You’ve heard the adage, “Don’t believe everything you read.” That’s a great adage to keep in mind when you’re thinking about flushing a “flushable” wipe.

a pack of flushable wipes

A Nightmare On Your Plumbing System

Ask just about any plumber and they will tell you that flushable wipes are a nightmare on sewage and septic systems. One of the easiest ways to plug up a pipe and spend unnecessary dollars on a plumber is by flushing flushable wipes.

Consumer Reports looked at four major name-brands selling wipes that they market as “flushable wipes,” and what they found should concern any homeowner.

Slow to Break Down

Consumer Reports ran these flushable wipes through the same tests it puts regular toilet paper through, and the flushable wipes did not break up at all. Even after 10 minutes in a mixer – when regular toilet paper would have broken up – the flushable wipes were still not broken down or torn.

Wipes that are being marketed as “flushable” are in fact choking sewer lines and septic tanks and causing terrible problems for homeowners.

The packaging material on these wipes may make the claim that they are “flushable” or “safe for sewer or septic,” but experience is proving that these claims are misleading. Even after 24 hours, the wipes often remain completely intact.

Not only are flushable wipes causing serious issues for homeowners with clogged lines and septic tanks, but flushable wipes are also damaging municipal sewer systems. In some cases, the flushable wipes are backing up lines. In other cases, they are damaging lift stations.

If you’re determined to flush flushable wipes, you should be prepared to see for yourself whether or not the wipes break down, because when you have to call a plumber and he opens up your lines to clear the clog, you’re probably going to see those wipes again.

Avoid Flushing Wipes if You Can

If you choose to use wipes, even those sold as “flushable,” our recommendation is that you do not flush them but instead through them into a trashcan after use.