While we understand disposable wipes make life so much easier are flushable wipes really flushable or are they causing issues for our environment?
Just because they call themselves “disposable wipes” does not mean they are truly disposable.
If you are using wipes, please don’t flush them down the toilet – even if the manufacturer says it’s okay.
There was an article in our local paper by Shelby Wood, who was an awesome sustainability blogger/journalist for The Oregonian in which she stated:
“Clean Water Services, the public utility in Washington County, says workers pull 1000 gallons of wipes out of pump stations each month. Every other day, they must shut down a pump station just to clear wipe clogs.”
So clearly the truth is that these so called flushable wipes can clog your own pipes if they are clothing our pump stations! Below is an image from Beale Air Force Base showing the cleaning of a clogged pipe that is filled with flushable wipes.
Are Flushable Wipes Really Flushable?
The short answer is no, they are not!
These supposedly disposable wipes do not dissolve like toilet paper and can cause huge headaches for already overtaxed water systems.
Wipes are really an environmental nightmare.
Even items like those ‘disposable’ toilet cleaning wands shouldn’t be flushed. I have also heard from a local official from the Department of Environmental Quality, say even the G-Diapers should never be flushed even though they may claim it is safe.
There is a thread here noting an issue someone else came aware of! Not all plumbing can handle this level of flushing.
The only product that should go down the toilet ever is toilet paper.
There was some research done on ‘flushability‘ by Ryerson University that found none of the so called flushable wipe samples fell apart enough to safely pass through a sewer system without a chance of clogging it.
How I Avoid Using Disposable Wipes
For dusting I do not use any type of those cleaning wipes but prefer to use my microfiber dusting cloths – they pick up so much dust and they are washable and reusable which I am a big fan of. For glass we use newspaper, for counters we use sponges and put them in the dishwasher to clean them, for cleaning of wood we use rags and then wash them.
For washing my face I use a plain old washcloth! I lather up with my favorite soap and wash away. No wipes or pads for me. If I need extra help for acne or pimples I use some cotton balls with a bottle of Clean ‘n Clear then throw the cotton ball away in the garbage.
We do not use those tushy wipes in our home – just like our parents and grandparents did we just use plain old toilet paper. Although they are made to supposedly be flushable – like we noted above they are clearly not and all cases. We shower daily — so I am pretty sure are butts are clean enough!
For cleaning the inside of our car I dust with a microfiber cloth and then due deeper cleaning with a soft sponge.
The only wipe that I can truly get behind (so to speak) are baby-bottom wipes, though if I had a baby again ( and I am definitely NOT!) I would seriously work on cutting back on those with reusable, homemade wipes.
Wipes absolutely make life easier – but that comes with a trade-off of really damaging our environment!
Thankfully I never fell into the disposable wipes trap – I have cleaned the same way for many years and the thought of spending more money for something that is already working seemed pointless.
Every disposable wipe is harmful to our world – and do not add value in anyway. If we each stop using them, imaging the difference we can make for the environment!
What about you?
Have you weaned yourself off of any wipes?
Any brave souls using reusable baby wipes?