Baby wipes have become an essential item for many households, especially for new parents. However, with frequent use, the question of whether or not they can be flushed down the toilet arises.
You should not flush baby wipes down the toilet. Baby wipes are not designed to break down like toilet paper, and they can cause clogs in your pipes and damage to your plumbing system. In addition, they can also harm the environment by clogging up wastewater treatment facilities.
Rather than flushing those wet wipes down the toilet, dispose of them by throwing them in the trash. In this article, we’ll examine why you can’t flush wet wipes and what kind of damage it can cause if you accidentally do it.
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
If you found this article after you’ve flushed baby wipes down the toilet, you might be struggling with a clog in your toilet. We’ve compiled the best products you can try to clear the clog, although we would recommend contacting a plumber if these options fail.
Our favorite products to clear a clog from a toilet
1. Plunger – perfect for a clog near your toilet bowl
2. Drain Snake– ideal for deeper clogs in your plumbing
3. Drain Clog Dissolver– can be used in all the sinks in your house, toilet, sink, and bath.
Flushing Baby Wipes Down The Toilet
Flushing baby wipes down the toilet might seem harmless. I’ve even found myself instinctively throwing a used baby wipe into the toilet and reaching to flush it without a second thought. However, it can actually be quite damaging to your plumbing.
Baby wipes and toilet paper might seem similar in use and disposal methods, but in reality, they are not. Simply put, baby wipes are not designed to dissolve in water as toilet paper does. If you flush baby wipes down your toilet, you’ll most probably end up with a clog in your pipes.
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How Many Wipes Will Clog a Toilet?
Before you panic and call the plumber, let’s look at how many baby wipes it takes to clog your toilet. Will one baby wipe alone clog your whole plumbing system? That is not very likely.
One or two wipes won’t necessarily clog your toilet, although you shouldn’t be flushing them down a toilet at all. The real issue is if you throw a bundle of wipes in the toilet and try to flush them.
Wet wipes don’t dissolve in water, they clump together – so the more wipes you flush down the toilet, the higher the chance for a clog.
Accidentally Flush a Baby Wipe
If you’ve accidentally flushed a baby wipe down the toilet, your plumbing should be safe. However, if you’ve flushed multiple down the toilet and started to notice the water level rising in your toilet, you should reach for the plunger.
A plunger can be used to clear most clogs in a toilet if the clog is not too severe or not too far down the pipe. You could also use a drain snake to clear a clog or any blockages in your toilet.
If all else fails, call a local licensed plumber. The professional will be able to locate the clog and use tools or chemicals to dissolve the wet wipes. A clog caused by a wet wipe will not go away by itself since these wipes can stay in your pipes for a very long time.
Dissolving Baby Wipes in Your Toilet
It’s a common misconception that wet wipes dissolve in water like toilet paper. Wet wipes are made of durable synthetic cloth and can take up to 100 years to break down naturally. There aren’t any common chemicals available to the public that will effectively dissolve a wet wipe tuck in your pipe.
Wet wipes are designed to absorb moisture while keeping their durable form. Can you imagine cleaning up a mess with toilet paper? It would be a pulpy mess. However, cleaning up a mess with a wet wipe will be ten times easier.
A plumber might have access to stronger chemicals, but usually, they are reluctant to use chemicals in your sewage system since it could lead to pipe damage.
Proper Method to Dispose of Baby Wipes
Wet wipes are not compostable or recyclable. This is mostly due to the synthetic fibers used to create a durable cloth that can hold moisture. It comes in handy in a pinch, but it can take a very long time to break down naturally.
The best and safest way to dispose of baby wipes is by throwing them in the trash. That might sound wasteful, but currently, there are no alternative disposal methods.
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You should never attempt to flush baby wipes down the toilet. They cannot dissolve in water and also cannot break down like toilet paper. It’s best to dispose of your used wet wipes in the trash than in the toilet.