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Are toilet wipes flushable? This happens when you do

Wet toilet wipes: Man’s greatest tool to clean sticky cheeks after last night’s Taco Bell. But are toilet wipes even flushable?

Most toilet wipes are not flushable as they are unable to disintegrate. Flushing toilet wipes will cause your pipes to clog up and may result in your toilet overflowing with dirty toilet water. There are, however, some toilet wipe brands that are flushable but most counties recommend not to flush any wipes.

Let’s talk about what happens when you flush toilet wipes, what wipes you can flush, and which toilet wipe brands plumbers recommend.

What are flushable toilet wipes?

Flushable toilet wipes are wet wipes, usually made from synthetic material, such as plastics, used in combination with or instead of toilet paper. Toilet wipes are great for people with sensitive skin as they are moisturized which allows for less heavy wiping. Some wipes even have Aloe or Vitamin E in them which is good for your skin.

Toilet wipes are often marketed as flushable but this isn’t always true.

are toilet wipes flushable

Are any toilet wipes actually flushable?

Toilet wipes are not flushable unless the brand specifically states their toilet wipes break down or disintegrate. Brands call their toilet wipes flushable because they physically can be flushed down the toilet. With that logic, Q-tips and face washcloths can be marketed flushable as well.

Just because the product is light enough to flush and it fits through your toilet pipes does not mean it’s flushable.

Anything that goes into your toilet should be able to break apart. Toilet wipes are often thick and made out of synthetic material making them very hard if not impossible to break down in the water.

Toilet wipes maintain their structure which makes them harder to go through your pipes. They will get caught and tangle with waste resulting in possible backing up.

These huge clogs cost millions of dollars a year to fix.

Problems that may occur after flushing a toilet wipe:

  • The toilet wipe doesn’t break down which causes a clogged pipe
  • Dirty toilet water will overflow your toilet causing dangerous bacteria and smell to enter your house
  • Sanitary sewers will overflow into the environment
  • When a backup occurs you’re responsible for fixing it which causes you time and money

Are flushable wipes bad for the environment?

Flushable wipes are bad for the environment when they are marketed as flushable when in reality they do not disintegrate once in your pipes. This will cause a serious clog which results in the overflowing of your toilet or even into nature. They can also clog up elsewhere which means people need to physically remove them which causes unhealthy situations for workers.

Another reason why flushable wipes are bad for the environment is that they often contain plastics. These plastics won’t break down and once they’re flushed they will be released into the environment.

are toilet wipes flushable

How long does it take for flushable wipes to break down?

It should take seconds for flushable wipes to break down. If it takes a few minutes and you flush before the toilet wipes break down, the pipes may clog up. The force of the water will be limited due to clogs which result in waste not being able to be flushed away.

The biggest danger of using toilet wipes is that the use of them goes well until it doesn’t. A clog might be building up for a while before you notice anything.

Always read the instructions and ingredients of your wipes to make sure you really have a brand that breaks down in your toilet.

Tips for flushing when using flushable toilet wipes:

  1. Only use 1 wipe each time you flush
  2. Make sure to use every inch of the wipe to clean yourself
    • So that you won’t use more than 1 wipe
    • Fold the wipe to use a clean surface each time you wipe
  3. Make sure your toilet is well kept: every once in a while give your toilet a deep clean. This will prevent clogs

Best flushable wipes that actually disintegrate

Wondering what flushable wipes are actually flushable? I compared user reviews and the company claims to see which toilet wipe brands actually disintegrate.

Here’s a list of flushable toilet wipe brands that actually are flushable:

  • Cottonelle Flushable Wet Wipes
    • Sustainably sourced
    • Biodegradable
    • 100% flushable, septic- and sewer safe
  • Booty Wipes for Adults
    • For Sensitive skin
    • The plant-sourced fibers will safely disintegrate in your sewers
    • Can be used on all body parts
  • DUDE wipes
    • Plastic-free & plant sourced
    • Up to 35% larger than other toilet wipes
    • Unscented, hypoallergenic alcohol and paraben free
  • Nice ‘N Clean Flushable Wipes
    • Made with advanced flushable technology which makes them sewer and septic safe
    • Infused with Aloe and vitamin E to moisturize
    • Safe for kids

I’ve done some research and found some toilet wipe brands that, despite decent reviews, don’t specifically say their wipes disintegrate.

Here’s a list of things to look for when shopping for toilet wipes:

  • Be cautious when brands:
    • Stress to only flush one wipe at a time
    • Although they mention their wipes are sewer- and septic safe, they don’t specifically mention the wipes disintegrate
    • Mention only using these wipes in a well-maintained plumbing system
  • Read reviews and whether or not people had problems with clogs
  • If the wipes are synthetic they are a no-go

Shop at your own risk. The only way to be 100% sure that toilet wipes won’t clog your toilet is to stick to regular toilet paper. But you could always use toilet wipes and then dispose of them in a sealed toilet bin.

Are flushable wipes biodegradable?

According to Notpla, biodegradability is ”The ability for a material to be broken down naturally by the organism in an ecosystem.”

Flushable wipes are biodegradable when they are not made out of synthetic materials such as plastic or polyester. There are biodegradable flushable toilet wipes. These toilet wipes are often made from plant-based sources. A well-known brand that uses plant-based toilet wipes is Cottonelle.

are toilet wipes flushable

Do plumbers recommend flushable wipes?

In general, plumbers do not recommend flushable wipes as not all toilet wipes are indeed flushable even though the brand claims that they are. There are no rules or laws that prohibit brands from marketing their products as flushable without any testing. This means that you cannot be sure if their products won’t cause any problems.

Most plumbers would be safe and say no to wipes. But in case you do have clogged drains you don’t need to call a plumber: here’s how to unclog a toilet, yourself, fast.

What is an alternative to wet wipes?

If all of this toilet wipe talk made you question whether or not you want to use one there’s an alternative: Toilet paper spray.

An alternative to wet wipes is toilet paper spray, also known as liquid toilet paper. This is a substance that you spray onto toilet paper making your very own toilet wipes. They’re better than toilet wipes because there’s no risk of clogging your pipes.

Disclaimer: is not responsible for any damage caused to your toilet by (wrongly) interpreting information found on this site. Please seek custom advice from a professional to evaluate your current situation.