Should We Be Flushing Wipes Down the Toilet?

No! We should never flush wipes down the toilet. The only thing that's safe for your toilet is bodily waste and toilet paper (read: IS SEPTIC SAFE TOILET PAPER NECESSARY? for more insight on how much toilet paper to use).

Wipes do not breakdown, or disintegrate, the same as toilet paper.  When we get a septic emergency call from a household or business that has been flushing wipes down the toilet, it is the worst thing we see for a septic tank and here's why:

  1. "Flushable" means nothing. Products labeled "flushable" are not regulated.  This means there is no testing the product has undergone in order to use the phrase "flushable." Therefore, companies can put "flushable" on anything. Read "Clogging the System: The Feud Over Flushable Wipes" for more details on the havoc being wreaked by flushable wipes. It's estimated that U.S. municipalities spend $500 million to $1 billion annually wrestling with issues caused by flushable wipes in the public sewer systems.
  2. Wipes lead to fatbergs.fatberg is a large, hard, solid mass of waste formed when grease, fats, oil and non-biodegradable solids stick together. These cause clogs and septic backups quickly and often lead to septic emergencies for the need to pump out the fatbergs and wipes that are clogging the system.
  3. Wipes join together on the top of your septic tank to create a solid mass in your septic. With a household that flushes a lot of wipes we'll find that they collect on the top of the tank (see Scum level in diagram below) and stick to each other until they become a layer of impenetrable rags. Imagine taking a pump and putting it into a barrel of wet rags. How long before the pump's motor burns out? That's what can happen in your septic if the system has components like filters or pumps.  Wipes can destroy them.
  4. Wipes cause clogs in your drain. Before wipes even reach the septic tank they can get clogged in your drain and pipes requiring a drain snake and likely a septic pumping.

How a Septic Tank Works

How Do Flushable Wipe Companies Get Away With the Deception?

In an article on, updated July 21, 2022,  Flushable Wipes Settlement Reached: What Cottonelle, Scott, Huggies, Poise and Kotex Buyers Need to Know they report:

Kimberly-Clark Corporation has recently agreed to settle claims that its Cottonelle, Scott, Huggies Pull-Ups, Poise and Kotex flushable wipes are not that flushable after all.

According to a memo filed on April 5, Kimberly-Clark has agreed to pay up to $20 million to end two lawsuits that claimed the supposedly flushable wipes cannot be safely disposed of by being flushed down the toilet and can damage or clog plumbing, septic systems, sewage lines and pipes. Kimberly-Clark denies any wrongdoing but has decided to settle the two cases to put an end to the litigation.

Avoid Septic Emergencies. Post Septic Signage for Guests.

How do you avoid a septic emergency, or an embarrassing backup, because a guest flushed a wipe, or two, or three? Two ideas:

  1. Rent Porta Potties. At Double Flush Septic Services, we actually rent out porta potties to customers having big gatherings all the time. It's more affordable to rent porta potties than it is to pay for septic emergencies. And big gatherings can put a lot of stress on the septic system, increasing the need for cleaning, pumping, inspections, general maintenance and potentially shorten the life of your septic system.
  2. Post Signage. Depending on the gathering, you may want signage near the sink about grease and use of the garbage disposal (if guests will be helping prepare food and clean-up in the kitchen). And you will certainly want signage in bathrooms that guests will be using.  You can either make the signage yourself or purchase pre-made signs on-line, but something that will get the attention of guests and sound like a polite request is likely to get the best response.
  3. Make Trash Cans Accessible. Lastly, make sure that the trash cans, where you want your guests to dispose of wipes, food, grease and other septic killers, are easily accessible and emptied often.


  • Grease
  • Rags and strings
  • Coffee grounds
  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes
  • Sanitary napkins and tampons
  • Diapers
  • Cigarette butts
  • Antibacterial soaps
  • Trash
  • Condoms
  • Bandages
  • Dental Floss
  • Cat Litter
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Other non-degradable products

Emergency Septic Tank Cleaning Wooster


You can do your part to keep your septic tank healthy and reduce the frequency of septic tank pumping. First, don't put anything down your septic system that is non-biodegradable, such as cigarette butts, diapers, paper towels, and more. Plus, installing an effluent filter, which helps to decrease the number of solids that leave the tank helps promote your septic tank's health.


We service the Northern Ohio area including Erie, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties. Our family-owned septic company is the one to call for all of your emergency septic tank services, including septic tank pumping. We can work around your schedule when it's convenient for you, including working on weekends and evenings. Septic services include installations, repairs, inspections, cleaning and maintenance plans.   Rest assured, when you partner with our local, family-owned septic company, your Northern Ohio home or business will be well served. Call to get started today!

Septic Emergency: Flushable Wipes Can Ruin a Party
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