We know that wet wipes lead to clogs. Now it’s time to explore why wipes don’t break down the way we expect them to.
Wet wipes are made from non-natural materials
are made out of synthetic materials and formed into non-woven fabrics. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but this makes it much harder for wipes to degrade.
Most flushable wipes are held together by things like:
These materials are durable — which seems like a good thing. But it actually means your wipes are much harder to get rid of.
Wet wipes are extremely durable
Wet wipes are durable because they’re made with durable materials. And since they don’t degrade quickly or easily, they form huge clogs. These clogs are so common that they actually have a special name: fatbergs.
Fatbergs are huge masses that clump in sewer systems. They’re a combination of flushable wipes, oil, and grease. Not only are fatbergs pretty gross, but they’re also incredibly expensive to resolve.
Wet wipes aren’t actually flushable
We already mentioned that there’s not a lot of regulation around what’s considered “flushable.” And wet wipe companies take advantage of this with clever marketing and packaging. Well, until a Canadian research study decided to put their claims to the test.
They analyzed 100+ kinds of flushable wipes and published the results in Forbes. And they found that out of all of them, none of them were actually flushable. “Flushable” in this case means a wipe breaks down or degrades in sewage system conditions.
Naturally, this leads to a lot of confusion. If wipes aren’t flushable, then how do you dispose of wet wipes? Why would a company market their product as flushable if it wasn’t?
This is why it’s important that you don’t flush your wet wipes. Compost them or throw them away in a separate waste bin instead. This prevents fatbergs from forming. It prevents serious sewer backups. And it’ll save you money in the long run.