Why Flushing Regular Wipes Will Clog Your Drains
Flushable wipes have exploded in popularity over the past few years. Their convenience to both use and dispose of have made them a favorite bathroom choice in many households.
However, there is a more sinister side to flushable wipes that the manufacturers won't be quick to tell you. Despite their ease of use and disposal, flushable wipes don't simply disappear once you flush the toilet. They go into your pipes and municipal sewer systems, and can potentially cause expensive damages.
The Problem with Flushable Wipes
In order to understand the problems that flushable wipes can cause, let's take a look at how they're made in the first place. Cloth wipes are made from a material called non-woven cloth, which is made by machines that shapes and compress cotton fibers together to create material.
This material is used In many applications, including baby wipes, moist towelettes, dryer sheets, and of course, flushable wipes.
Non-woven cloth is a sturdy material that doesn't break down in water the way toilet tissue does. For this reason, the material can easily get caught in a pipe and block everything else that comes down the drain. The result can be a costly toilet repair bill that you could've avoided.
Flushable wipes don't just cause problems in homes and businesses. In 2013, environmental experts in the city of New York estimated that flushable wipe had caused over $18 million in damages to sewer equipment.
Cities every have felt the sting of disposable wipe damage, including Washington D.C, London, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. Recently, the city of Wyoming, Minnesota sued wipes manufacturers for not clearly labeling their products as flushable or non-flushable. This is after the city had to deal with a costly clean up last year caused by disposable wipes clogging up their water treatment plant.
To Flush or Not To Flush?
Manufactures are notoriously vague when it comes to whether or not their wipes can go down the drain or not. Flush-ability is a huge marketing draw, and so many brands are content with letting their customers dispose with their product as they please. Other manufacturers do publish "Do not flush" instructions on their packages, but the print is usually tiny and could be hidden under a flap or in an obscure corner of the package.
New York City and Wyoming, Minnesota are two bodies pushing for wipe manufacturers to label their packaging with clearer "Do not flush" warnings. If their legislative efforts are successful, companies would be legally obligated to do so.
Make Your Own Flushable Wipes
Until the time comes where it's clearer which wipes can and can't safely go down the drain, why no make your own flushable wipes? Not only are they safer on drains, but they also cost much less than purchasing store-bought wipes. You can easily make them yourself with some common household items. You'll need:
- One rectangular Tupperware container
- Paper towels
- Liquid baby wash OR liquid castile soapWater
- Cut paper towels into rectangular wipe-sized pieces.
- Place them in the empty Tupperware container.
- Combine one part liquid soap or baby wash and three parts water.
- Pour the soap solution over the paper towels until they're saturated.
- Keep the container tightly covered with the Tupperware container.
There you have it! Pipe-friendly wipes that won't cause problems for you or your city sewage system. They're easy to make, and also the items needed are easily to find and inexpensive.
You can make as many as you want and store them for later, or just make them on an as-needed basis. Either way, you can keep the convenience without sacrificing the safety of your pipe system.
Are Paper Towels Safer?
As we learned earlier, disposable wipes can be hazardous to pipe and sewer systems because they're much sturdier than toilet tissue and can cause blockages. Paper towels are less sturdy than non-woven cloth material, and therefore less likely to cause drain cleaning problems. However, paper towel wipes can still cause problems if used in excess. Limit your use when you go to the loo to lessen the likelihood of a clog.
Wet cloth wipes products have been with us for a long time, and have always been a bastion of convenience and cleanliness. However, the adult wipes that have soared in popularity have become a real headache for many homeowners, and also for those who handle our sewage needs.
So despite the convenience, disposable wipes may end up costing us a lot more in the long run. Use this do-it-yourself alternative to save yourself the trouble of costly toilet repair and drain cleaning costs, and also save some money on your grocery bill.
For fast, convenient plumbing services in the Las Vegas, NV area, contact Anytime Plumbing, Inc at (702) 362-9300 today.