The Story of the Flushable Wipes That Almost Cost Me $320!
Hip2Save may earn a small commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy here.
Flushable wipes = disastrous pipes. 😱
My unfortunate plumbing disaster took place about 2 years ago when my family and I had moved to Reno, NV. We were in the planning stages of renovating a 1950’s ranch and turning it into our new family home.
And by the way, that renovation is still going on – it has taken much, much longer than we anticipated. 😬
After our move to Reno in the summer of 2018, I remember that we were so proud of how many of our old belongings we were able to purge so that we could start fresh in our new home! However, we weren’t greeted with the freshest experience and I’ll never forget how it happened. 😳
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED ⇓
Something is seriously wrong with our plumbing system…😧
After moving in, we were soon met with the most disgusting sewer backups (evidence pictured above). Excuse me while I go throw up…🤢 Sorry if you were in the middle of eating something tasty!
Our realtor had gotten us a home warranty on the house (which had really come in handy for our NON-working AC Unit), so we thought, “Great! We’re totally covered!” … NOT. Unfortunately for us, sewer issues weren’t covered by the home warranty at all.
You won’t believe what caused our septic fiasco…
After calling a plumber to come out and fix the unsightly problem, he did some troubleshooting and eventually found the culprit — FLUSHABLE WIPES. Yup! Something that’s advertised (in the name no less) actually isn’t supposed to be used for its intended purpose — what the heck?!
Confused and upset at the time, I decided to give the flushable wipe company’s customer service a call. To my surprise, the customer service rep was actually so gracious in the situation as they not only refunded me for the wipes that I purchased on Amazon, but they sent me a prepaid Visa card with the amount we paid to the plumber as reimbursement for the clogged pipes! WOW! 😱
I love great customer service and I was pleased to get that reaction from the company. I mean, that’s $320 I didn’t need to stress about losing! Luckily, my not-so-pleasant situation had a happy ending for my family, but that’s not always the case.
In fact, this plumbing problem is quite common.
Hip Tip: To be sure your toilet paper is septic-safe, do a toilet paper test by placing a few sheets in cups of water to see how quickly they dissolve. If one roll breaks down substantially slower than others, it’s probably not the safest option.
Why are flushable wipes so bad for sewer pipes? 🤔
One of my team members, Amber, is married to a Public Works Sewer foreman, so he gave us the lowdown on why flushable wipes are bad news for sewer pipes. 🚽
- Flushable wipes are bad because they don’t break down as fast as toilet paper when they are flushed, meaning they back up your sewer.
- Even if they flush, they cause issues in your actual piping.
- It’s even worse if they make it through your private sewer lines. This ends up causing problems in the public sewer lines, meaning it causes plumbing issues for you and your neighbors.
- This is actually becoming a well-known issue among consumers and there are groups dedicated to raising more awareness, like nomorewipes.com.
- Wipes actually cause 90% of sewer related issues.
Um, YIKES! 😱 Who knew those seemingly safe wipes could cause so much damage. After the plumbing debacle, our family has been way more conscious about what we try flushing.
Once you go bidet, you NEVER go back the old way! 😜
We had never experienced any plumbing problems like this in our old home, likely because we had a bidet system on our toilets.
By the way, let me tell you, bidets are the most incredible investment ever. It’s like a shower for your butt without having to take the time to actually get in the shower (is that too much info?). 😂 Not to mention that you’ll use way less toilet paper if you have a bidet system.
Below are the dos and don’ts that our plumbing expert shared with us:
So, what can I flush?
- Toilet paper labeled as septic safe
Yeah, that’s it. A good rule of thumb — if it’s not septic-safe toilet paper or human waste, DON’T flush it! Instead, toss it in a garbage can nearby to dispose of it. If you have a poor plumbing or a septic system, you’ll want to be extra careful with the type of toilet paper you flush. Recommended brands include:
- Scott Rapid Dissolve Bath Tissue
- Caboo Tree Free Bamboo Toilet Paper
- Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Toilet Paper
- Betterway Organic Bamboo Toilet Paper
Don’t flush things that are not safe:
- Flushable wipes (or any other wipes for that matter)
- Tampons and sanitary napkins
- Paper towels
- Anything that’s NOT toilet paper
You’ll also want to stay away from scented toilet paper, as it contains chemicals that could harm your septic system. 👎
Anyway, I’m glad that the nightmare is over and it was certainly a lesson learned. Hopefully, this will save you from a plumbing catastrophe like mine in the future!