What Not To Throw Down Your Drain

What Not To Throw Down Your Drain

Have you ever wondered what happens to things that go down your drain? Whether flushing, rinsing, or through the garbage disposal, some items cause far more harm than good once they’re out of sight.


Here’s a list of some items that should never go down the drain.

1. Cooking Oil and Grease

Without taking a poll, we could guess that bacon is probably one of your favorite foods. Even though it's delicious, our drains don’t feel the same. Any food item that contains grease shouldn’t be poured down your sink — that means cooking oil also! Grease and cooking oil cause fatbergs, which are mounds of fat and grease mixed with moisture from your pipes that solidify and clog your pipes.

If you happen to throw grease or oil down your drain, boiling water, vinegar, and baking soda to flush out your pipes.

2. Meat or Poultry Bones

Bones are too hard to be thrown down the drain, so they can easily mess with the blades inside your garbage disposal. Always remember to throw bones away in the trash.

3. Fibrous Foods

Stringy fibers have a tendency to wrap about the blades of a garbage disposal causing clogs, jams or worse - causing the motor to burn out.

Food Items:

Pasta and Rice — Semolina pasta and cooked rice continues to swell while wet. Dry pastas and rice will absorb water in the drain, and may cause blockages and other plumbing issues.

Coffee Grounds — According to plumbers, coffee grounds are prime sources of drain blockages.

Egg Shells — These a significant source of waste. When thrown down the drain, bit of shell often collect other debris, leading to clogs and additional problems as they move through the drainage system.

Cooking Oils, Fats, and Grease — These mix with and stick to other waste items. Oils, greases, and fats cause over half of the thirty thousand plus sewer overflows in the United States each year. This category includes the fat, skins, and gravy from meat and poultry products, as well as cooking oils, dairy products, and butters (including nut butters).

Fruit Pits — Garbage disposal blade aren’t designed to grind these small enough not to cause blockages in your plumbing system.

Bones — Small splinters of bone tend to get lodged into drainage pipes.

Citrus Rinds — These can form caps or baskets to attract other debris and cause problems down the line.

Flour — Flour coagulates when wet and will later harden into a mass in your drainage pipes.

Household Items:

Stickers — The small plastic stickers often attached to fruits and vegetables can adhere to the sides of drainage pipes. If they dislodge, they can travel through the system, coating the walls and filters of waste treatment facilities or moving on to pollute waterways.

Paper Towels and Napkins — Though biodegradable, these absorb water, and can easily lead to clogged pipes.

Cleaning Solutions — Many cleaning products contain antibacterial agents, phosphates, dyes, perfumes, and other compounds that can harm ecosystems.

Hygiene Items:

Flushable Wipes — Wet wipes use oils and greases in their formulation. They don’t disintegrate like toilet tissue and can cause expensive damage in waste treatment facilities.

Cotton Balls — Cotton balls expand when wet and tend to cling and stick. This can lead to clogging issues, as well as attracting other debris.

Mechanical/Industrial Items — Antifreeze and transmission fluids are very dangerous to our waterways. Antifreeze is highly toxic and smells sweet.

Pets and wild animals could be poisoned by it. Keep these items well away from drainage systems.

Paint — Like other chemicals, many paints are hazardous to waterways.

Solvents — This is another category of toxic chemicals. If flushed down drains, they will enter waterways and damage ecosystems.

Other Items:

Medicine — Medications contain a staggering variety of elements that can be harmful or deadly if they find their way into the ecosystem.

Flushing creates an avenue for them to do just that.

Animal Feces — Pet waste can clog drains and will attract harmful bacteria. ‘Flushable’ cat litter can carry harmful parasites and should be kept out of drains.

In order to prevent blockages and any plumbing repairs, it’s best to keep a list of things you shouldn’t throw down the drain.

A clean drain is a fast drain. Call our Total Comfort Solutions plumber at

(509) 956-4764 and ask about our drain cleaning services today!


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