Most of us were first introduced to the seductive power of the wet wipe 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.
Since wipes were first introduced, the types, brands, and uses for these handy little cleaning legends have exploded. Today we can easily get our messy hands on:
Wipes have cleaned up, replacing the use of disposable and non-disposable cleaner-uppers alike. They’ve taken the place of toilet paper, tissues, paper towel, cloths, towels, cotton pads, sponges and even the beloved Chux!
They are obviously handy little things to have around. But 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 easily, they can eventually cause a lot of problems.
Some are better than others and most wipes eventually do break down. But, they just 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 end up plugging 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 possibly 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 actually been known to cling to impellers inside a pump, causing it to burn out. This is why wastewater treatment authorities and plumbing professionals alike continue to plead with the public to cease and desist in their flushing these coveted wipes.
We urge you to make the choice 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 well 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 make the choice to dispose of them in the bin, not the (toilet) bowl. Your plumbing will thank you for it!