kitchen sink

10 Things You Should Never Put Down the Drain

Although it’s tempting to just toss everything in the sink, there are some things you should avoid pouring down the drain. Mainly because doing so may cause some severe long-term damage to your drain. Even if you accidentally put some of the items in the drain, quick use of a draining tool would do the job. However, if you keep throwing everything in the sink, there is a high possibility you will soon face a bigger issuer that would require professional assistance. You might ask yourself if having a garbage disposal is even worth it if you can’t get rid of everything through it. The truth is that garbage disposal on its own is a very powerful tool. The pipes, on the other hand, are the most common issue. Some solid foods, or even liquids, stick to the pipes and clog them over time. Others may damage the inside of the pipes. However, the type of your plumbing or pipes is also determent what can go in them and what should stay away. If you’re not sure how to properly keep your pipes tidy, consult with the plumbing experts, and they will advise you on what to avoid doing. Here you’ll find the top ten things you should never put down the drain and the problems it can cause if you do.

repairman fixing a sink
Most common plumbing issues are caused by the things you should never put down the drain
  1. Grease, fats, and oils

You’ve probably heard the saying that two things, or two people, are like oil and water. In other words, they don’t mix well at all. However, oils, grease, and fats mix very well with other waste, which in turn creates drain blockages over time. Statistically speaking, this trio contributes to nearly 50% of all sewer and plumbing problems in the United States.

  1. Eggshells and their small bits

Eggshells on their own don’t seem like a potential issue for your drains. When you send them to the garbage disposal, you might think that was the last of them. But the garbage disposal grinds them into smaller pieces, and those small bits just love getting stuck in your drains.

  1. Flour is one of the things you should never put down the drain

There should never be a scenario where the solution is to pour flour into the drain. And this includes every type of flour. If you care about extending the lifespan of your pipes, your best option is to throw away the flour in the garbage. Mainly because it coagulates when mixed with water. It will coat the edges of your pipes and clog them by catching other bits and pieces you dispose of.

  1. Cotton balls and paper towels

Most paper towels nowadays have a disclaimer that they are biodegradable. Despite this, pipes still don’t like them. Flushable wipes, cotton balls, and paper towels are one of the common issues to be aware of, especially if you’re living in a high-rise building. They are damaging and harmful to building pipes and contribute to the number of repairs in your building. In fact, the more stories a building has, the more potential plumbing issues it has. Mostly because many tenants flush down stuff that should never go down the drain. Even if the wipes and towels you have are eco-friendly, consider disposing of them in some other way.

you should never put down the drain, even the flushable items
Cotton balls can easily absorb the water and clog the pipes
  1. Pasta, noodles, and rice absorb water

Contrary to the above-mentioned trio that doesn’t mix well with the water, pasta, noodles, and rice absolutely love it. They enjoy water so much that if you pour them down the drain, they’ll just keep absorbing it until they swell and block the pipes. So to ensure your plumbing is in the perfect condition, keep this water-loving trio away from the drain. Organic alternatives to these foods don’t cause much harm to your drain. However, even then, your best option is to throw them somewhere else.

a person holding rice
Be careful when you’re washing rice, so the grains don’t fall down the sink
  1. Fruit pits and bones can’t be crushed

No matter how sharp your disposal blades are, they won’t be able to grind fruit pits and bones. Small bone splinters are similar to eggshells, meaning they cause even more waste to be stuck in your pipes over time. On the other hand, fruit pits may even pass completely down your pipes. But if they do get stuck, they can cause some major flooding damage to your home.

  1. Produce stickers don’t dissolve

Speaking of fruit, you should never let produce stickers down the drain. They are most likely to fall off easily in the sink while you’re busy washing the fruits, so you won’t even notice them. It’s actually one of the most common plumbing myths that you can flush the sticker down. However, they are plastic and adhesive, none of which go well with your pipes. They also cause some issues to filters of wastewater treatment centers. Not to mention the environmental harm they cause if they eventually do enter the rivers, oceans, and seas.

  1. Coffee Grounds should never be poured down the drain

If you enjoy a good cup of coffee, you’ll most likely have to deal with coffee grounds afterward. And even if you assume that they’re small enough and won’t clog the pipes, don’t pour them in the sink. The reason for this is that coffee grounds build up in the pipes and cause blockage over time. It is a slow process, but the results are far from pretty.

Instead, try to find other uses for your coffee grounds. For example, they are plenty of reusing and recycling options you can consider. If you’re thinking about where you’ll store them, check out one of the storage solutions. There are many NYC Mini Storage options that are tailored to your needs, especially if you wish to store climate-sensitive items. So instead of throwing away your coffee grounds, turn them into composting and use or donate them for organic farming.

  1. The medication also shouldn’t be flushed down the drain

Never flush your unused, expired, or crushed medication down the drain. Even if that was a trend back in the day. The chemicals in them will leak into the environment and your drinking water. Instead, check your local pharmacy or online tips on how to dispose of them. They have access to medical waste disposal units that keeps them from entering any water supply.

  1. Paint is a potential hazard

It’s generally a bad idea to wash the paint in any sink. And this means any paint, from the one used in art to the one used in decorating your home. It has great potential to pollute the environment, so check with your town where you can safely dispose of it.

Even if you follow all the guidelines, at some point, your drain will clog. One of the best ways to limit the times it can happen is to avoid things you should never put down the drain. However, don’t hesitate to seek professional help for any plumbing issue you might encounter.