Are “Flushable” Wipes Really Flushable?

Dec 2, 2019


There’s a lot of controversy these days about so-called “flushable wipes”—essentially wet wipes produced by various companies alongside the claim that they can be flushed down the toilet. Are these wipes truly safe for your plumbing, and if not, what damage can they do?

Let’s cut to the chase. Having seen almost every plumbing problem imaginable over the past two decades in business, we can tell you these “flushable” wipes most definitely are notflushable. If you use them and they haven’t clogged your sewer drains yet, consider yourself lucky. Then stop flushing them.

Why Are They Labeled “Flushable?”

How are these companies legally able to package certain wipes as “flushable?” It’s really a matter of legality and semantics. These wipes are, in fact, made from biodegradable materials, and they will decompose over time—so technically there's nothing in them that will harm your pipes. Some companies base their claims on physical testing of what they consider “standard” behavior as to many wipes can be flushed without causing a clog. Here’s the problem: We have no regulatory standard at this time as to what constitutes “flushable,” so there is no official way to prove or disprove the companies’ claims—we can only go by experience. And the experience of hundreds of water companies (and thousands of plumbers) says these wipes don’t degrade fast enough, and they docause clogs on a regular basis as a result.

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