How Flushable Are Flushable Wipes In Australia?


Flushable wipes have soared in popularity in Australia over the years, but just how flushable are they really? Studies have found that these wipes may not be as flushable as they claim to be and are actually clogging up Gold Coast city sewer systems and costing millions of dollars to remove. Let’s take a closer look at flushable wipes and the risks associated with using them in your home.

What Are Flushable Wipes?

Flushable wipes, or wet wipes, are small pieces of cloth that contain a cleaning solution and can be used as an alternative to toilet paper. The moist feel of wipes can be preferable to those who dislike the dry feel of toilet paper.

What Does Flushable Mean?

The term ‘flushable’ generally means a product can pass through a plumbing system and into the wastewater system. However, the problem with this term is that it is not regulated by a third party so there can be various meanings attached to it that manufacturing companies can use to their advantage. As such, flushable wipe companies have come up with their own criteria for what flushable means with their claims being largely unverified. 

Flushable wipes packet on toilet
non flushable baby wipe

Why Are Flushable Wipes Not Actually Flushable?

While toilet paper is designed to break down within minutes when in contact with water, flushable wipes are not made like this. Rather than weakening and breaking up, wipes hold their shape for an indefinite amount of time meaning they are far more likely to cause a blocked drain in your home or block larger sewerage systems on the Gold Coast. What about biodegradable wipes? These products can be composted as they will break down in the ground over time but are still not safe to flush down toilets.

What Can Flushing Wipes Down The Toilet Do?

Flushable wipes are unable to break down and will accumulate in pipes until a blockage forms either in your home or most likely in the Gold Coast wastewater system. Wipes can also bind to other items, forming a massive clog that reduces water flow and leads to overflow which can be very costly to fix.

What Can You Safely Flush Down The Toilet?

When it comes to flushing, stick to regular toilet paper and bodily waste. These are the only suitable substances that can safely be flushed down the toilet without the risk of causing blockages and other plumbing problems. Other products to avoid alongside wipes include cotton balls, sanitary products, tissues, paper towels and dental floss.

Got A Blocked Toilet?

If it’s too late to heed the warnings and you have a blocked toilet, don’t panic! Barker Plumbing Services have over 30 years’ experience in unclogging blocked drains and can have your toilet fixed and flushing again in no time. Our friendly plumbers can also give you helpful advice on flushable wipes and preventing a sewer blockage on your property. Give us a call today to book in.

Toilet Paper in toilet
Toilet paper with bathroom background.