You Should Never Pour These 8 Things Down the Drain

A clogged sink or tub drain is one of the most frustrating home problems topped only by a clogged toilet. It always seems to happen at the worst possible moment. Not every plumbing problem can be prevented, but many can by changing our behaviors. There are certain materials that solidify and clog pipes or overwhelm garbage disposals that prevent water from passing through, so if you know which ones they are, you can keep them from going down the drain.

We can also do damage that isn’t immediately evident but pollutes our water supplies by pouring toxic chemicals into a septic system or municipal water supply. Those chemicals end up in our groundwater, rivers, and oceans adversely affecting the health of the planet. Below, you can learn about 8 things to never pour down the drain.


1. Eggshells

Eggshells might seem pretty harmless to go down your drain but you guessed it, it’s a bad idea. Even if you think you are being smart by crushing them, the sharp edges of those small pieces will keep other things from going down the drain like they’re supposed to, which will then result in a clogged sink.

2. Grease

This might seem like something you would not think twice about when you are doing your dishes, but you cannot let grease go down your drain either. This, overtime, can build up and clog your pipes.

Any other oil-based products should not be going down the drain either, like butter, mayonnaise, salad dressing etc. If you have any grease you need to dispose of, wait for it to cool and then throw it in the trash.

3. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds like to stick together and form a lump in plumbing pipes that just won’t budge easily. So, even a few grounds every day can begin to add up to a problem. Luckily, coffee grounds have uses around the house and are a great addition to garden compost piles. They add nitrogen that helps break down plant material and boost the performance of the soil.

4. Flour

When flour is mixed with water it creates a paste that is most likely to clog your pipes too. If you have worked with flour, regardless of whether it is mixed with water or not, you should dispose of it in the trash.

That way you don’t have to worry about clogging your sink.

5. Rice and Grains

When water is added to rice or dry grains, they expand. If you pour them down the sink, they do the same thing and clog the pipe. Add the grains to the compost pile or dispose of them in a garbage bin.

6. Doughs and Batters

Just as uncooked rice and grains can swell in water, so can batters and dough. Take the time to add it to the compost pile or scrape it into the trash before washing bowls and utensils to prevent rinsing it down the sink.

7. Paint

Pouring paint down the drain can leave your sink permanently stained and your pipes in need of a plumber. Every type of paint should be disposed of properly to prevent the chemicals from entering our groundwater.

Most waste management companies will accept paint cans that have a small amount of paint that has been allowed to dry out before disposing of the can. Paint can also be mixed with kitty litter before disposal. Full cans are considered hazardous waste and you should contact a waste management collection center for proper disposal procedures in your area.

8. Flushable and Nonflushable Wipes

Many brands of personal hygiene wipes claim to be flushable but none of them are actually that good for your plumbing system. Attempting to flush too many wipes forms a ball that will clog the toilet and never dissolve. The same is true for condoms and feminine hygiene products. Keep a small lined trash can beside the toilet for their disposal.

Paper towels, cotton balls, make-up pads, and disinfecting wipes for cleaning or hand sanitizing should also be disposed of properly in a trash can—never down the toilet.


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