The Scientific Verdict: Don't Flush Wipes | Billy the Sunshine Plumber

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The Scientific Verdict: Don't Flush Wipes | Billy the Sunshine Plumber

A Canadian research group recently studied the flushability of baby and cleaning wipes. The conclusion: “It is evident that none of the products other than bathroom tissue are ‘flushable.'” If you do flush them and get a clog you can’t fix, Billy the Sunshine Plumber will help.

You’ve decided to take a long, slow walk through Tom Varn Park this morning partly as a way of putting off those house cleaning chores. You’re particularly interested in delaying the bathroom cleaning. Not only do you detest cleaning the bathroom. the toilet seems to be having flushing problems. It’s taking several flushes to clear stuff from the toilet.

Sounds as if you have a clog forming. You might want to check what you’ve been trying to flush. If it’s anything other than toilet paper – like baby or personal cleaning wipes – you’ve been tempting the fates where clog formation is concerned. It doesn’t matter if the wipes are labeled “flushable,” they’re not. They not only put your plumbing in danger of clogs, they can also damage the environment because they “contained plastics like high-density polyethylene. These human-made materials are thought to be added to wipes to make them more durable, but they can break down into microplastics that are known to pollute the environment and that might (the jury is still out) cause health issues in animals and humans,” according to. noted that a research group at “Ryerson University in Toronto recently tested 101 products available in Southern Ontario, half of which were marked as flushable, by recreating a toilet and private drain connection in the lab, and the results were not pretty. One thing they tested for was dispersibility, which is how easily the product breaks down in smaller pieces, an important criterion to prevent toilets and drain lines from clogging up. Only 11 products fully disintegrated and they were all samples of toilet paper. The team found no evidence of disintegration for the baby and cleaning wipes they tested. And while bathroom tissue took on average fewer than two flushes to clear the line, cleaning cloths required four, with some baby wipes needing more than five.”

Lest you think the test results apply only in Canada, the group concluded that “North American flushable wipes are not flushable.” There are some “flushable” wipes but they’re available in Japan, not in North America.

Other takeaways from the research:

  • Independent scientific testing so far indicates that the vast majority of so-called flushable wipes should not be flushed down the toilet but should be disposed of in the trash can to prevent costly clogging.
  • “Laboratory analyses have failed to distinguish between wipes marketed as flushable and those sold as non-flushable.
  • “Many so-called flushable wipes contain plastic fibers to reinforce them, but these synthetic fibers can degrade into polluting microplastics once the wipe is flushed.”

No matter how careful you are, sometimes clogs happen. When they do and you are unable to clear the clog yourself, call the trusted Tampa Bay plumbers at Billy the Sunshine Plumber.

Billy the Sunshine Plumber has been the Tampa Bay 24-hour plumber of choice since 1924 when he first opened for business. Billy the Sunshine Plumber is open 24/7/365 in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. Days, nights, weekends, or holidays. Billy the Sunshine Plumber is always here for you, even on holidays.

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