Flushable wipes just aren't flushable. They often don't dissolve and form sewage blockages, the largest of which have earned a nasty moniker: fatbergs. The disposable wipes manufacturers are denying responsibility and pointing the finger at cheaper baby wipes — along with disinfectant wipes and makeup removal towelettes.
Kimberly-Clark says its Cottonelle and Scott wipes are made to break down after flushing, and is working with water treatment experts to determine "what exactly is causing sewer and pump blockages," says spokesperson Sarah Lary.
When New York officials ran wipes through the "slosh box disintegration test"—that tested wipes for their tendency to disintegrate enough to pass through a sieve after 30 minutes, all six "flushable" brands failed. Only 9.4 percent of a flushable P&G Charmin brand wipe passed through and just 45 percent of a flushable Kimberly-Clark Cottonelle wipe did.