Don't flush those wipes!

I'm usually skeptical about personal lifestyle choices in regards to environmental issues. (e.g. I'm not too big on recycling.)

There is one thing that I'm pretty adamant about, and it's flushing those damn un-flushable "flushable" wipes.

They're destroying our sewer systems.

So stop flushing them!

Thank you.

Normally on this point I'd agree with you. However, I've recently come into a health situation where I have no choice but to use wipes instead of toilet tissue. Believe me when I say, no way can I safely dispose of my wipes in household rubbish that goes to landfill. What else am I meant to do???

I have no access to the kind of sanitary disposal systems that medical centres and hospitals have, or large recreation places where people gather; I can't burn them; I can't dig a hole in my non-existent garden to bury them; I'm not allowed to throw them into the lake beside which we live (I'd be too embarrassed anyway); I certainly can't wash and recycle them... They're bloodied, foul and completely unsuitable for handling. In any way. How do you suggest I get rid of them in a timely, hygienic manner and still manage to work and live a modern life?

Edited to correct spelling

Can't you rinse them off and put them in the trash?

drummerboy said:
Can't you rinse them off and put them in the trash?


Red_Barchetta said:

 You'll be saying Ew a lot more once your local sewer system starts backing up into your front lawn.

put them in a plastic bag then throw them away. Don’t flush them. Even though it says so, they are NOT plumbing safe. Treat them exactky as you do feminine products or diapers.

conandrob240 said:
put them in a plastic bag then throw them away. Don’t flush them. Even though it says so, they are NOT plumbing safe. Treat them exactky as you do feminine products or diapers.

 good answer!

Yup...bagging them beats having them clog your pipes and back waste up into your basement.  They may be flushable if you have perfect modern plumbing, but for those of us on older systems, nope.

We’re not allowed to put faeces into our household collection. Babies’ nappies and wipes can’t go there either. (No, they’re not flushed, but I’m not sure what parents of young children do - I know people who use cloth alternatives, and people with access to commercial collection services). 

Our household collection bin is shared with our neighbours; it’s the arrangement in this over-60s complex, one bin between two units. We live in the tropics. I’m going to put my mouldy, week-old, stinky, rinsed pooy wipes into shared trash???

To put it simply, I have a medical need. With luck this will be over in a couple of weeks. This house is not designed with a sink in the same area as the loo, and my poo is too copious and runny to carry elsewhere to rinse etc. 

There’s a limit to the indignities I can currently live with. Currently I can’t move without disgracing myself. I’m not going to have another anxiety attack over this too, when I’m doing everything else I can right and my neighbours don’t care a fig. 

I spent 4 hours on the loo on Friday, and went through 5 pairs of panties on Thursday. 

I’m humiliated enough. How do you expect me to manage at work???

We have entered the TMI Zone, I think.

drummerboy said:
We have entered the TMI Zone, I think.

 This is the reality of why people like me are using the medical aids. Not for vanity for personal whim. If I could easily walk the few metres to the bathroom to rinse the wipes, then I'd have to sanitise the sink and handles, plus the door handles and any other surfaces I'd touched, every time I made the journey - which is also disastrous for the environment and apparently not great for robust auto-immunity. 

Which trade-off do I shoot for?

(I know all about fat bergs etc; they're as rife here & ive spoken with my local Council)

ideally, I'd use a bidet. It's not possible as we're renting and I can't change fittings. 

But it's important to realise that while we need better solutions quickly, individuals have personal situations demanding customised resolutions in a social setting.

When my son was in diapers, I would wash them in the toilet bowl and then bag them.  Would this work for you?


If you can't put them in garbage or in the toilet, how are they supposed to be disposed of?

joan_crystal said:
When my son was in diapers, I would wash them in the toilet bowl and then bag them.  Would this work for you?

As long as they don't end up in our sewer pipes, it's good.

JJ, that’s what I asked my City Council, who advised me to flush them since my use is of short duration. 

Joan, here, the water level is right at the very bottom of the pedestal below the S-bend. So you’d need with your head almost into the toilet bowl and your arm right into  it before you reach any water. There’d be almost no depth with which to rinse. 

If my ‘room’ had any capacity, I could manage to store some kind of rinse-bucket, but then as I’ve already mentioned I’d need to find a way to manage smells, moulds and contaminating the rest of the very small living space as I carry the bucket elsewhere for sanitising. What space I have already contains a ‘poo stool’ and storage for the fecal continence pads. I have enough trouble safely disposing of those, and I’m not going into details. 

This is hideously embarrassing and I have no idea how people with prostheses manage. 

If you can manage a rinse bucket, can you use the water in the bucket to raise the level of water in the toilet bowl?  Then you could carry the bucket into the room without needing to use the bucket there.

Joan, I can’t fit a bucket in the space, and bending increases the incontinence. 

Honestly, it’s not worth piling on the guilt - anxiety and stress increase the pain and bleeding, worsen the tears and increase the likelihood of surgery (meaning I’ll need a fake anus). (How’s that for too much info??)

I’m trying to avoid the entire surgical intervention in the first place, and didn’t want to start the elemental diet (literally, hypoallergenic baby formula) that set me on this hideous leaky-gut nightmare nearly two weeks ago. 

I’m not going to talk about it any more. 

joanne, you have a real need (and I wish you a speedy and healthy recovery).  If only people in your situation used them, the problem would be far less.  And since you live in an apartment, any consequences are not as directly your problem, which was my concern!


There is nothing to be embarrassed about. This is a medical condition, not some crime you're committing. I've seen it with others and the aides who take care of them understand it not an embarrassment. Its just a bad thing in life.

As for advice on the wipes, since I'm not in your position, I won't lecture you. I know its very difficult and I'm sure you're doing your best in this horrible circumstance.

Before the toilet police swoop in, I would suggest that people show Joanne a bit of compassion, even as her Town Council did, and recognize that in light of Joanne's situation, her flushing the wipes is acceptable for a few weeks.  

Joanne, I am sorry to hear what you are going through.  My son still has "accidents", but fortunately I am able to clean his boxers in the toilet a little before throwing them out.  He gets very embarrassed when this happens, and having it happen when he goes out is his biggest fear, thus he really doesn't go out often. 

As a C-3 licensed operator (sanitary sewer collection operator for a municipality with a population of more than 20k) I can tell you first hand that these wipes can cause many issues in the pipes.  They get caught on protruding pipes and start to collect there until they form a blockage.  When a blockage occurs the sewage exits via the path of least resistance.  This could be a clean out on a lawn, road, or even someone's basement.  So you can see why people don't want anyone throwing the wipes in the toilet.

That being have no choice in your situation, so you do what you have to do to make your life a little easier.  If it is a short term issue hopefully it won't cause a backup.

Good luck.

There are bidet attachments that you, or a plumber, can put on your existing toilet without changing your present fixture.  

Keurig cups are ok though.

joan_crystal said:
When my son was in diapers, I would wash them in the toilet bowl and then bag them.  Would this work for you?

 Did the same with my four kids. When 3 were in diapers at the same time, we had a diaper service take them away and return the white as snow!

When I think about the ‘60s and ‘70s, we impacted our environment far less. 

We raked our leaves, used hand mowers, rinsed and returned soda and milk bottles to the store (incentives were getting our nickel deposits back) Maplewood yards all had clothes lines to air dry laundry, 

And we shoveled snow with the whole family using shovels!

We read and returned library books.

Shredded newspapers, no kitty litter. 

We had a phone in the kitchen with a very long coiled cord - always twisted!

Needing to have a phone in your pocket wasn’t even thought of.

Joanne, so sorry you are having a health related struggle now. I think Joan’s suggestion re toilet rinsing is a good one.

boomie said:
Keurig cups are ok though.

 completely different issue - keurig cups are not a threat to an essential part of our infrastructure.

But thanks for playing.

Joanne: I am so sorry you are going through this and wish you a speedy recovery.  Please don't think I  was trying to tell you not to flush wipes under any circumstance.  Rather, I was trying to find an easier solution for you. I am sorry it won't work in your case. I hope you can work through the feelings of guilt and embarrassment you express on this thread.  You will feel better when you realize that your hopefully short term medical condition necessitates the action you are taking. feel better soonest.

OK. Can we all agree that Joanne is under some set of extraordinary circumstances and she gets a dispensation for the flushing?

Every one else - don't flush!!

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