocked drain fast. Our plumbers are experts in clearing blocked drains and we have a lot of experience with blockages caused by non-flushable wipes. We always put a camera down the drain to show you the cause of the blockage (don’t worry it’s not too gross as we come from the OTHER side of the blockage). So you can see for yourself why you should NOT use flushable wipes in your home or your business.