7 Things You Should Never Pour Down the Drain
Have you ever considered what you're putting down your drain? If your answer is "never," you're not alone. I’ve never thought of it before. And then I had to deal with a great problem with clogged kitchen sink drain pipes. Now I know that when it comes to the health of your plumbing, putting any old thing down the drain can lead to major problems—and expensive repairs—in no time. Before you make the same mistake that I did, be sure you know these 7 things you should never pour down your drain.
1. Egg Shells
They may seem easy enough to crack, but actually can cause a surprisingly big problem if you toss them into the sink. Egg shells can pack together when combined with water and create clogs. So again, be sure to scrape it into the trash can first before rinsing.
Think pouring some leftover rice down the drain is no big deal? Think again. In fact, absorbent foods, like rice and pasta, can expand in your pipes and contribute to clogs. If you've got some left on your plate at the end of a meal, make sure you scrape it into the trash can first before rinsing.
3. Mashed Potatoes
Viscous foods like mashed potatoes may separate easily enough when water hits them, but that doesn't mean you can safely use your sink to dispose of them. Mashed potatoes can cause significant plumbing clogs, meaning you're better off tossing them in the trash, leaving as little to be rinsed down the drain as possible.
4. Coffee Grounds
While dumping a cup of coffee down the drain likely won't cause any harm, allowing those coffee grounds to go with it can cause serious trouble. Coffee grounds can accumulate in pipes and cause clogs, potentially leading to an expensive repair in your future.
Surprisingly enough, something as simple as flour can cause a messy plumbing problem before you know it. Flour can clump together when water hits it, seriously clogging your drain and potentially requiring a professional to remedy the situation.
6. Olive Oil
When you've finished with your olive oil, you should be dumping it in the trash as well, not down the drain. While the stuff may seem slippery to you at room temperature, it is often a source of major drain clogs. When olive oil cools—like when it comes in contact with cold water or is left to sit in an uninsulated pipe—it can solidify, causing a blockage in no time.
Have some extra medicine on your hands? Whatever you do, don't pour it down the drain. While it may not clog your pipes, there are even greater risks involved – a lot of prescription medication make their way into our environment, polluting ground water and soil, and harming or even killing livestock and wildlife along the way. Instead, simply return unused medicine to drug take-back locations, like certain pharmacies, or mixing them with substances like coffee grounds, sealing them in a container, and disposing of them in the trash.
Keep these things in mind to keep your drain pipes clean.