Remember that time you emptied your kitty litter into the toilet? Or when you used the kitchen sink to dispose of scraps after dinner? How about that moment you used the bathroom sink to get rid of unused or expired medication?

Throwing different materials and items down your drains can seem okay at first, but the hidden costs can get exposed really quickly. This negatively affects the environment, your home, and yourself, posing serious health and safety concerns. To avoid the risks involved with clogged drain deep in pipes, you have to be conscious of what you throw down the drain. And remember that you can always count on our team of experts.

Here’s our list of the top ten things you should completely avoid throwing down your drain.

Do coffee grounds clog drains?

Yes, coffee grounds lead to clogs. Unlike the majority of other foods, coffee grounds tend to clump up rather than grinding up and washing away. Once they are used coffee grounds become highly fibrous making it hard to dissolve or break down and over time the clump grows in size and hardens with similar characteristics to cement.

Why you should never drain your pasta in the sink.

Pasta is a starchy type of food. It contains lots of fiber, which makes it easy for it to get tangled in the garbage disposal drains. While draining the water alone will not clog your drain, the small noodles that manage to squeeze through during the process will become an issue. The starch granules are the major contributors to pasta disposal problems because they absorb water and swell up blocking drainage pipes in the process.

You should also be careful when straining pasta. Hot water (above 100°F) will likely damage your sink. Most suburban homes have plastic drainage systems and if it melts... it might create a water flooding issue in your house.

Man unclogging pipe

Fibrous vegetables are harder to dispose than most foods

Yes, fibers again. Although the health benefit of fibrous vegetables cannot be overlooked, they don't go so well with your plumbing system. Vegetables like corn, asparagus, and celery have high fiber concentration, which gets stuck in the garbage disposal. Potato peels also have the same issue, clinging to pipes and creating hard-to-remove clogs. 

Oils, butter, and grease should not be disposed through a sink

Cooking fat tends to solidify at room temperature. The same happens when you dispose of it to the drain straight from the pan. The fat can harden inside your pipes causing blockages and producing a strong odor as it turns rancid.

While it seems obvious we should not dispose of oil or grease down the drain, we find ourselves doing it anyway, and contribute to nearly half of all sewer issues in the United States. To avoid this, let the grease or oil congeal in a container which you can throw into the garbage or reuse for different flavors. You should also constantly check for water damages in case you are not aware of the blockage.

Do not throw eggshells in the garbage disposal

The problem with eggshells is that they have sharp edges which often get stuck in garbage disposal motors and pipes. While they look delicate, the shells become sticky when wet clinging on pipes and garbage disposal blades, hardening over time. They are also made of protein which does not dissolve in water, combined with all the other trash like grease, it builds up complicating the problem further.

We recommend composting eggshells or throwing them in the trash bin instead.

Thinking of throwing jellies, gels, or soaps down the drain? Think again

Any material that contains gelatine should not even be close to the sink. So you have two options: your stomach or the garbage can. The more luxurious and gooey they are, the worse they are to drainage systems. Gelatinous substances clump up in the trap under the drain causing slimy blockages that are usually not great to look at.  

It should go without saying, but hair has no place in your drainage system  

By now you've probably experienced the devastation that hair can bring to the drainage system. They go down the drain easily, and then get tangled into a huge mess creating a clog. Hair clogs have flooded entire basements, in which case a sump pump is used to dispose of the excess water and restoration begins.

Since we can't escape the fact that people need to wash their hair somewhere, we highly advise buying a drain protector and attach it to the sink you prefer to use.

Disposal of expired or unused medical supplies will block your drains

Trying to flush that expired or unused medication down the toilet? You are guaranteed a drainage issue.  But what you don't know is that you could even face charges because it is prohibited by law. You are required to dispose of over-the-counter medication by following the safety guidelines highlighted by your state of residence.

Different companies together with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) periodically allow medication take-backs where you can dispose of your medicine.

Woman on phone

No, bath bombs do NOT beautify your drainage system

Beauty sometimes comes at a cost, a huge one when bath bombs are in the picture. The bath bombs look great on social media but given their powdery structure, bath bombs cause clogs on your bathtub and drainage pipes. If the urge to have a bath bomb overcomes you, it is advisable to use a fine mesh drain strainer to collect all that residual powdery stuff.

You could also solve this by pouring salt down the drain, due to its structure, salt is effective in removing bathing bombs powder.

Flour, oatmeal and cornstarch? Also a no, no

Similar to pasta or rice, these products tend to get sticky or gummy when wet. They harden over time proving to be as strong as cement when they block the drainage pumps. With continuous exposure to water, a product like flour coagulates and sticks onto the sides of the drainage pipe causing a plumbing emergency especially if clogged deep in pipes.

It can result in damaged flooring, flooded cabinets, or even an insurance claim. Repairing all these can be quite expensive since special tools like sump pumps will have to be used.

Such tools can come in handy when removing water after flooding among other plumbing issues. At AdvantaClean, we have all the tools necessary and a team of experienced professionals who will fix any plumbing issue in a jiffy. For more information, feel free to contact us  today.   

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