Plumber Tips: Don’t Flush Your Wet Wipes

There are a number of tasks that go into taking care of your home. Some are much more time-sensitive than others, requiring you to stick to a schedule like watering your garden. Others are simple things to remember in your day-to-day which help to maintain your essential systems. For example, things like remembering not to flush wet wipes can save you thousands of dollars in plumbing bills. It might sound random and superfluous, but regardless of what the manufacturing company says on the branding, or what your best friend tells you, flushing wet wipes can be damaging to the longevity of your home’s sewer system and the environment. 

Whether you’re consulting with a reputable plumber like Chantilly plumbers, or professionals located closer to your residential area, they’ll all tell you the same thing: don’t flush your wet wipes.

Here are a few reasons as to why you should avoid flushing your wet wipes.

01. Decomposition

Unlike toilet paper, which is designed to decompose, wet wipes don’t break apart, even months or weeks after having been flushed. As they don’t decompose, there’s a strong possibility that they’ll form a blockage in your pipes, which you’ll have to pay to get removed. While it’s tempting to dispose of a wet wipe down the drain, particularly if you’re already in the bathroom, it’s just as easy to throw it in the garbage and save yourself the future hassle.

02. Fatbergs

What is a fatberg? Well, this is where a wet wipe combines with grease, fat, and anything else it can grab onto, forming an iceberg-like lump. This can not only cause a stoppage in your drain or pipe, but can also lead to a drainage to back up in your home. These build-ups, or clogs, can also become hard, soaking up more debris that attempts to flow through the pipe. They’re typically more difficult to remove as time goes on, too. Fatbergs can vary anywhere from softball size to over 6-feet long and cost you thousands of dollars to have extracted.

03. Wet Wipes Wall

Much like the way a fatberg can cause a massive blockage in the sewer system, a wipe wall may be just as damaging. When a wet wipe is flushed, there’s always a chance of it getting caught during its journey down the pipes, whether due to an obstacle in the piping or a drastic turn in the pipe, where it gets caught on the corner. Once snagged, the wipes may form a wall, causing damage to the system and potentially a significant backup.

04. Sewer System Damage

As they don’t decompose and can form massive blockages, wet wipes can also cause damage to the larger sewer system—both in your home and beyond. From backups in your home septic system to buildups in the city’s sewers only resolved by manual removal, the potential effects of flushing wipes are wide-reaching. In these circumstances, it’s important to think beyond your own pipes and consider the broader consequences of flushing wipes. 

Routine inspections of your home’s sewage system will ensure it’s efficient and functioning correctly, but refraining from flushing wet wipes will prevent the problem altogether.

Other Considerations

What are some other factors to consider when thinking beyond how this would affect your home? Many experts believe that wet wipes are a major concern with river and main water pollution. For example, in July of 2019, over 23,000 wet wipes were found on the banks of the River Thames in Southwest London. One reason for this is due to the rise in utilizing wet wipes as a toilet paper alternative, as well as general acts of carelessness.

Aside from not breaking down, they’re also a concern for their ingredients; most wipes are held together using resins and chemicals that shouldn’t end up in the sewer system.

With buildups occurring in the rivers and main water sources, it’s likely that these issues are also impacting the natural ecosystem. Similar to the concerns surrounding the plastic rings used to hold bottles together and how they can cause asphyxiation in marine life, the buildup of wipes may actively push animals out of their natural habitats, putting them in danger. 


While flushing a wet wipe down the toilet may be tempting and convenient, the potential for pipe, sewer, and environmental damage makes it an unsuitable option. Instead, avoid issues like fatbergs and wet wipe walls by disposing of wet wipes in the trash. By doing so, you’ll save yourself some expensive plumbing bills in future.

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