If you’ve not been keeping up to date with our news here at Metro Rod Deeside (firstly, why ever not?!) you may have seen that we have been conducting an experiment in the office.


The battle against the use of wipes in homes and businesses across the UK has become ever more more prominent in the news over the past year. With calls to help our environment, and pockets, becoming increasingly popular. Big name brands have started to ban the use of wipes from stores, just take a look at this statement from The Body Shop;

“At The Body Shop we’ve discontinued our face wipes and they’ll start disappearing from UK stores as early as October this year. This will be rolled out worldwide from early 2020″

Health store Holland and Barrett have also joined the fight in removing wet wipes from their stores from July this year.

The figures associated with the use of wipes are just astonishing. Not only are wipes contributing to 1% of the hundreds of thousand of blockages in drains; an average wet wipe is roughly a 6-inch (15cm) square, then one year’s worth of wet wipes from US manufacturer Nice-Pak, (the company founded by wet wipe inventor Arthur Julius) would stretch to the moon and back more than 24 times!

So, what have we been doing?

Here at Metro Deeside we’ve had wipes in jars of water, each different brands, to test how long they take to break down. You can check out our original article explaining all the factors we’ve had to consider during this experiment here. Our last update on how the wipes were getting on in their jars is also here.

They’ve been sat for a little over a month now. We have given them the odd shake, just to try and simulate the flow of water the wipes may experience rushing through them if they were in a drainage system.

Wipes are a common cause of blocked drains that we come across here at Metro Rod Deeside. Sometimes, we even have to remove them by hand if there are simply too many or if they are caught on a section of pipework. On the packaging of most wipes you will see “recommended for flushing one (1) wipe at a time.” Unfortunately, you will find most people either ignoring this message or not even reading it at all!

Wipes, fats, oils and grease all contribute to the issues we’ve been seeing on the news regarding ‘Fatbergs’. Take a look at our article all about the famous London Fatberg here! When wipes build up, they catch hold of the fat and grease and solidify. This causes mass blockages which can cause havoc in main sewer lines and private drainage systems alike.


So, how are our wipes getting on?

We’ll start with our first wipe;

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Our first wipe!

Our first wipe!

As you can see the water is starting to look cloudier which shows that the wipe is starting to break down slowly but surely. But even after over a month we can clearly see that the wipes have still retained their structure. We took the wipe out of it’s jar and tried to pull it apart to see how easily it would break apart under pressure. The answer? Not really! After a while in water you would expect the wipe to be able to be pulled apart easily but it still took some pulling to rip it in two!



Tim to look at our second wipe. Similarly with the first wipe, it has turned the water cloudy, but still required a little bit of force to tear apart!


And now our final wipe. We had to tear this wipe as these wipes are slightly larger than the other wipes we have been using in the experiment. We wanted them all to be of equal size to ensure we can compare a little more accurately. Initially we saw this starting to break up more around the teared edge but this seems to have stopped all together! It seems as though this wipe hasn’t changed much since we last looked at it. And it was definitely a struggle to tear apart once out of water!

Our final wipe!

Our final wipe!


Last, but by no means least, our good old toilet paper! As we saw in our last update, the toilet paper pretty much dissolved after around 5 minutes in the jar, we can still see the very fine particles in the jar. This is what we should be seeing, the instant that toilet paper hits your drain it’s a distant memory.

Our final jar, good old toilet paper!

Our final jar, good old toilet paper!


So, what’s the moral of the story?

As you can probably tell, our advice is to avoid using wipes as much as possible! The build up of wipes in drains costs you money in your own private drains and costs everyone money when they make their way into mainline sewers!


We’re conscious that not everyone will be getting rid of wipes in their homes and businesses that easily!


And that is where we at Metro Rod come in!

We find that a big percentage of blockages that our engineers attend are down to wipes. This is due to wipes being flushed in large quantities down toilets in domestic and commercial properties. With our specialist equipment, including High Pressure Water Jetting, we are able to break down the wipes, pull them out of the drains and clear down the blockage caused by them.


If your toilet is flushing slowly or not at all, you are finding dirty water coming through your plug hole, or you’ve got a manhole in your garden which seems to be overflowing, chances are you’ve got  a blockage! If your home or business is located in North Wales, Chester or Wirral, we can help! Take a look at our contact details below!


Are you in need of a reliable and efficient drainage or plumbing solution? Metro Rod Deeside can help you and your businesses or homes with our drainage and plumbing services! Check out our contact details below!

Call us on; 0808 250 9915

Visit our websites; North Wales Area

Chester Area

Wrexham Area

Email Us; [email protected]

Find Us On; Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn

Or connect with Eleri, our Marketing Manager on LinkedIn too!

Metro Rod Deeside operate 24/7 and calls will always be answered directly by an experienced on call manager who can start diagnosing any drainage problems. Our on call manager will also assign you to an engineer who can be on site within a matter of hours. We operate throughout North Wales, including Anglesey, Chester and Wirral areas. We’re able to deal with problems such as;

  • Blocked drains (internal or external)
  • Sink, urinal and mainline drain blockages
  • CCTV surveys of drainage systems
  • Tanker Services
  • Graffiti Removal
  • Robotic Cutting
  • Drain repairs – no dig or excavations
  • Preventative maintenance