5 Things You Should Never Put Down Your Drain

The drains in your home or business are there for one reason—to carry away wastewater from the toilets and sinks. Unfortunately, too many people think of drains as waste disposal systems, and not the kind that have actual garbage disposal units attached to them. While flushing or pouring something down a drain gives the impression that it’s gone or gone for good, that’s not always the case. All that stuff must go somewhere, and once it gets there it can cause havoc. Here are five things you should never put down your drain.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds seem like they’d break down and fine enough to go down your drain, but they aren’t. In fact, due to their composition, coffee grounds clump over time and eventually clog your pipes. That’s a difficult thing to get rid of, especially further down the pipeline. A better use for coffee grounds is creating compost. Save your coffee grounds in a leak-proof container or bag, then toss them into a composting bin. Your future gardens will thrive.

Grease, Oil, and Fat

Sometimes you lose a little cooking oil, grease, or fat down the drain after cleaning your pots, pans, and dishes. The goal then is to not send too much down the drain, otherwise it solidifies and slowly blocks the pipe by grabbing and holding future bits of detritus. Never pour grease, oil, or fat down the drain, of course—collect it and throw it away with the regular trash. Also, wipe down pans, pots, and dishes with paper towels before you wash them.

Wipes, Napkins, and Paper Towels

Toilet paper is the only other thing you should flush down a toilet besides human waste and water. Any other paper-based or similar product designed to provide hygienic after defecating belongs in the trash. Toilet paper breaks down quickly, but most wipes and similar products do not, even ones that claim to be “flushable”. They can accumulate and not only block your drains but also your sewer line, requiring a more intensive means of clearing them away such as high-powered hydro-line jetting.

Hygiene Products

It’s wise to look after your health and hygiene. But it’s not so wise to dispose of dental floss, feminine hygiene products, prophylactics, cotton balls, ear swabs, and other things by flushing them. Again, they won’t simply disappear from the drain system. They tend to get stuck and hang around, gathering other waste and objects and messing up the plumbing. Such things are especially bad for septic systems, which can overload, flood, and break if they become blocked.

Harsh Chemicals

Here’s the last of our five things you should never put down your drain. Never pour chemicals of any kind down the drain, toilet, or outdoor sewer grates. Depending on their makeup, chemicals can poison the water, kill wildlife, cause fires and explosions, and more. Look up ways to dispose of unused chemicals, but never introduce them to the water supply. This could be a matter of life and death.

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Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.

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