Can you use flushable wipes in an RV toilet?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can you use flushable wipes in an RV toilet? We will explain what you can and cannot flush in an RV toilet and the reasons for that. 

Can you use flushable wipes in an RV toilet?

No, you should not use flushable wipes in an RV toilet! Truth is, flushable wipes and not that flushable and frequently clog pipes, are sometimes found in rivers, and are a plague for wastewater treatment plants.

 Throwing used wipes in the toilet, what does it actually do?

  • It clogs your toilet and your pipes;
  • It blocks the sewerage network and, even worse, seriously damages it;
  • It creates sewage upwelling in your RV and it causes bad odours;
  • It overflows in nature;
  • It leads to repairs in wastewater treatment plants.

Consequences: it pollutes, damages your RV, and your water bill increases! And believe it: the repairs to be carried out are numerous!

Are we talking about all the wipes?

YES! Even wipes that are biodegradable and/or that “can be thrown in the toilet” according to the inscriptions on the package: reading the manufacturer’s message carefully, additional indications stipulate that the product cannot be thrown in just any place. In short, it is better to avoid.

It is also good to know that a biodegradable wipe actually takes 90 days to degrade, and this, only if it has been placed in a compost bin … By being thrown in the toilet, it, therefore, has plenty of time to talk damage!

The ideal would be not to throw anything in the RV toilet, but it is understandable that you would prefer not to keep dirty toilet paper or the like in a trash can.

What to do if my RV toilet is clogged?

If your RV toilet is clogged (either because of flushable wipes or not), follow the below tips:

  1. Use a plunger: This is a fairly simple solution and one of the most popular drain unblocking equipment. Sometimes it only takes one or two tries and your problem can be fixed in a matter of seconds:

First, make sure there is water in the tub or sink. If there is not already, add 2 to 3 cm;

Next, block any adjoining drain or vent to ensure that there is only one air inlet in the clogged drain;

Then cover the drain completely with the diver’s head, which should form a suction cup from which air cannot escape;

Using both hands, push and pull the diver’s head up and down. It doesn’t matter which way the air passes, as long as movement is created in the drain to dislodge the blockage;

After a few back-and-forth movements, remove the plunger to see if the water is flowing. Then repeat these gestures if necessary. It might take three or four attempts to dislodge some blockages.

  1. Use a mix of baking soda and vinegar: Baking soda and vinegar, when mixed together, can create an impressive chemical reaction that can also be mildly corrosive. This recipe can sometimes eat away at what is clogging your drain.

Just mix the two ingredients. As soon as everything starts to sparkle, pour the mixture down the clogged drain and fetch some boiling water to rinse off the corroded debris.

  1. Or, baking soda and salt: Another potential chemical reaction that you may be able to create from ingredients in your kitchen can be achieved with a mixture of salt and baking soda.

Mix 125 ml (1/2 cup) of baking soda with 125 ml (1/2 cup) of salt and pour everything down the drain.

About 20 minutes later, add boiling water to it. Pour the water down the drain and watch the chemical reaction take place.

  • Some alternative cleaning products for your RV tank are Cascade Platinum Pods, Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda or Drano Max Gel Hose Unblockers. 

Fixing a clogged drain sometimes takes creativity, but sometimes it’s not enough. In this case, call on the real specialist: the plumber.

What items should you never throw in an RV toilet?

To avoid clogging your pipes and polluting the planet, here are 15 things you should never throw in the RV toilet.

  1. Wipes:  Whether they are baby wipes, intimate wipes or disinfectant wipes that are said to be biodegradable, wipes should never be flushed down the toilet. Indeed, they are extremely resistant and are not biodegradable!
  1.  Cotton swabs – The cotton swabs are too small to be intercepted by the filtration screens. Fortunately, they were banned in 2020!
  1.  Cat litter –  Even if some manufacturers say the opposite on their package, it is better to throw the litter and droppings in the trash. 
  1. Toilet paper rolls- Even if biodegradable, a roll of toilet paper nevertheless causes significant difficulties on the sanitation networks.
  1. Chewing gum – It might sound unbelievable, but yes, some people do well flush their gum down the toilet. However, it seems obvious: chewing gum thrown in the toilet will not be disposed of properly. It will attach itself to the pipes and cause damage …
  1. Sanitary napkins and tampons – Pads and tampons do not dissolve in water. Just like the famous plastic packaging that surrounds the tampons.
  1. Contact lenses – Indeed, non-biodegradable, they are small and flexible and are easily found in sewage sludge.
  1. Dental floss – It is sure to curl up on itself, clog your pipes and seriously damage your septic tank, especially the pump motor.
  1. Dietary fats – It may sound strange, but yes, some people have a habit of throwing dietary fats (and even motor oil) in their toilet. However, on cooling, the fats harden and form masses which will clog the pipes.
  1. Bleach – Bleach is extremely harmful to the environment but also to your septic tank. So better to use white vinegar and baking soda to effectively clean your toilet.
  1.  A goldfish or other small animal – Whether it’s dead or worse, alive, you never throw a goldfish down the toilet! Indeed, beyond being completely inhuman if the fish are still alive, it can be harmful to the environment and disrupt the ecosystem.
  1. Medicines – To get rid of expired medications, simply return them to your pharmacist.
  1.  Cigarette butts – Cigarette butts are full of chemicals! Flushing them down the toilet would only pollute the sewage even more and deteriorate your septic tank.
  1.  Condoms – Condoms do not break down in the water. It is therefore inappropriate to flush them down the toilet.
  1. Hair – It’s no secret that hair is extremely bad for drains. This is because, like dental floss, they will not dissolve at all but will clump together and clog the pipes.

The  bottom line

In summary and to keep it simple: the toilet should only be used for faeces, urine and toilet paper that will break down during the wastewater treatment process. All other things have nothing to do in the bowl!

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or comments on the content. 

FAQ on Can you use flushable wipes in an RV toilet?

Why shouldn’t we throw wipes in the toilet?

We shouldn’t throw wipes in the toilets because it entails a risk for your individual sanitation system (pipe blocked by your wipes) but also for the collective sanitation system (wastewater is no longer collected and cannot be drained into the collector).

Where to throw sanitary tampons?

If you don’t know where to throw your tampon, wrap it (either discreetly with toilet paper or in the wrapping paper of your new tampon) and throw it in the trash. After all, it’s as easy to throw it in the trash as it is in the toilet. Make sure to throw the applicator in the trash as well.

Does cotton block the toilet?

Yes, cotton can blog the toilet, because it cannot dissolve in water. Instead, cotton your toilet, especially cotton swabs that can get stuck in the pipes.