Items you must never put down the drain 12 Jul 2021

9 Things to Never Put Down Your Drain

We are so accustomed to throwing things down the drain that we don’t even realize when we do it. Whether it is scraps from dinner, batter from a baking project, or even “flushable” items, it is astounding how many different kinds of things can make their way down the drain.

This is highly detrimental to your plumbing system and can cause significant long-term damage. In addition, clogged drains can impact septic systems, water treatment facilities, and cause considerable damage for you to deal with. On the other hand, you can easily protect yourself against draining and plumbing problems by becoming mindful about what and how you throw things away. Doing regular drain cleaning and plumbing checks can go a long way in maintaining your systems as well. 

Here are 9 things you should never put down your drain.

1. Grease

One of the worst things you can do is throw grease down the drain. Fats, oil, and grease are absolute no’s for your kitchen drain because they leave the pipes with a film. As the hot liquids cool, the grease solidifies to create sludge. This thick sludge can be detrimental to your drain, as it can block the entire pipe if allowed to build up! In addition, other items can get caught in this sludge, thus requiring major drain cleaning to remove them.

2. Coffee grounds

Don’t underestimate the power of those tiny granules of coffee! This is a common item we see thrown in the drain. Opt instead for throwing your coffee grounds in the compost because built-up coffee can cause blockages to your pipes. The build-up then fills the drain trap, leaving you with a clogged and slow draining sink. The tiny particles also travel easily, moving to other pipes and systems very quickly. 

3. Produce stickers

Another common cause of drainage problems, produce stickers can cause significant harm to your plumbing system. Many people think that stickers are essentially paper, meaning that they dissolve when in contact with water. While this may be true for the occasional sticker, if you make a habit of letting your produce stickers go through the drain, you’ll be troubled with clogged pipes soon enough. Get into the habit of peeling the stickers off your produce. It’ll be better for the environment and for your drains and pipes. The adhesive on the back of the sticker can stick to the inside of pipes and get caught in water treatment pipes and filters. Ultimately, this can end up in the water supply, which is clearly a practice to avoid. 

4. Eggshells

Eggshells are another big no-no. Many people will throw most of their eggshells in the compost, but small pieces of the shell can make their way to the drain. This can be dangerous because the membrane inside the eggshells may wrap around the shredder ring of your disposal system. Not only does this damage your system, but the eggshell can also only get caught in the existing grease build-up. 

5. Medication and pharmaceuticals

Throwing medicines down the drain isn’t going to clog your pipes. However, it does significantly impact the water treatment and supply systems. While it was generally believed that flushing unused medications were better than throwing them in the trash for safety reasons, this does come at the detriment of water supply systems. Chemical analysis shows that the chemicals from medications remain in trace amounts after treatment. As a practice, it is better to find other ways to dispose of your pharmaceuticals.

6.Flushable wipes

The name would make you think that wipes are okay to be flushed or disposed of through the drain, but this is untrue. Flushable wipes take time to break down and do not dissolve in water as quickly as toilet paper does. An accumulation of flushable wipes can severely impact your plumbing system by clogging it. Instead, make it a practice to only flush toilet paper and safe waste.

7. Feminine hygiene products

This is the cause of great debate, with opinions differing on if it is appropriate to flush feminine hygiene products. Many companies claim that flushing tampons is the most sanitary option out there. However, plumbers in Toronto deal with drain cleaning on an everyday basis, and most would disagree. Feminine hygiene products like tampons don’t dissolve in the water and can quickly get stuck in the crevices of a plumbing system. Another downside is that they can flow through to septic and wastewater treatment systems. The best way to dispose of these products is to wrap them in toilet paper and throw them in the trash. This will keep your plumbing system clog-free and safe  for many years down the line!

8. Flour

Flour tends to thicken in contact with water. At its very worst, flour can form little solid balls, which can cause significant blockages. Flour can also coat pipes, and mix with grease, eggshells, and other small items to create a plumbing mess. If you find the need for emergency drain cleaning in Toronto, reach out to our on-call team for all plumbing and drainage emergencies. When dealing with flour, the best practice is to scrape out any excess flour into the trash before washing the particular dish. 

9. Kitty litter

Flushable kitty litter is marketed to reassure buyers, but it sadly doesn’t hold true for plumbing systems. The debris easily clogs drains and moves through to septic systems. The bacteria in the litter is typically resistant to water treatment chemicals. This means that it can find its way to the water supply and cause major environmental damage. 

There you have it: 9 things you should never throw down your drain! As seen, even less known items like coffee grounds can negatively impact your plumbing system. Precaution can go a long way in protecting your drains. However, when you need professional plumbers’ services, reach out to our team of expert plumbers. We have over 50 years of experience in plumbing and drains, and can sort out your issues in no time. 

For more information on drain cleaning in Toronto, call Brothers Plumbing at 800-742-8471 across the GTA region, or contact us here.

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