In our fast-paced, convenience-oriented lives, it’s often tempting to send unwanted items swirling down the drain with a flip of the disposal switch. But have you ever stopped to consider the consequences of what we put down our drains? Not everything is meant to be flushed or washed away. Some items can clog pipes, harm the environment, and even damage your home's plumbing system.
In this post, we'll explore 10 things you should never put down your drain. Understanding and following these guidelines can help prevent expensive plumbing repairs and maintain the longevity of your drainage system.
Grease, Fats, and Oils:
These substances might seem harmless when hot and liquid, but they solidify once they cool down, causing significant blockages in your pipes. This can lead to serious plumbing issues like backflows and bursts. Instead, let the grease cool, and dispose of it in a sealed container in your regular trash.
Though they might seem small and harmless, coffee grounds clump together and can cause significant clogs in your drains over time. Instead, compost them or throw them in your trash can.
Eggshells, especially when ground up by a garbage disposal, form a sandy substance that can stick to grease and other debris, creating stubborn clogs. Compost them or put them in the garbage.
Though small, the plastic and adhesive in produce stickers can cause damage. They can get stuck in your pipes or wind up at water treatment plants where they're hard to remove.
Flushing unused or expired medications down the drain can lead to contamination of the water supply, posing potential harm to local ecosystems. Instead, search for local take-back programs or check with your pharmacy for safe disposal methods.
Paint, especially oil-based types, can contain toxic materials harmful to the environment and water supply. Latex paint, while less harmful, can still clog pipes. Better to recycle it or donate unused paint instead.
When mixed with water, flour becomes a glue-like substance that can clog your pipes. Rather than rinsing flour down the sink, sweep it up and toss it in the trash.
Despite their name, "flushable" wipes do not disintegrate as toilet paper does. They can cause serious clogs in your plumbing system and create issues at wastewater treatment facilities. Dispose of them in the trash instead.
Cotton Balls, Swabs, and Feminine Hygiene Products:
These products are designed to absorb, which means they expand when soaked. This can quickly block pipes. Always dispose of these in a trash receptacle.
Pasta and Rice:
Just as pasta and rice expand in a pot of boiling water, they will continue to swell when saturated with water in your pipes, leading to potential blockages. It’s better to compost these or throw them in the trash.
Caring for your plumbing system is more than just a matter of home maintenance—it's an act of environmental responsibility. By consciously deciding what goes down our drains, we can prevent serious plumbing issues, protect our water systems, and contribute to a healthier planet. Keep this list handy and start treating your drains with the respect they deserve.