14TH ANNUAL CHOICE
10 OCTOBER 2019
Kleenex Flushable Wipes
You could be forgiven for assuming the word "flushable" on a Kleenex wipe product means you can flush it down the dunny. Well, technically you can – but it's a really bad idea and you certainly won't make friends with the plumbers of the world.
We still have a bit of a chuckle when we imagine the Kleenex execs sitting around the boardroom trying to dream up this new money-maker: "By Jove, we've got it. We'll re-invent toilet paper!"
Actually, the execs doubled down, since these wipes are designed for use "with" toilet paper. Kleenex also claims its kids' flushable wipes disintegrate "like toilet paper", which would be great ... except they don't.
To see what happens when people flush these deluxe towelettes en masse, CHOICE paid a visit to a local water treatment facility and saw firsthand just how gummed up the works can get. Water services across Australia aren't big fans of this type of product, not least because wipe-related damage is estimated at $15 million and growing. That might come as news to Kleenex, which claims its flushable wipes break down in sewerage systems.
Clearly, Kleenex flushable wipes are sewer pipe-unfriendly, and we don't think they're consumer-friendly either. Why pay extra for something flushable that you really shouldn't flush? And guess who has to pay the plumber when they block up your pipes?
Isn't being the facial tissue king enough for this world-striding brand? A Shonky for you, Kleenex.
Take action to stop the sale of wipes labelled 'flushable'
CHOICE thinks that until wipes labelled as flushable can truly disintegrate, they should not be available for sale.
Video: Kleenex flushable wipes put to the test