Ask Poopreport: Flushing Flushable Wipes


I would like to see some decent answers to this question, because I wonder about this, too!

Why would a flushable wipe company (like Kleenex Cottonelle) tell its customers that their wipes are flushable and biodegradable when they clog septic systems? Flushable wipes fail biodegrading tests all the time. Is this legal? If my plumber or septic tank guys put in writing that flushable wipes clogged my system shouldn't the company who claimed their wipes could be flushed have to pay for my bill?

Editor's Note: I felt like posting a cute puppy today, and I don't care that it has nothing to do with the story.

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11 Comments on "Ask Poopreport: Flushing Flushable Wipes"

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

For years now I have used the little round moistened pads that are treated with witch hazel, but only as supplements to normal toilet paper. If I have a sticky or messy bowel movement and have to wipe more than my usual number of times, I finish up with one of those wipes and follow with a tiny application of Balneol. That single round pad is small compared to the (still modest) amount of toilet paper I use, and even that use of the pad is something like once or twice a month, certainly not a daily occurrence, nor the exclusive material to use for wiping. We had our septic tank cleaned this summer, on its regular 5-year-interval schedule, and there was no clogging or other problem. I actually watched the cleaning and saw into the tank, and the contents were just a brown liquid, no paper or pads visible at all. My guess is that the pads are meant as supplements to toilet paper, not replacements.

Anonymous's picture

I see no fraud here, and no grounds for remuneration. After all, the wipes are flushable. The fact that they cause hell to break loose after this is not warranted against.

As for being biodegradable, I cannot think of anything that is not. It might take 1000 years, but this product will eventually degrade back to its consistent components.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

I must disagree with you Anonymous, adds for Kandoo wipes by Pampers clearly state "Flushable and Biodegradable - safe for sewer and septic systems." I would think that any company that makes such a statement should put their money where their mouth is after making such a claim.

Other brands make claims of being septic tank safe;

Charmin Freshmates: It says “septic safe” in bold letters right on the package!

Cottonelle Fresh: It says “You can flush Cottenelle Fresh wipes with confidence because they break up like toilet paper after flushing. They’re safe for sewer and septic systems.”

Scott Flushable Wipes: Scott is bold enough to even use the term “flushable” in the product name! “Flushable wipes are safe for sewer and septic because they break up like paper after flushing“

Up and Up Toddler Wipes Flushable (Target Generic Brand): “These flushable moist wipes are alcohol free, and safe for sewers and septic systems.”

With these claims being made by manufacturers I would think there should be some liability issue if septic damage can definitely be traced to the product.

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

runninggrrl2's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points

There's a difference between "flushable" and "septic system safe". You can flush almost anything down the city sewer pipes; septic systems are totally different. If the company claims their wipes are septic system safe yet they clog the system up, they need to take that statement off the package because it's not true. I smell lawsuits brewing on this issue.

An apple a day keeps the ExLax away!

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

When I do read the term "septic system safe" on a flushable wipe, I have to wonder.

We just buy the cheapest baby wipes available and put them in the garbage. There are three women in this house with active uteri. (And it's weird that a strictly female reproductive organ is in the masculine declension in latin...)

.....hugging bunnies since 1969

Anonymous's picture

You need to use no more than two of the wipes per flush. It says so on the package.

Anonymous's picture

Golf balls are flushable. So is a quart of bacon grease.

Anonymous's picture

Our local sanitation company just told me that wipes are clogging the waste processing plants and are clogging his hoses because the Do Not breakdown. Instead, they bunch up and become like large wet rags. The companies that claim their products are safely flushable are full of what we are attempting to get rid of.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

These things are screwing up sewage systems all over the world. Time for some courtroom action. Read about the problem here.

If I had two faces do you think I'd be wearing this one?

Anonymous's picture

Sure. I accidentally flushed a cloth diaper down the toilet. Give it a try. It'll end the same way as the "Flushable Tampons" the upstairs tenant was using in our very old sewer system.

The plumber said even though they're advertised as flushable they're not and the plumbers are making money on it and they'll tell you that. Law suits or not, common sense goes a long way. Use it and keep a waste basket handy.

Anonymous's picture

This story is being repeated all over the world and will continue because people keep using Wet Wipes instead of Toilet Paper for a very good reason, they do a better job. But there is an alternative that does an even better job and that's the Hand Bidet Sprayer. With these you can wash with water right at the toilet and they're not expensive and certainly a lot less than the expensive clogs being caused by the wipes! See

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