It may surprise you that disposable wet wipes have been on the market since the 1970’s. The product was much more expensive to make in those days which drove up the retail price as well. For that reason, many stores didn’t carry them. Over time the costs associated with producing the disposable wipe came down and by the 1990’s you started the see them popping up in stores. Flash forward to the 2000’s and you can find disposable wipes in almost any store.
They have become quite the staple for many people who enjoy that “extra clean” feeling. Parents love them as well to use when their kids get messy, something kids are very good at doing. The wipes usually say “disposable” which mean you can throw them away. They may even say “flushable”, which means they will fit in a toilet drain. However, these terms are misnomers and the disposable wipes of today should not be flushed, most of them anyway.
Only if the wipe says “biodegradable”, “toilet safe” or “safe for septic tanks” should they be flushed. Most wipes are made from a combination of materials including cotton, synthetics and resin. This makes the wipe tough. Tough is good for practical use but it also makes it tough to clear through the drain pipe.
Most disposable wipes are not to be flushed. They easily latch onto debris and get stuck. Once they start getting stuck, other materials easily attach to them quickly forming a major clog. To remove these type of clogs can be expensive.
The best thing to do with a disposable wipe is dispose of it in the trash can. If you require a wet wipe for going “number 2” consider buying thicker toilet paper specifically made to be made wet by running water onto it from the sink. It just takes a half a second and a splash of water to make the toilet paper properly moist. The toilet paper is biodegradable and will not cause clogs and will break down properly in the septic system.