An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

Is it okay to flush disinfecting wipes?

EPA urges Americans to only flush toilet paper. Disinfecting wipes and other items should be properly disposed of in the trash, not the toilet. These wipes and other items do not break down in sewer or septic systems and can damage your home’s internal plumbing as well as local wastewater collection systems. As a result, flushing these wipes can clog your toilet and/or create sewage backups into your home or your neighborhood. Additionally, these wipes can cause significant damage to pipes, pumps, and other wastewater treatment equipment. Sewer backups can be a threat to public health and present a challenge to our water utilities by diverting resources away from the essential work being done to treat and manage our nation’s wastewater. Disinfecting wipes, baby wipes, and paper towels should NEVER be flushed. 

Return to Frequent Questions about Wastewater and Septic Systems and Coronavirus (COVID-19).