Are Flushable Wipes Really Safe for Your Toilet? The Hidden Consequences

Flushable wipes have gained popularity in recent years for their convenience and perceived cleanliness. However, as experienced plumbers serving Bakersfield since 1910, we at Bakersfield Plumbing Company have seen firsthand the problems these products can cause in your plumbing system. Despite being marketed as “flushable,” these wipes can lead to significant plumbing issues, costing you time and money.

The Truth About Flushable Wipes

Flushable wipes are often advertised as being safe for your toilet because they supposedly break down quickly in water. However, the reality is quite different. Unlike toilet paper, which disintegrates rapidly, flushable wipes are made from stronger, more durable materials. This durability is great for cleaning but not so great for your plumbing.

What Happens When You Flush Flushable Wipes?

When flushable wipes enter your plumbing system, they can cause several problems:

  1. Blockages: Flushable wipes do not disintegrate like toilet paper. Instead, they can clump together and create blockages in your pipes. These blockages can occur in your home’s plumbing system, in the main sewer line, or in the municipal sewer system.
  2. Clogs: Over time, even small amounts of wipes can accumulate and cause clogs. These clogs can lead to slow drains, backups, and even complete blockages that require professional intervention to clear.
  3. Damage to Plumbing Equipment: Flushable wipes can get tangled in plumbing equipment, such as pumps and valves. This can cause significant damage and lead to expensive repairs or replacements.
  4. Sewer System Strain: On a larger scale, flushable wipes can contribute to major issues in the municipal sewer system. They can combine with other debris and grease to form “fatbergs,” which are massive, solid obstructions that can cause widespread damage and blockages.

The Environmental Impact

Beyond the plumbing issues, flushing flushable wipes also has environmental consequences. These wipes often contain synthetic fibers that do not biodegrade easily. As a result, they can persist in the environment, contributing to pollution and harming wildlife.

Alternatives to Flushable Wipes

If you want to maintain the convenience of wipes without the plumbing risks, consider these alternatives:

  • Dispose of Wipes Properly: Instead of flushing, dispose of wipes in the trash. Keep a small waste bin in your bathroom for this purpose.
  • Use a Bidet: Bidets offer a hygienic alternative to wipes and can reduce the need for them altogether.
  • Choose Truly Biodegradable Options: Some products on the market are specifically designed to break down quickly in water. Look for these alternatives, but always research their claims to ensure they are genuinely safe for your plumbing.

What to Do If You Have a Clog

If you suspect that flushable wipes have caused a blockage in your plumbing system, it’s essential to act quickly. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Try a Plunger: For minor clogs, a plunger can sometimes do the trick. Make sure you use a proper toilet plunger with a flange.
  2. Use a Plumbing Snake: If a plunger doesn’t work, a plumbing snake (or auger) can help break up the blockage.
  3. Call a Professional Plumber: For persistent or severe clogs, it’s best to call a professional. At Bakersfield Plumbing Company, we have the expertise and tools to safely and effectively clear any blockages caused by flushable wipes.

While flushable wipes may seem convenient, they can cause significant issues for your plumbing system. By understanding the potential consequences and taking proactive measures, you can protect your pipes and avoid costly repairs. If you encounter any plumbing problems, don’t hesitate to contact us at Bakersfield Plumbing Company. With over a century of experience serving Bakersfield and Kern County, we’re here to help you keep your plumbing system running smoothly.

Remember, just because it says “flushable” doesn’t mean it’s safe for your plumbing. Dispose of wipes properly and choose alternatives that are truly safe for your pipes and the environment. Your plumbing system will thank you!


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Bakersfield Plumbing Company

4625 District Blvd, Bakersfield, CA 93313