What NOT to Put Down the Drain

Don’t you hate it when water starts going down the drain slowly and the next thing you know, you have a clog? And then you hope and pray Drano works to clear it. The plumbing in your house is only designed to handle things like water, human waste and toilet tissue. If you put anything else down them… you know, those things that clog pipes, you can easily end up with a problem. Let’s discuss what NOT to put down the drain.

You may not notice an issue right away, but foreign items can start to build up in the plumbing in your house. When that happens, the pipes in your house won’t flow as they should

There are 5 things that are commonly dumped down drains, and boy can they create some really bad clogs.


cooking oil in a ladle

It can be tempting to just pour hot grease or oil down your sink drain. However, when you do that, if transforms into a lovely hard substance that sticks to the inside of your pipes. Then food sticks to the grease and grease sticks to the food, and grease sticks to the grease…and eventually you have yourself a big greasy clog. And then water won’t drain from your sink no matter what you do. Instead of pouring grease down your drain, pour it in a container that won’t melt, let it cool, and put a lid on it. Or, wait until it has cooled down, and then put it in a container with a lid. Then, you can dispose of it in the trash can.


cat beside a smelly litter box

(Yes, some people dump kitty litter in the toilet)

Kitty litter can keep a litter box from smelling terrible; however, it really needs to be disposed of properly. Even if the bag of kitty litter says it’s flushable, don’t do it. If you do, it will expand in your pipes when its flushed. This can cause a large clog, and you’ll need to call a plumber to remove it. If you don’t want to throw it directly into your trash can, consider putting a disposable liner in the litter box. You can easily throw the liner into your outdoor trash can to keep the smell out of your home.

#3 – HAIR & FUR

woman with a lot of hair that will clog the drain

Yes, it inevitably ends up going down the drain every time we take a shower. And if you wash your dog in the bathtub, fur ends up going down the drain, too. Eventually, it can get tangled and stuck in the pipes on its way down. Then, it slowly causes a buildup of more hair and other debris. You’ll know there’s a problem if you have standing water in your bathtub. Likewise, don’t flush hair down the toilet or wash it down the sink. Those will eventually get clogged, too. It’s best to throw strands of hair in the trash.

#4 – WIPES

package of cottonelle flushable wipes

It doesn’t matter whether they are adult wipes or baby wipes. Your butt might like them, but your toilet pipes don’t. Even if they’re advertised as flushable, plumbers will tell you not to flush them. That’s because they might not break down completely, and they can cause a huge clog.

Just because the packaging claims they’re flushable doesn’t mean they won’t cause a problem. The real problem with wipes is… the consistency can prevent them from breaking down. Anything besides toilet paper should never be put down the toilet because it just won’t don’t break down properly.

#5 – FOOD

banana peel

If your house is on a septic system, no food whatsoever should ever be washed down the drain in your sink. And if you’re house is on public sewer and you have a garbage disposer, there are a few things you should NEVER put down your kitchen sink:

  • Eggshells
  • Large chunks of food, and
  • Large fruit peels like banana or oranges

And the same thing goes for coffee grounds, too. Years ago, people thought coffee grounds were good for their pipes. They though it would keep the pipes clear and smelling fresh.
That’s so not true. Dumping coffee grounds down the drain is like dumping cement down the drain. It turns into a thick clog.

The bottom line is, the pipes in your house can easily get clogged if you put the wrong things down them. Doing so can create an issue that is likely to turn into a major inconvenience, and expense, for you and your family. Save yourself the headaches, aggravation and money by disposing all of these items into the trashcan.

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