Wet wipes are useful for lots of different purposes. There are makeup removal wipes, antibacterial cleaning wipes, baby wipes for changing diapers, and now even wet wipes that adults are using in place of toilet paper. While these products are extremely useful for everyday cleaning and hygiene, they are not good for your pipes.
Cleaning wipes should be thrown in the trash and not flushed down the toilet. Read on to find out why…
Cleaning wipes are not designed to be flushed
When toilet paper gets wet, it starts to break down. While this lack of sturdiness makes it difficult to scrub surfaces clean with toilet paper, it makes it perfect for flushing down the toilet. Even thicker toilet paper breaks down completely within 24 hours after being flushed, ensuring that it doesn’t build up and cause blockages in your home’s pipes or the sewage system.
Wet wipes and cleaning wipes, on the other hand, are wet by nature, so they need to be designed in a way that will keep them strong under exposure to water. Perfect for wiping tough stains off surfaces, but not so great for the sewage system. Most wipes do not break down after being flushed. Even those wet wipes advertised as ‘flushable’ take a very long time to break down and are still unlikely to fully break down. When these materials get flushed, they gradually accumulate and lead to clogs and blockages known as fatbergs.
If you live in an old house and your plumbing system hasn’t been replaced, then your pipes will be even more susceptible to clogs caused by cleaning wipes and other things that shouldn’t be flushed. Corrosion, rust, and other problems inside your pipes make it more likely for wet wipes to get caught up. After that, everything you flush – even toilet paper – will add to the build-up of materials within the pipes and eventually lead to a serious clog.
What to do if your pipes are clogged by wipes
If you or someone else in your household has been flushing wet wipes, we would advise calling a professional plumber to assess the condition of your pipes and treat any blockages that have already occurred. Even if you make an effort to stop flushing wipes, it is worth getting your plumbing checked out and professionally cleaned if necessary. If the wipes have already started a blockage, everything you flush could be gradually adding to that blockage.
If you need plumbing maintenance or repair around Lewisville, Clemmons, or Winston Salem, then contact Brandon Plumbing for our expert services.