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Can I flush wipes down the toilet?

Published June 22nd, 2023 by Plumbsquads

From wiping down surfaces in the kitchen and cleaning our hands when we're out and about to removing makeup and changing diapers, it seems that there’s a wet wipe for every task. Wipes are designed to be durable, which means it takes a long time for them to break down in water.

Flushing wipes can quickly block sewer pipes and cause major plumbing problems in your community’s sewer or your home’s septic tank system. When you flush toilet wipes, they don’t dissolve. Rather, they stay there and retain their structural integrity. In turn, they can remain there for weeks and even months without disintegration.

Wipes that have been incorrectly disposed of by flushing also contribute to the formation of fatbergs, the huge plugs of waste, fats and oils that account for around 300,000 sewer blockages each year and which can cause sewer flooding. In fact, flushed wipes account for over 90% of the material found in fatbergs.

Toilet paper is truly the only item, in addition to bodily fluids, that can be flushed, as toilet paper is specially designed to break up easily and quickly after being flushed down the toilet. No matter what stays on the packaging, don’t believe it. The fact is that regardless of the product, you can’t flush toilet wipes. The most effective way to dispose of your wipes is to place them in the trash can.

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