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Are Flushable Wipes Flushable?

Are Flushable Wipes Flushable?

CREATED Dec 30, 2013

Companies like Cottonelle and Charmin heavily advertise their flushable wipes. They sound so convenient. But plumbers make a lot of house calls that involve clogged toilets, backed up sewer lines, and flooded basements. Often the culprit is flushable wipes.

Consumer Reports checked out four flushable wipes from Cottonelle, Charmin, Scott and Equate. They all say they're flushable and make claims like "sewer and septic safe" and "breaks up after flushing."

In Consumer Reports' standard tests, toilet paper breaks down quickly. But when testers ran the same test with the flushable wipes they didn't break down at all. Consumer Reports gave up after ten minutes. Testers even ran them for ten minutes in a mixer, the wipes still didn't break apart.

Consumer Reports did find that after soaking overnight, two of the products did break down, Cottonelle and Scotts. But even after 12 hours, the ones from Charmin and Equate still stayed in one piece.

Consumer Reports advice, if you use these products don't flush them down the toilet.

Complete Ratings and recommendations on all kinds of products, including appliances, cars & trucks, and electronic gear, are available on Consumer Reports' website.  Subscribe to ConsumerReports.org.