Most of us know what should and shouldn’t go down the drain, but sometimes we get lazy, or maybe we’ve formed a habit that’s hard to break. In either case, the following list of things you shouldn’t put down the drain will serve as a reminder next time you’re cooking in the kitchen.
1. Coffee grounds
Though coffee grounds may mask the stench coming from the garbage disposal, when they get down into the plumbing system the grounds can form stubborn clumps, blocking the flow of waste. Rather than throwing them down the drain, add coffee grounds to garden compost piles. The nitrogen in the grounds will help break down plant material and improve soil quality.
2. Cooking grease and oils
When animal fat cools, it hardens. When it’s poured down the drain, it can block pipes and require professional plumbing service. After cooking, wait for the grease to harden and throw it into the trash. When possible, consider reusing oils.
3. Rice and grains
As you know, adding water to rice or dry grains causes the grains to expand. When thrown down the drain, rice and dry grains can clog the pipe.
It takes a while for eggshells to dissolve in water. Even if they’re ground up in the garbage disposal, the membranes could lead to clogs. Toss the eggshells into the trash or add them to a compost heap to protect your plumbing system.
5. Dough and batter
Dough and batter also expands when water is added. Clean off as much batter and dough as you can before washing a bowl or utensils.
Paint should not be washed down the drain because it may dry in the plumbing pipes and crack over time. You may mix paint with kitty litter before throwing it into the trash, but full cans should be disposed of properly through a waste management center.
7. Hazardous chemicals and pesticides
Most household cleaning products are safe to use, but hazardous products like lacquers, paint thinners, and dry cleaning solvents should be disposed of through a waste management center.
8. Flushable and non-flushable wipes
Don’t trust the label on hygiene wipes packaging. The home plumbing system was not designed to eliminate wipes, feminine hygiene products, and other daily grooming products. Use a trash receptacle, instead.