Flushable wipes not so septic safe: Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports

CONSUMER REPORTS — Now that we’re past the pandemic-induced anxiety over toilet paper, there might be a lingering paper problem in your bathroom: Flushable wipes. As the name suggests, they do indeed flush, but after they leave your toilet bowl, problems can

sometimes arise. Consumer Reports explains what can happen to these wipes, and offers a spa-like solution instead.

They might say “flushable” or “septic safe,” but any type of wipe can wreak havoc on sewer and septic systems. They don’t break down like toilet paper does. And these videos show what can happen.

But for folks that prefer that fresh and clean feeling you get from wipes, there’s another way.

“Bidets are having their moment,” said Haniya Rae.

Haniya Rae from Consumer Reports says the initial cost of a bidet seat might be a little steep, but it also might be worth it.

“Wipes are certainly cheaper than getting a bidet, but some of the plumbers we spoke to said wipes are prone to clogs, even the flushable ones,” Rae said.

Bidet seats are different from a free-standing bidet. A bidet seat attaches to an existing toilet and uses clean water from your toilet’s supply line and electricity to produce a stream of warm water that many manufacturers tout as an easier than wiping cleaning experience. So you might end up saving some money and reducing paper waste, too.

Many come standard with an adjustable nozzle, a heated seat, and adjustable water temperature, all operated by a remote or control panel. And if you’re reasonably handy, most can be installed as a DIY project.

Consumer Reports recently asked a couple of dozen bidet users to share some very honest feedback about their bidet seat experiences.

The participants liked this Brondell Swash 1000 and gave it top scores for installation, usability and water temperature, water pressure, and stream angle adjustments.

“There are also basic seats that don’t use electricity. But no electricity means no warm water. Think about how a cold spray would feel down under,” Rae said.

Some non-electric seats can attach to your hot water line so it’s always a good idea to check. Nonetheless, many happy bidet users gave the Tushy Classic top scores for installation, water pressure, and usability, even without the warm water.

Installing a bidet seat attachment requires a little plumbing. and in some cases, you may need an electrician if you don’t have an electric outlet close by. Check out the how-to video at ConsumerReports.com.

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