Why you should never flush baby wipes

drain clearing specialist

Baby wipes have become an indispensable part of parenting. They are a convenient solution for cleaning up messes, whether it is changing diapers or wiping sticky hands and faces. While they offer great convenience, there is a significant issue that arises when it comes to disposing of these wipes – many people flush them down the toilet. In this article, we’ll explore why you should never flush baby wipes.

They do not break down

The primary reason you should never flush baby wipes is that they do not break down in the same way that toilet paper does. Toilet paper is specifically designed to disintegrate quickly when it gets wet, ensuring it will not clog your plumbing or sewer system. In contrast, baby wipes are typically made from a combination of materials, including plastics, which do not break down as easily. This can lead to blockages in your pipes and sewage systems, potentially causing costly damage.

Environmental consequences

Flushing baby wipes down the toilet does not just impact your plumbing; it also has severe environmental consequences. Many baby wipes are made with non-biodegradable materials, which means they can persist in the environment for a long time. They contribute to plastic pollution and can harm aquatic ecosystems when they end up in rivers and oceans.

Costly repairs

Flushing baby wipes down the toilet can lead to costly plumbing repairs. When they accumulate in your pipes, they can create blockages that are difficult and expensive to remove. You may end up having to call a specialist to fix the problem, bringing extra repair costs that could have been easily avoided.

Sewage treatment issues

Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to handle the materials in baby wipes. When flushed down the toilet, these wipes can clog equipment and interfere with the treatment process. This can lead to increased operational costs for sewage treatment plants which will ultimately be passed on to taxpayers.

Health risks

Flushing baby wipes can lead to sewer backups, which may result in raw sewage entering your home. This poses significant health risks, as raw sewage contains harmful bacteria and pathogens that can make you and your family sick. Avoiding the flushing of baby wipes is a simple step you can take to protect your health and the well-being of your household.

Steer clear of “flushable” wipes

Avoiding so-called “flushable” wipes is also a wise choice. While they may be marketed as safe for flushing, they often do not break down as quickly as advertised and can still lead to plumbing issues and environmental harm. It is best to err on the side of caution and dispose of these wipes in the bin to prevent potential clogs and adverse consequences for your plumbing and the environment.

What to do instead

Instead of flushing baby wipes down the toilet, you should dispose of them in the general waste bin. Make sure to use a lidded waste bin to prevent odours and to maintain hygiene. If you are concerned about the environmental impact, consider using biodegradable wipes. But remember, biodegradable wipes also need to be placed in the bin after usage.  

In conclusion, it is essential to understand the potential hazards associated with flushing baby wipes down the toilet. To avoid plumbing issues, environmental harm, and health risks, always dispose of baby wipes in the general waste bin. Being mindful of your baby wipe disposal can help you save money, protect the environment, and ensure the well-being of your household and your community.

If you suspect that your drainage system might be clogged or damaged in any way, get in contact with us to schedule your next service or call us for any emergency. If you wish to learn more about drain maintenance, visit our blog!