Though flushable wipes are marketed as a safe alternative to toilet paper, many people are still questioning whether or not these innovative wipes are the best choice for their pipes. To test this question, reporters for News Channel 5 of Cleveland, Ohio, took toilet paper and flushable wipes by a couple of leading paper companies and compared them.
To see how these claims hold up, a recent Consumers Report put three wipes, along with plain old toilet paper, through a disintegration test. It simulates what may happen when flushing and gives consumers a look at how the product could affect their pipes. Toilet paper tends to break down in about eight seconds. In contrast, flushable wipes lasted well beyond 30 minutes.
Kim Leman of Consumer Reports said of the experiment, “Although they say flushable, our disintegration tests show they don’t break down easily, which could pose problems with your plumbing or septic system.”
A spokesperson for Kimberly-Clark Corporation, which manufactures Scott and Cottonelle, defended the use of flushable wipes and said in a recent statement, “The Consumer Report article does not identify which test method was used to rate the various tissue products, and the story also indicates that further tested needs to be undertaken. There are industry-standard flushability test methods, which have been peer reviewed and accepted by both tissue manufacturers and public works authorities. Kimberly-Clark has performed extensive testing of our flushable wipes products using these methods and all our flushable wipes products pass the relevant tests.”
A Charmin spokesperson also said Charmin Wipes have been tested and are flushable and compatible with functioning household drain lines and sewerage and septic systems.
So what’s your take? Are flushable wipes a better way to do your business, or is classic Toilet Paper a better choice?