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Exercise care when disposing of wipe products

Welder connecting large sewer pipes

Products such as baby wipes and Swiffer pads are some of the most common household items, and it's easy to understand why: They make life convenient for anyone whose responsibility it is to keep the house spic-and-span. But homeowners should be careful about how they dispose of these products, as improperly tossing them out could end up requiring a visit from an Arlington plumber.

A recent report by CBS Chicago draws attention to problems that utility officials have been having with clogged sewers and pipes, which get stopped up by giant wads of baby wipes. The main problem is that these materials don't break down in water the way that toilet paper does. They might flush down the toilet easily but they'll remain intact, and over time they can build up and cause stoppages, either in your house's plumbing or in the municipal water system.

Many companies, including Charmin and Up & Up, advertise that their wipes can be thrown in the toilet after use. But after performing a test on several brands to determine how easily they dissolve in water, the source found that only one company, Cottonelle, produced wipes that actually deteriorated.

The easiest way to avoid these problems is to toss your used wipes in the garbage or recycling instead of down the toilet. However, if you've noticed recently that your toilet has been stopping up more, or that there have been other problems with your plumbing system, please call John C. Flood today so that we can send one of our friendly Washington, D.C. plumbing experts to check out the problem.