Skip to content   Skip to footer navigation 

Kleenex's "flushable" failure

CHOICE says Kleenex’s "flushable" wipes claims are shonky

7 October 2015

At the 10th annual Shonky Awards, consumer advocacy group CHOICE has flushed Kleenex's claim that its "flushable" wipes disintegrate like toilet paper.

CHOICE tests found the wipes held together for 21 hours, while toilet paper dissolves in a few minutes.[1]

"The fact is these so-called "flushable" wipes and cleaning cloths can drain your wallet and clog up your pipes," says CHOICE Chief Executive Alan Kirkland.

It is estimated wipes are costing our water services an estimated $15m per year, with individual consumers hit with personal plumbing bills in the thousands of dollars.[2]

"Our tests clearly show Kleenex has misled consumers into thinking "flushable" wipes perform the same way as toilet paper when in fact they basically fail to break down at all after hours of testing.

"There are lots of similar so-called 'flushable' wipes on the market, but as a major toilet paper manufacturer, Kleenex really should know better.

"On the back of this Shonky accolade, we are calling on consumers to tell Coles and Woolworths to boycott Kleenex‟s flushable claims and clean these products off the shelves.

"It's time to wipe out the advertising spin by telling the supermarkets you want these products off the shelves unless they clean up their acts.

"We need to wipe these claims out. Kleenex's slick promotion of these products is quite literally leaving consumers with a bad smell," Mr Kirkland says.

CHOICE has referred Kleenex to the ACCC.

To join the campaign visit

[1] The CHOICE test compared a number of flushable wipes products with toilet paper. The test rig simulates the pressures on the paper products in the sewer system to determine how rapidly they break down.
[2] Water Services Association of Australia, 7 September 2015

Media contact

Click here to sign up for CHOICE media releases and statements.

If a recent media release hasn't been uploaded to this page yet, you can find it here. 

Note on historical links: CHOICE’s file sharing service Dropbox has discontinued the feature we have used to deliver media assets. This means media releases from 2019-2020 may have broken links to media assets. 

Backups of the assets are available for download here:

We apologise for any inconvenience.