What Are Maceratable and Flushable Wipes?
28th Jan 2020
When providing personal care, safe disposal of single-use products is critical to keeping patients healthy.
Alongside impeccable bedside manner, compassion and skill, personal care tasks are made easier for both patients and carers alike when assisted by the right equipment.
For a range of hygiene needs, an appropriate wet or dry wipe makes the task considerably easier. Conveniently removing soilage while also caring for the skin, wipes can be quickly removed from a packet, without needing an additional moistening or cleaning product to be added.
Once used, the wipe can be disposed of, eliminating the need for multiple-use products and reducing the spread of healthcare-associated infections.
Macerators are key to the safe removal of waste from hospitals and care homes. A ‘maceratable wipe’ is designed to be compatible with these machines.
To dispose of human waste and the single-use products which can accompany it – such as pulp bedpans, urinals and commode pots – macerators are essential.
Using a series of blades to pulverise the waste into fine particles, a macerator will then flush the remaining matter through the normal sewerage system, preventing exposure to harmful bacteria and thus preventing infection.
If wipes have been used by the patient or clinician, it can’t be assumed that these are suitable for maceration as well.
Only a wipe that has been explicitly labelled as ‘maceratable’ can put inside these machines. Any other wipe will cause clogs, jams and expensive sluice room maintenance issues – not to mention damage to the facility’s plumbing as a whole.
Are maceratable wipes eco-friendly?
In short – it depends on the wipe and how it’s been made.
Maceratable wipes that are biodegradable are often assumed to be an eco-friendly solution, but they actually take several years to break down completely – and often contain harmful microplastics which remain in the environment even after the biodegradation process has occurred.
This probably isn’t the eco-friendly solution that you perhaps imagined from the label of ‘biodegradable’ – and it’s precisely why your choice of wipe should be carefully considered.
Rather than opting for a wipe that’s biodegradable alone, look for a wipe that’s compostable. They break down completely into non-toxic components and must prove to do so within 180 days (at an industrial composting facility) in order to be classed as such.
Not only will a compostable wipe reduce harm to the planet, but it’ll be kinder to the plumbing in your facility, too.
Are maceratable wipes flushable?
If a wipe is only classed as biodegradable, you shouldn’t attempt to flush it down the toilet – it’ll still block the pipes because they take so long to biodegrade.
A wipe that’s truly flushable will not only be compostable, but dispersible in water as well..
For added assurance, look for EDANA & INDA certifications.
Working alongside member companies, these associations develop the definition of what a ‘flushable’ product should be, as well as suitable technical test methods for the product to pass.
Are maceratable wipes multi-purpose?
Not all maceratable wipes are multi-purpose, but a well-rounded product such as Hygenex Maceratable & Flushable Wipes will be.
Hygenex dry wipes provide gentle cleansing for personal care, while also being strong enough to support surface cleaning, too. These advantages are effective in helping clinicians be more efficient in their work, by increasing defences against infection in the patient’s general environment.
Not only are Hygenex wet and dry wipes multi-purpose, but they are fully compostable, have passed all seven tests for EDANA & INDA standards of flushability, and are suitable for all skin types and parts of the body – including intimate areas.