Can You Flush Baby Wipes? (And Can They Clog the Toilet?)

man-finger-on-flush-button

Baby wipes would always be crucial to moms and their babies. You need them to wipe your baby’s tender skin now and then. 

Apart from that, people use wipes for several other purposes. These include cleaning houseplants, household dust, grubby light switches, and removing stains from surfaces. Wipes are easy to work with and make cleaning effortless. 

But the problem isn’t how we use wipes. It’s how we dispose of them after use. To most people, wipes are just another improved toilet paper. So, they feel the best way to dispose of baby wipes is by flushing them down the toilet

Issues on whether or not wipes are flushable have generated a heated debate for some decades now. So naturally, wipe makers have their views, and so is plumbing experts. 

So, in this article, we will give you information on whether flushing baby wipes is a wise thing to do. Continue reading! 

Can You Flush Wet Baby Wipes?

No! You shouldn’t. Wipe makers usually include the term “flushable” on the package. But that shouldn’t coax you to flush baby wipes down the toilet. These also include wet wipes. 

Body fluid and your tissue papers are safe in the toilet. You can flush them without encountering any issues. 

Again, wetting your wipes before flushing won’t make them flushable. So, don’t even waste your time.   

We have pinpointed several reasons you should discourage yourself from flushing wipes down the toilet. Here they are. 

1. Baby wipes hardly dissolve

When you throw tissue papers into the toilet, what happens? It dissolves, right? Yes, it does, and the simple reason is that it was designed with your plumbing and home in mind. 

The tissue papers will even dissolve partially or completely before you flush them. That’s how soft they are. Unfortunately, baby wipes are not like tissue paper. They hardly dissolve, and that can cause you a lot of trouble when flushed. 

See also  Can You Flush Noodles Down the Toilet?

Baby wipes come manufactured to be durable. They’re bonded by high pressure, including chemicals or resin. And this explains the reason why, when you scrub stains on a surface using wipes, they don’t disintegrate. 

A Handy Tip: Baby wipes come designed to be durable. That is why when you take a wipe from sediment, you’ll discover it’s almost a meter long. So, wipes hardly disintegrate in water. Instead, they’ll keep stretching. 

2. A threat to wildlife

The baby wipes you throw in the toilet don’t end there. If they make it out of your pipe, you might find them in the stream, lake, or river. 

When an item like wipes starts floating in rivers in your neighborhood, know that you’re messing up the environment. These items pose a serious threat to wildlife because of their composition. 

For example, polyethylene and polyester are two synthetic fibers in wipes, and these could end wildlife’s life once ingested. 

So, if you care about animals in the wild, avoid flushing wipes down the toilet. You’re putting them at very high risk. 

3. Plumbing issues

A good reason to stop flushing wipes is plumbing issues. Wipes might cause you to spend thousands of dollars on plumbing repairs. In addition, they could block your sewer pipe or cause a bigger problem in your septic tank or community sewer. 

There’s no way you can abandon a blocked sewer pipe. You’ll be the one to suffer the consequences. You’ll not be able to use the toilet. Your guests and family members would have to seek other alternatives. 

If it’s a community sewer, you might sink the whole community in bigger trouble. So, be careful of the things you flush down the toilet. And never flush baby wipes. 

4. Poses a threat to wastewater treatment plants

Wastewater treatment is necessary to safeguard the environment and keep us healthy. When you keep water bodies clean, you’re indirectly protecting fisheries, wildlife and providing clean water for recreational purposes. 

For these reasons, the use of wastewater treatment plants is vital. Without this machinery, it would be impossible to have clean water to safeguard the environment and our health. 

But keep in mind the treatment plants are a machine. Thus, they can develop a fault. And baby wipes are one of the items that can give rise to that. 

So, avoid flushing wipes. Remember that faulty wastewater treatment plants cost a lot to fix. 

See also  Can You Flush Tissues Down the Toilet? (And Alternatives To Tissue Paper)

Will Baby Wipes Clog the Toilet?

Yes and No! If you flush one or two baby wipes, they might pass through the toilet without causing any noticeable problem. But if you try to flush dozens of baby wipes at once, you might clog your toilet. 

When flushed wipes travel through your toilet, what happens to them is a different thing entirely. Don’t forget that these materials aren’t like tissue paper. They don’t make it easier for water to pass through them easily. 

So, the wipes you flush down the toilet now and then could be piling up in your pipe, local sewer, or your septic tank. Before you know it, you’ll have a serious plumbing issue on your hands. 

Additionally, water doesn’t travel through wipes that easily make them difficult to unclog using a chemical unclogger. So you’ll only be using the product in vain. The accumulated wipes in your plumbing won’t move an inch. 

What about flushable wipes? Wipe makers claim some of their wipes are flushable. You will even find the tag “flushable” on the package. Still, don’t fall for such a trick, as most of the wipes aren’t flushable.

If a material doesn’t disintegrate when used to wipe a hard surface, how can it disintegrate in water? So, forget about what manufacturers are saying. Don’t throw wipes in your toilet. Uncloggers won’t be of help to you when there’s an issue with your plumbing. 

How Can You Dispose of Baby Wipes?

Since flushing isn’t advisable, how then can one dispose of used baby wipes? Here are the simple steps. 

Step 1: Use the wipe as intended

Use the wipe for the purpose you bought it. For example, it could be to clean your child’s skin, clean the toilet and other surfaces.

But please put on a pair of gloves, as it’s more hygienic.  

Step 2: Locate and drop the wipe in the bin

To eliminate excuses, try placing a waste bin somewhere around the toilet. By doing so, you won’t have any reason to throw the wipes in the toilet. 

Are Baby Wipes Compostable?

The truth of the matter is that wipes manufacturers are beginning to understand the demands of customers. As a result, some have made strides to produce compostable wipes. 

The challenge is for a user to know which baby wipe is compostable or degradable. Unfortunately, this can only be possible if you have personally used the wipe or read reviews from other users. 

See also  Can You Flush Pads Down The Toilet? (And Can It Clog the Toilet?)

However, even if you discovered that a wipe is biodegradable, avoid flushing it in your toilet. And for the records, many baby wipes are non-biodegradable. It could take as much as 100 years or even more for such wipes to disintegrate in landfills. 

So, you must know that not all wipes are compostable. 

Can You Clean Your Face With Baby Wipes?

Yes, you can. Even though the face is tender and super sensitive, you should have no problem cleaning it with Pampers baby wipes. These wipes are even very much milder than the washcloth and water most people use on their faces. 

Besides the face, it’s safe to use wipes on other parts of the body. Wipes are durable. Thus, they won’t disintegrate when used on any part of your body. 

Does Baby Wipes Cause Cancer in Humans? 

Reports of wipes being responsible for cancer in humans have not been seen or heard of anywhere. So, baby wipes don’t cause cancer. 

The reason most people think that wipes cause cancer is that it’s a fragrant product. All fragrant products comes produced using a series of chemicals. Wipes, perfumes, shower products, and cosmetics are on the list of such items. 

Animal trials on fragrance products show that they can cause cancer. But the amounts used in these trials are usually much higher than what you’ll find in wipes, shower products, or other fragrance products. 

Another thing that makes wipes safe is that the government also shows interest in the product’s constituents. Expert panels and regulatory bodies are there to assess the ingredient’s safety and give a recommendation, if necessary. 

Conclusion

Flushing baby wipes is an easier way to get rid of them after use. That’s why many people have been doing it for years. But please, hear this out. 

Just because you haven’t suffered clogged plumbing doesn’t mean that it is okay to keep depositing wipes in your toilet. 

Keep in mind that many wipes are non-biodegradable. That means they won’t disintegrate for years. And just because some wipe manufacturers claim that their wipes are flushable or biodegradable doesn’t mean that they are. 

The materials used in making wipes make them durable and difficult to break down. And that’s the more reason you should stop flushing wipes down your toilet. 

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.