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The Unexpected Culprits: Surprising Items That Should Never Go Down Your Drain

Grease down the drain

by | Aug 10, 2023 | Residential

Greetings, homeowners and plumbing enthusiasts! Today, we’re tackling a topic that often goes unnoticed until it’s too late: the items that should never, under any circumstances, find their way down your drains. We’re talking about those seemingly harmless items that can cause big trouble for your plumbing system. So, grab a seat and let’s dive into the world of the unexpected culprits.

The Perils of Flushing the Wrong Things

It’s easy to think that once something is out of sight, it’s out of mind. However, the truth is that many items that vanish down the drain can wreak havoc on your plumbing. First up on our list of unexpected culprits are wet wipes and so-called “flushable” products. Despite their labeling, these items don’t disintegrate as quickly as toilet paper, leading to clogs that can turn into a plumbing nightmare.

Grease: The Silent Saboteur

Cooking up a storm in the kitchen? While it might be tempting to pour that leftover grease down the sink, think twice! Grease can solidify in your pipes over time, creating a sticky blockage that catches other debris and leads to slow drainage. Instead of pouring grease down the drain, collect it in a container and dispose of it in the trash.

Hair Today, Clog Tomorrow

Hair, oh hair! While it might be inevitable that hair finds its way down the drain, it’s crucial to prevent excessive amounts from doing so. Hair can tangle with soap scum and other debris, creating stubborn clogs that can be tough to remove. Invest in a drain cover or strainer to catch hair before it makes its way into your plumbing.

Cotton Swabs and Cotton Balls: Not Your Drain’s Best Friends

You might think that small items like cotton swabs and cotton balls are harmless, but they can cause major issues for your plumbing. These items can become entangled with other debris and create blockages that lead to backups and slow drainage. Instead of tossing them down the toilet or sink, dispose of them in the trash.

Food Scraps: Don’t Feed the Clogs

Even if you have a garbage disposal, not all food scraps are meant to go down the drain. Starchy foods like pasta and rice can swell when exposed to water, leading to clogs. Fibrous vegetables like celery and potato peels can tangle in the disposal’s blades. Always use your garbage disposal responsibly and consider composting food scraps when possible.

Paints, Chemicals, and Medications: Environmental Hazards

Here’s a double whammy: items like paint, chemicals, and medications can be harmful to both your plumbing and the environment. Pouring these substances down the drain can contaminate the water supply and damage your pipes. Instead of flushing old medications or pouring chemicals down the sink, check with your local disposal facilities for proper disposal methods.

The Bottom Line: Responsible Drain Practices

So, what’s the bottom line? Responsible drain practices are essential for maintaining a healthy plumbing system and preventing unnecessary clogs and damage. Be mindful of what you allow to go down your drains, and educate your household members about proper disposal methods.

Consider implementing these practices to keep your plumbing in tip-top shape:

  1. Install Drain Covers: Use drain covers or strainers in your sinks and tubs to catch hair and larger debris before they enter the drain.
  2. Dispose of Grease Properly: Allow grease to cool and solidify, then scrape it into a container and dispose of it in the trash.
  3. Use the Trash: Dispose of items like cotton swabs, cotton balls, and food scraps in the trash rather than flushing them down the toilet or sink.
  4. Limit Garbage Disposal Use: Avoid putting fibrous or starchy foods into the garbage disposal, and always run plenty of water while using it.
  5. Proper Medication Disposal: Check with local pharmacies or take-back programs for safe disposal of expired or unused medications.

By being vigilant about what goes down your drains, you’re not only protecting your plumbing system but also contributing to a healthier environment. So, let’s give a round of applause to responsible drain practices – the unsung heroes of a smoothly running home!

If you ever develop serious drain issues, SPT Ohio specializes in trenchless sewer repair using a durable pipe lining process that will make your pipes like new with no digging. Schedule a camera inspection to see if you can go trenchless with your repair.