Wipes are a type of disposable sheets. They are designed for different sanitary and cleaning purposes. For instance, they are used as baby wipes, de-greasers, moist toilet paper, and make-up removers. Also, most of them are designed in a way that they can’t be flushed down the toilet. However, you can find some that are flushable.
Since many people find it hard to differentiate between flushable and non-flushable wipes, they have to face the problem of clogged drains. Therefore, water companies call all wipes as non-flushable until a universal standard is established and agreed upon.
Why Wet Wipes become a Problem?
Unlike the common toilet paper, wet wipes are robust. Therefore, they must not get damaged when they get wet. Since they are stronger than regular toilet paper, they take much longer to break down when flushed. As a result, they end up blocking the sewerage system.
Typically, the sewerage blockage happens when non-flushable wipes are flushed away. Flushable wipes don’t take much longer to flush away. However, companies claim that they still cause sewerage clogging.
What Materials are used to make Wet Wipes?
Generally, non-woven materials are used to make them. Mostly, they are fibrous materials, such as viscose and wood pulp cellulose. On the other hand, non-flushable wipes may contain artificial fibers, such as polypropylene or polyethylene for additional strength.
Actually, the fibers are turned into a mat and then they are compressed with other stuff like binders for making a sheet. Afterward, the sheet is impregnated with high-quality chemicals, preservatives, and cleaning products.
How are they Tested?
Manufacturers don’t have to test their products before marketing them as flushable. However, INDA from USA and EDANA from Europe have joined hands with different water industry research centers to design voluntary tests for the companies that get their memberships.
According to the guidelines, the products are passed through a serious of tests. If they pass the test, they will be considered flushable. These tests can help them find out if the wipes can pass through the sewerage system without clogging it. The test also checks how long the product takes to disintegrates under different water treatments.
Can you Flush away every Flushable Toilet Wipe?
It’s not easy to answer this question. Although the tests designed by INDA and EDANA are quite effective, they can’t be called perfect. Actually, they revolve around specific behavior patterns.
And if consumers don’t follow the right way, the wipes may take much longer to disintegrate and may end up clogging the system. For instance, this problem may happen if users use a lot of wipes per flush.
Since companies are not required to sign up with the two associations, many of them just mark their products as flushable even if they are not. Therefore, water companies say that all types of wipes should be marked as non-flushable until universal standards are set.
So, flushable toilet wipes are useful but people should learn to use them if they don’t want to get their sewerage blocked.