10 Things You Should Never Pour Down Your Drain

It can be tempting to treat your sink’s drain like a garbage hole, but some things you put down your drain can potentially negatively affect yourself, the environment, and your home. While most of your home’s plumbing system isn’t openly visible, you can easily protect it against clogging and corrosion. By instilling healthy habits that are easy to implement and just by being more mindful of what you flush down the drain, you can dodge expensive plumbing problems.

Here are 8 things not to pour down your drain:

Fruit pits/seeds

One of the seemingly unharmful items you may look over and absentmindedly toss down your sink with no second thoughts could be very damaging to your garbage disposal and plumbing system. Peach pits, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and the like are very likely to clog your sink, or even dent and break your garbage disposal’s blades.

Flour

Dried flour left on countertops is already a hassle to remove, so it’s no surprise that dumping flour in your sink will inevitably cause clogging and further damage. Because flour coagulates the moment it’s combined with water, the tacky flour and water mixture can cause your drain to get utterly stuck. And because pastas are made with flour, they will become sticky and catch other things in your pipes. Cooked or uncooked, these shouldn’t go down your drain to avoid damage.

Grease

The fat left in the pan after frying food solidifies at room temperature, and when you pour this grease down your sink, it will likely cool and harden inside your pipes. Not only will this cause drain blockages but also the fat may start to smell as it turns rancid. Grease includes cooked and/or melted fat from meat, bacon, sausage, poultry, skin from boiled poultry, and gravy.

Pasta/Rice

Pasta and rice are to watch out for. Rice grains can swell up and clump together when wet and these clumps can block your pipes. Also, pastas are made with flour, which will become sticky and catch other things in your pipes. Starchy food like pasta and rice should be disposed of properly and never dumped down your drain.

Coffee grounds

Although coffee grounds seem unassumingly small enough to not block your pipes, eventual build up can develop in your pipes and cause blockage and even damage your septic system (should you have one). Dispose coffee grounds in the garbage, or, better yet, use them for composting instead.

‘Flushable’ products

Wet wipes contain congealed grease and will not disintegrate like toilet paper does. These products don’t break down properly and often get caught on other things, leading to large clots in pipes. Another example of ‘flushable’ products includes cat litter, which remains highly absorbent after being flushed down. The toxins from cat feces may also pose a threat to marine life. This damages and harms wastewater treatment centers.

Car fluids

Motor oil, transmission fluids, and other similar chemicals should be kept away from your drain. Although these items keep our cars running smoothly, they can create massive damage to our pipes as well as expose toxic chemicals into the water supply.

Paper products

Paper products such as paper towels, cotton balls, and feminine hygiene products must always be disposed of in the trash because they are extremely absorbent and will easily clog your pipes.

Cleaning products

Many contain phosphates, antibacterial agents, and other compounds that aren’t removed at the water treatment plant and can be hazardous to the ecosystem. A common household cleaning product includes bleach, and although it may not do much harm to your plumbing system when flushed down the drain, it can be more toxic once exposed to other cleaning products that contain ammonia.

Fecal matter

Not only will this clog your drain, but it increases the risk of public infection as well. Although some cat litter claim to be ‘flushable’, these could still carry harmful bacteria and vermin and should never be discarded down your drain.

Maintenance is better than repair

Expensive plumbing expenses are implicated whenever your drains and pipes break down. What better way to prevent this by being more aware of what goes down the sink and avoid expensive plumbing costs. Now, next time you pour something down your sink, be pretty sure that it won’t clog it up or hunt you in the future. Keeping your home and plumbing intact doesn’t always have to be a chore but can also just be a simple everyday habit!

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