A Plumbers Input On Toilet Paper Alternatives

Over the past year, it has not been uncommon for many households to run out of toilet paper. And while it might not be something that we ever expected, it has brought up some crucial questions about what is a suitable substitute for toilet paper. And while there are many people out there who are quick to offer an opinion on this matter, the ones who are a true authority are plumbers. So that is whom we have spoken to as the authority for this message.

Flushable Wipes- A Perfect Choice Or A Perfect Storm?

Many stores had an abundance of flushable wipes when the toilet paper shortage began. And they did not last very long on store shelves. But unfortunately, they last a very long time in your drain lines. These wipes are perfect for some applications. If you are camping, hiking, or outdoors for an extended time, these are great. They can also be ideal for potty training or just a superior cleaning for anyone. But they are not something that should be flushed. A plastic trash bag or Ziploc bag is the best way to dispose of these soiled wipes.

Why Not Flush Flushable Wipes?

When the label clearly says flushable, why would you not flush these wipes? It is a legitimate question and one that plumbers have been fielding more and more in recent months. The issue is that flushable wipes break down very slowly. As you know, regular toilet paper begins to disintegrate almost immediately when it gets moist. And that is why toilet paper rarely creates a clog in your drain or sewer line. But a flushable wipe takes much longer to break down. And it can quickly become lodged in a fitting or pipe joint and begin to create a clog before it starts to shred or disintegrate.

What Else Cannot/Should Not Be Flushed?

Every household has run out of TP from time to time. And when you do, any paper product might seem like a viable substitute. But that is not the case. No other paper product is made to be as water-soluble as TP, so they promote costly drain clogs.

Some items that should be on your no flush list include:

  • Facial tissues
  • Baby wipes
  • Moist towelettes
  • Napkins
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Hair
  • Dental floss
  • Any plastic
  • Paper wrappers
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Diapers

These products will begin to get stuck inside the drain pipes and snag other waste and debris. Soon, you will find that your toilet is not flushing as well as it once did. And eventually, you will see the water in the toilet bowl continue to rise until it overflows and floods your bathroom with filthy water and waste.

What Is Safe To Flush

This is a shortlist and one that is simple to remember. Human waste, water, and toilet paper are the only things that you should ever flush. If you happen to have biodegradable, flushable wipes and no toilet paper, they are ok in an emergency. But follow the one wipe, one flush rule. And do not use them as a replacement for TP.

Good Uses For Flushable Wipes

If you are sitting on a massive stockpile of flushable wipes, never fear. There are many good uses for these wipes. They are great for a refreshing face cleaning during the day or in the morning. They are also the perfect travel companion if you are outdoors and using the bear’s bathroom. Just be sure to carry ALL of your trash back out of the woods with you in a trash bag. Other uses include wiping pet’s feet, removing makeup, and a fast hand wipe down after playing at the park.

If you have been flushing a lot of these wipes and now are experiencing issues with your drain, call (706) 303-0987 to schedule a professional drain cleaning with the pros from Drain Surgeon.

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