Most newly weds argue about furniture placement, finances, and household duties.  Our first argument...flushable wipes.  I lost, and I'll be honest, I miss them. They're so soft and reassuring. They smell good, and they make you feel super clean. And, my best argument to Jon was that they SAY they're flushable.

 

Sadly, it turns out that they really aren't. Here in Atlanta, the "flushable wipes" are causing sewers to clog and overflow, leaking waste into our rivers. They're so bad, in fact, that the city of New York is working on a law to require the term "flushable" to be removed from the product, arguing that they not only cause millions of dollars in unnecessary plumbing repairs but they also cost New York over $100 million dollars in clean up fees at water treatment plants. Many other states have had to invest in expensive grinders just to deal with the wipes. 

 

But, you may be asking, like I did, what's the problem? They're thin and flexible. They say they are bio-degradable. They should move down a pipe really easily.  The problem, Jon explained, is that pipes aren't smooth, especially old pipes.  Over time, pipes rust and minerals from the water builds up along the insides of them. Rust and mineral buildup causes pipes to be rough on the insides. When we flush the wipes, they get snagged along the inside of the pipe and cause blockages. Imagine dropping wad of pantyhose down a sandpaper tube, and you'll get and idea of what happens when you flush a wipe. They can also make a small clog worse.  Some clogs aren't big enough to cause stoppages, but when we flush wipes, they get hung up on the small clogs and turn a tiny problem into a gross mess.  

If you don't believe me, check out this video from Spokane, Washington. They're pretty gross.  Save yourself the personal cost, the community the loss in tax money, and the environment, and get rid of the wipes.  We might all be a little less clean, but we'll be a lot happier in the long run.  

Other things that you can't flush: 

  • Tampons (we probably need another post on that one)

  • Condoms

  • Diapers 

  • Paper Towels 

  • Q Tips

  • Washcloths

  • Stuffed Animals (that was a sad one)

  • Anything other than toilet paper

"But it SAID it was Flushable!!": How "Flushable" Products Can Cause Massive Clogs. 

Advice from a Plumber's Wife