We all know throwing wet wipes into a toilet is not allowed, but sometimes we may get distracted and throw them there unintentionally. What if you accidentally flushed baby wipes down the toilet? This article will explain all the possible aftermath.
You will learn what happens if you flush baby wipes or any other wet wipes down the toilet. Also, we will explain what steps should be taken to dissolve the wipes that ended up in your pipes.
You will learn why you shouldn’t flush wet wipes down the toilet and how to extract them from it if you accidentally dropped them into it. Also, you will learn
What to Do to Dissolve Wet Wipes You Flushed Down the Toilet?
If you accidentally flushed wipes down the toilet, they can lead to a clog, as well as clog your septic tank, or local sewer system (depending on which one you use in your home). Of course, there are wipes that may be claimed to be flushable, but most of them will not break down even if you use chemical drain cleaners!
Luckily, it is relatively easy to get rid of wet baby wipes that have clogged your toilet. You should simply remove them by hand or with the help of a snake or augur to avoid creating a bigger problem.
To clear a toilet full of baby wipes, put on long rubber gloves and first try to pull them out of the toilet by hand. However, it may not always help, especially if the clog is really big.
If you see that some part of the wipe clog still remains in your toilet, opt for a toilet snake or grabber to pull them out. Here is a detailed guide on what steps you should take:
- If you can see the wipes that have clogged your toilet, reach in and grab them by hand. Remember to put on gloves.
- Avoid flushing your toilet, again and again, trying to force the wipes through the pipes! It will only make things worse.
- If the clog is not big but it’s still there, get your toilet plunger. A plunger will not help remove the clog from your pipes, but it may loosen it enough to pass through by flushing.
- As a last resort, try using a toilet snake also called an augur. It can often save you from having to call a plumber for a clogged toilet! To use it, simply follow the manufacturer’s directions to hook and remove the wipes from your pipes.
Also, we want to remind you that in nearly any case, you should avoid using chemical drain cleaners to remove or dissolve wet baby wipe clogs! These products are unlikely to work effectively, and you may just damage the pipes by accident.
Is It Possible to Dissolve Wipes Stuck In My Toilet?
When it comes to removing a wipes clog, people often rely on chemical dissolvers, but we would not recommend you use them, especially if you have a septic system at home. See, most declogging cleaners will kill the good bacteria in a septic system.
Although some cleaners are specifically designed for use with septic systems, they are still unlikely to show significant results once you dilute them in the whole tank.
In general, no chemicals or products will completely dissolve baby wipes in your toilet or septic tank. Remember this to avoid shop assistants trying to sell you a product that will “surely” dissolve the clog! Many baby wipes are made from synthetic polymers chemically bonded together into a durable cloth. Such a cloth will take quite a long time to break down naturally!
So if you can’t remove the clog yourself, you will probably have to call a professional for help.
Below, we have explained how different chemicals might work on wet wipes and how possible it is that these products could be effective as wipe dissolvers. Read on to be more aware of what to use for unclogging your toilet!
Can I Use Bleach to Dissolve Baby Wipes?
There are recommendations on the internet that advise you to use bleach to dissolve toilet clogs, but the truth is that it is ineffective in dissolving them. In general, bleach can be effective if you need to break down acidic elements (hair, for example) because bleach combines with them to form water and salt, thus breaking up the clog.
But this trick doesn’t work on wipes! The “nonwoven” part of the fabric means there isn’t a place for the bleach to get in and start breaking it down. Still, many of the standard chemical drain openers found in the store contain bleach.
Also, they may contain other active agents. For instance, Drano Max Gel contains a caustic chemical and a cleaner which help to improve its effectiveness against regular clogs. Nevertheless, even this product is still ineffective against baby wipe clogs.
How Will Sulfuric Acid Work Against Baby Wipes Clogs?
A sulfuric acid cleaner is probably the only product that will dissolve baby wipes. However, you must use such products with extreme caution! When using sulfuric acid, you must be wearing protective gloves and goggles and be working in a well-ventilated area.
Sulfuric acid may react violently when poured into the water, thus creating dangerous fumes as it works in the pipes.
You should also never mix sulfuric acid cleaners with bleach-based cleaners! If you do so, the reaction will create a potentially deadly gas! Finally, sulfuric acid can damage your pipes. Although some types of drain cleaners that contain this acid claim to be safe for plastic pipes when used correctly, they can still damage stainless steel or galvanized pipes,
In addition, most varieties of these cleaners and dissolvers cannot be used with septic systems. Because of these risks, professionals recommend that you do not attempt to use sulfuric acid to unclog your pipes.
Now you know what to do to get a wipe clog out of your toilet if you accidentally flushed baby wipes down the drain. Also, we explained why certain unclogging chemicals should be avoided and which ones to use to manage the clog.
Take these tips into consideration and be cautious when using certain products (such as sulfuric acid!), and you will be able to unclog your pipes quite easily!
Can You Flush Baby Wipes Down the Toilet?
Although wet wipes and baby wipes perform the same function as regular toilet paper, they are not the same in their nature. Unlike toilet paper, most wipes are made of a nonwoven fabric. It means it is bonded together using a chemical or heat instead of being woven like traditional fabric.
This makes the wipes strong like a cloth while still remaining soft and disposable. However, this feature also leads to clogging issues in your toilet and pipes since these nonwoven wipes don’t break up like toilet paper.
Respectively, they don’t allow water to pass easily through. This is the reason why the chemical uncloggers you might use on your sink or bathtub won’t work if you get a blockage.
See, most pipe and toilet uncloggers work by coating the pieces of the clog and either making them slick so the clog will release or eating through the problem. However, they will not be able to work on wipes. This is partially due to their size and partially because there is no weave for the chemical to penetrate and loosen.
This is why, if your toilet is completely clogged with wet wipes, using a chemical drain cleaner will do far more harm than good!
At this point, we would like to note that there are so-called flushable wipes out there. These wipes can actually be flushed down the toilet, at least as long as you flush down one or two of them and you don’t do it daily.
Nevertheless, this should not be done regularly! Even so-called washable (or flushable) wipes will eventually result in a massive clog in your pipes!
For sure, if you flush one wipe down your toilet and you do it once a week, you may not experience a clog the first, second, or even the hundredth time you do it.
But if you send a “flushable” wipe through your sewage system daily, with each wipe, you are getting closer to a problem that will eventually cause damage you will have to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to fix!
What Happens If I Flushed Baby Wipes Down the Toilet?
It often happens that we accidentally flush a wipe down the toilet. If this happens, you should immediately check and see if there is an instant clog down there. The clog may still be trapped in the drain. If that is the case and you can actually see the clog, put on a pair of gloves and pull the clog out by hand.
Another scenario is when the clog may be further down the line, but still accessible. In this case, a toilet snake would be an ideal tool for getting it out. This tool is specially designed to be both flexible enough to get through the toilet drain and pipes. Also, it is covered in a protective outer layer, so there is no need to worry that it may damage your toilet or pipes.
However, most families do not have a toilet snake on hand. If this is your case, try using a straightened wire hanger as an alternative clog-removing tool. When using this one, remember you should go more slowly to avoid damaging your toilet!
Also, a straightened wire hanger will not reach far enough. Still, it may be helpful if there is a mass of wipes just beyond the mouth of the drain.
Now you know more about getting rid of a wipe clog in your toilet. You learned whether it is possible to dissolve wet wipes that have clogged your pipes and why certain chemicals should not be used for this purpose.
Also, we told you what tools and products could be used to help you free your toilet pipes from a clog safely and effectively. Finally, you are now aware of the possible aftermath that a wet wipe can have on your pipes!
So remember not to flush them down your toilet (even if the wipes you have are marked as flushable) and keep all the necessary unclogging tools and products on hand. It will help you react quickly should a clog develop.
It can clog your toilet, but usually, you need several of them to block the pipes. Most chemicals don’t dissolve wipes since they can’t affect the material the wipes are made of. To deal with a septic tank, you’d better ask a specialist to do this to ensure the tank is not damaged.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐Will one baby wipe clog toilet?
⭐Does ridex dissolve wipes?
⭐How to dissolve flushable wipes in a septic tank?
It can clog your toilet, but usually, you need several of them to block the pipes.
Most chemicals don’t dissolve wipes since they can’t affect the material the wipes are made of.
To deal with a septic tank, you’d better ask a specialist to do this to ensure the tank is not damaged.