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Most of us were first introduced to the seductive power of wet wipes as we tended to the tiny (often explosive) bottoms of our bubs. The convenience of the baby wipe cannot be overlooked in the nappy bag arsenal. They’re cheap, easily accessible, portable, easy to use, great at cleaning up our messy babies from one end to the other. Whether it’s removing remnants of their stormy “poonamis” or cleaning up ice cream smothered faces and hands, wipes have become a cleaning staple since the 50s.
And with the pandemic making all of us more aware of the importance of personal hygiene to our health, wet wipes has taken a significant spot on our grocery list. Some of us just don’t feel clean enough when we’re outside unless we’ve paired a wet wipe with alcohol on our hands and stuff.
But what happens with the wet wipes after usage? Bin or bowl? Which wet wipe should go to the bin? Or are all types of wet wipes flushable?
Since wipes were first introduced, the types, brands, and uses for these handy little cleaning legends have exploded. Today we can quickly get our messy hands-on:
Wipes have been cleaned up, replacing disposable and non-disposable cleaner-uppers alike. They’ve taken the place of toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, cloths, towels, cotton pads, sponges and even the beloved Chux!
They are handy little things to have around. And can be very addictive too for our personal hygiene. You might find yourself wanting wet wipes easily found in your bags, vehicle or anywhere within reach for your needs. Before alcohol was enough for your dirty hands, but now using wet wipes before alcohol gives you more comfort and peace of mind.
However, when we’re done with them, then what?
Many of these products are labelled “flushable” or claim that they are safe for septic use.
But don’t believe everything you read or hear.
In general, wipes do not belong in the toilet, regardless of the claims on the label. While flushable wipes may go down the loo quickly, they can eventually cause many problems, blockages being the most common issue. And you’ll have no other choice but to contact an expert for plumbing needs.
Although, some are better than others, and most wipes eventually do break down. But, they take much longer to do so compared to their toilet paper counterparts.
Since the breakdown of wipes doesn’t happen as fast, their persistent presence can lead to an increased frequency of clogged pipes and blockages in plumbing and septic systems alike.
Once these hit a 45-degree angle in the plumbing pipes, they can begin to clog, collect and then catch other things that would otherwise clear their path. Over time, instead of being flushed out, they plugged up the household plumbing.
These seemingly harmless little wipes can also end up blocking the sewer completely. Both issues can result in an unwanted backup and damage that requires the help of an experienced plumber.
Besides causing blockage around the home, wipes can be equally dangerous to wastewater equipment and facilities. They’ve been known to cling to impellers inside a pump, causing it to burn out. This is why wastewater treatment authorities and plumbing professionals continue to plead with the public to cease flushing these coveted wipes.
We urge you to choose to toss the wipes in the bin instead.
You’ve been warned. If you’ve been flushing away any signs of your ”dirty” little wipe habit, you could be putting your home’s plumbing at risk.
And the choice to flush can challenge wastewater treatment facilities too. So, if you can’t break your wet-wipe habit, please, please, please choose to dispose of them in the bin, not the (toilet) bowl. Your plumbing will thank you for it!
If you’re still experiencing clogs without throwing wipes in the bowl, reach out and contact an expert plumber for help. It could be another plumbing problem a simple DIY won’t fix.