What Happens When You Flush Disinfectant Wipes?
After the rise of coronavirus concerns affecting all areas of the country, many homeowners have diligently stocked up on disinfectant wipes, sprays, and cleaners. Even as the pandemic gets less serious, people are still wondering: Can I flush my Clorox or other most wipes down the toilet?
The answer to that question is fairly simple: Nothing besides bodily fluids and toilet paper should ever be flushed down your toilet. Flushing disinfectant wipes can cause serious problems not only for your personal plumbing, but for the surrounding system as well.
Consequences of Flushing Disinfectant Wipes Down Your Toilet
While it may not seem like a big deal to flush disinfectant wipes, the consequences of doing so can wreak havoc on your plumbing. In fact, one representative of the San Rafael Sanitation District in San Francisco equated the practice to flushing rags down the toilet. The wipes get caught up in the pipes, easily building up and causing blockages and overflows. Sometimes the materials can even get caught in your pump and stop it in its tracks.
But the damage doesn’t stop at your front door: Flushing these materials can create larger problems for your city’s sewer systems. According to National Geographic, New York City removed 53,269 tons of “fatbergs” (large masses mostly consisting of multiple wet wipes and bacon grease) from its sewer system in 2017 alone. These fatbergs form together to clog entire sewer systems, easily causing massive sewage backups throughout your hometown.
What If the Disinfectant or Moist Wipes Say They’re “Flushable”?
Even if you’ve purchased disinfectant wipes that claim to be “flushable,” you still should not dispose of them by way of your toilet. The term “flushable” is not regulated, meaning companies can advertise their products as such when in reality they are just as harmful to your plumbing system as those without the label. One representative from the South Windsor Pollution Facility in Connecticut stated that just because it’s flushable doesn’t make it pumpable: Even if your wipes are technically comprised of biodegradable materials, their consistency is too thick and will likely still clog your pipes.
The best way to dispose of Clorox wipes is through the trash. While it may not be an ideal solution for eco-conscious families, it’s a necessary process we must perform in order to protect against the larger issue of sewage backups and catastrophic damage to your plumbing. It’s our responsibility to keep our homes safe and sanitary during this difficult time; throwing away disinfectant wipes is just one more way you can do your part to prevent against the spread of filth and disease.
When to Contact Blind & Sons for Plumbing Services
If you’ve noticed the signs of sewer line clogs in your home, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Blind & Sons to address the issue immediately. Our team of plumbing professionals uses the most advanced industry tools and techniques to get to the root cause of your plumbing problems. We’ll expertly remove the clog from your pipes in no time and restore your plumbing back to proper working condition.