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6 Things You Should NEVER Pour Down the Drain

There are definitely a few things you should never pour down the drain, and we are here today to talk about them. Have you ever had to deal with a clogged sink or tub drain? If your answer is yes, then you know how much of an inconvenience this can be.

It is true that you can’t prevent any plumbing problems, but if you manage to change some of your habits, we can assure you that you will have good pipes in your home for a longer time than you would expect.

Sometimes, even if you don’t clog your sink, the things that you pour down the drain can still cause damage. Maybe you pollute the wastewater by disposing of harmful chemicals. The health of the world is negatively impacted when such chemicals wind up in our groundwater, rivers, and seas.

So, what are the things you should never pour down the drain?

things you should never pour down the drain
Photo by paul prescott from Shutterstock


1. Cooking grease and oils

We have to start this list by mentioning the No. 1 thing that people tend to pour in their sinks, and that is cooking oil and grease. It is incredibly easy to overlook this and simply dispose of the oil you used to cook in your kitchen sink.

But this is extremely wrong because it has a negative impact on the plumbing system. And not only for the one inside your home but for the neighborhood one too. This happens because of the natural properties of the fats and oils.

What happens when animal fat cools down? Yes, you are right; it solidifies. Now imagine the same thing happening through your pipes. It surely doesn’t sound like good news. If you pour it into the sink, it will clog your pipes.

They don’t even solidify, but vegetable oils like sunflower oil, olive oil, or coconut oil can still coat your pipes, and by doing this, they can retain food particles that can damage the piping system.

In conclusion, be careful every time you cook, and keep in mind that oil and fat are some things you should never pour down the drain.

2. Things you should never pour down the drain? Paint

Ok, you are redecorating your home, and this is great. You’ve been waiting for it for a while, and now you will finally have that fantastic accent wall in your living room. But we have one question: Where do you clean your painting tools?

If you answered the sink, we are here to tell you that this is not the best choice. First of all, even if you have a nice living room, you will also have a stained sink. Pouring the paint you have used down the drain can permanently stain your sink and damage your pipes. This means you will need the services of a plumber, which means you will need to spend additional money.

It is important to dispose of all paints correctly to keep harmful chemicals out of our groundwater. A tiny amount of paint in a paint can that has been let to dry before disposal is often accepted by waste management companies without any problem.

One trick we can tell you about is that if you want to get rid of paint quickly, you can mix it with kitty litter. After that, you can throw it in the trash like you would normally do.

Full cans are regarded as hazardous waste; therefore, you should get in touch with a waste management collection facility to find out how to properly dispose of them in your region.

3. Coffee grounds

Most of us love coffee and cannot start the day without a cup of coffee, right? But we want you to know that coffee grounds are one of the things you should never pour down the drain. This is a dangerous type of waste for your pipes because it can easily stick together and create a hard lump that is not that easy to remove.

And if you throw just a few grounds every day, this is not an excuse. They add up over time, and at some point, you will get a clogged pipe. And as we said, hardened coffee grounds are not the most fun thing to take out of your pipes.

It is difficult to do so, and many times even professionals have trouble with it. It is possible to need to replace the whole pipe, and this is not cheap at all.

If you have a garden, you can use the coffee grounds as fertilizer. Add them to garden compost piles, and you are good to go. They contribute nitrogen, which improves the soil’s functionality and aids in the breakdown of plant matter.

So, keep in mind that coffee grounds are definitely one of the things you should never pour down the drain.

4. Batters and doughs

If you like to cook foods that need batter and dough, remember that they are some of the things you should never pour down the drain. We say this because, as with many other foods, they tend to swell when they come into contact with water. This produces a hardened dough that will clog your kitchen sink.

What you can do instead of tossing them in your sink is to add them to your compost pile or put them in the trash can. Doing this is completely safe and can help you avoid damaging your pipes.

Always clean your utensils and bowls before washing them. By doing this, you prevent rinsing the batter or dough down the drain.

5. Hazardous chemicals and pesticides

The concentration of dangerous substances in certain household cleaning solutions used to clean sinks and toilets is minimal. That means they are safe to use, and you can let them go down the drain.

But there are also many other chemicals that you can use inside your home that are some of the things you should never pour down the drain. Never pour dangerous substances into a drain, including lacquers, paint thinners, and solvents for dry cleaning. Garden pesticides can also be included in this category.

If you want to get rid of these substances, you should call the professionals. They know how to properly take care of waste like this. As correct disposal practices might differ depending on the area, speak with the local waste management collection facility for more information.

things you should never pour down the drain
Photo by fizkes from Shutterstock

6. Prescription medications

Since we are talking about harmful chemicals, we cannot exclude prescription medications. Along with the things you should never pour down the drain, you can definitely find medicines.

If you dump some pills down the drain, be sure that they will probably never clog your pipes since they will dissolve. But the real danger here is not the clogging, but the fact that the chemicals will enter the water system, and this can affect our bodies and our food supply.

The majority of pharmacies accept used drugs for recycling. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is held twice a year, in April and October, by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

If you have to deal with a clogged pipe, you can try a clog remover gel like this one, which you can easily buy from Amazon: Drano Max Gel Drain Clog Remover and Cleaner for Shower or Sink Drains

You should also read: 20 Ways to Effectively Deep Clean Your Entire Home

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