10 Common Items That Shouldn’t Go Down the Drain

Feb08 By Drain Service Plumbing
plumber working under sink

Pipes are susceptible to clogging if anything besides water flows down the drain. Some things can’t be avoided, like spitting toothpaste in the bathroom sink, rinsing shampoo from your hair in the shower, and scrubbing food off dishes in the kitchen sink. However, to avoid clogs, the following 10 items should never go down the drain.

  1. Cooking grease: Oil and fat are some of the worst things you can pour down the drain. They are often in a liquid state when hot, but given time to cool, they harden into a gelatinous glob. As you can imagine, having a goopy substance line your pipes spells trouble for the entire plumbing system.
  2. Coffee grounds: Most people enjoy a cup (or two or three) of coffee every morning. Just make sure the grounds end up in your compost pile or trash can, not down the kitchen sink where they can clog the drain.
  3. Eggshells: When they get crushed in the garbage disposal, eggshells break down into tiny, sand-like granules. These particles are particularly detrimental to your drains when they mix with grease and oil.
  4. Fibrous foods: Keep all corn husks, potato peels, asparagus, celery, and other fibrous foods out of the drain. The long fibers can wrap around the garbage disposal blades, rendering them useless against other food particles.
  5. Starchy foods: Starches such as rice, pasta, and flour expand when exposed to water, gumming up your pipes in the process.
  6. Hard food waste: Don’t allow animal bones, fruit pits, or large seeds to flow down the drain. These items could damage the garbage disposal.
  7. Non-food items: The garbage disposal is designed to break down bits of leftover food. Non-food items should never end up in the sink. This includes produce stickers, twist ties, strings, rubber bands, and flower stems, to name a few.
  8. Toxic fluids: If you pour paint, paint thinner, motor oil, or antifreeze down the toilet, it may seem to just disappear. But these chemicals pollute the water and make treatment plants work overtime to make it safe to drink again.
  9. Medication: Place expired medicine in an enclosed container and throw it in the trash, not down the toilet where it can taint the drinking water and poison marine life.
  10. Paper products: Only toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water. Everything else—paper towels, facial tissues, newspaper, cotton balls, even “flushable” wipes—are prone to clogging your toilet.

Despite your best efforts to keep these items out of the drain, clogs may still develop. That’s where Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating comes in! We offer reliable drain cleaning services in the Seattle area to get your pipes flowing freely again. We have been mastering the ins and outs of drains and sewer systems for over two decades, so you can trust our plumbers to find a solution that fits your budget and needs. Contact us online or call (206) 350-0079 to schedule drain cleaning and other plumbing services today.

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