There are a lot of worries when bringing a new baby home for the first time. Your “flushable” baby wipes may not be at the top of the list, but for your local plumbers, those wipes are a big concern!
Flushable baby wipes are a kind of misnomer. While the name suggests these wipes should be perfectly safe to flush down the toilet, they are not. The name “flushable” means it can be flushed into the drain line, not that the wipes will dissolve or that they will keep your sewer line clog-free.
These “flushable” baby wipes don’t break down in the same way toilet paper does. In fact, if they get snagged in your drain line, baby wipes will actually expand over time. Even flushing wipes one at a time does not help your chances of avoiding a clog.
You can see the possible clogging destruction first hand! Grab a couple of jars you can fill with water, a few pieces of toilet paper and a baby wipe. Fill the jars, put the baby wipe in one and the toilet paper in the other, and let them sit for a day. You will soon see the toilet paper start to dissolve, but the baby wipe will remain the same. You could leave that baby wipe in the jar for a year or two and still it wouldn’t start dissolving!
The best way to dispose of your baby wipes is to throw them away with the diaper. Make sure you place dirty diapers and wipes into a plastic bag or liner before throwing them into a garbage can.
While you’re shopping for baby wipes, look for eco-friendly or biodegradable wipes. These aren’t “more flushable” than regular wipes, but they will biodegrade in the dump over time.