5 Things That Should Never Go Down Your Drains

5 Things That Should Never Go Down Your Drains

Most people tend to treat their kitchen sink like a trash can, letting anything that falls in there wash down the drains, never to be seen again – or so they thought. It’s not until we have an almighty blockage in our drains, that all the bits we thought were harmless now come back to bite us. Drains are a delicate and pivotal part of our homes’ infrastructure, and without them, we’d be lost. This is why it’s best to take care of them and not flush just anything down there. Here are 5 things you should NEVER let wash down your drains.

1. Food

It’s best to just come right out and say it, the reason why a lot of the wrong stuff goes down our drains is because of our own laziness. When you’re washing up the dishes it’s always easier to just brush off the leftovers from the plate down the drain. Most drains have a catch that catches the big bits which you can then safely dispose of in a bin, however, the bits that don’t get caught can still cause a problem. The most common perpetrators that can wreak havoc on your drains are pasta, rice, eggshells and bones among other things. Pasta and rice in particular because they absorb water and begin to swell in your drains, forming a sticky, lumpy mass that blocks your drains. Always remember to brush the leftovers into a bin before you wash up to avoid any problems.

2. Oils and Fats

Oil should never under any circumstances be poured down a drain, cool, hot, solidified or other. Pouring hot oil down a drain can damage your pipes, and pouring cool oil down your drain can cause it to solidify and clog up your drains horribly. If you’ve got leftover cooking oil in your frying pan, there are two things you can do to dispose of it correctly.  You can wait for it to cool down before wiping it up with an absorbent paper towel and throwing in the bin. Or you can pour it into a container and wait for it to solidify, then throw it in the bin.

3. Stickers, Paper and Packaging

When you go to the sink to wash off a piece of fruit before you eat it, it seems natural to peel off the little sticker and let it wash down the drain with the water. However, this is not beneficial for your drains, and if those little stickers build up over time, blockages can be developed. This is the same for any small packaging or bits of paper.

4. Coffee Grounds

Once upon a time, people thought that coffee grounds were good for your drains, making them smell fresh like a morning coffee. How wrong they were. When clumps of coffee grounds stick together they form an impenetrable barrier, causing you a bigger headache than caffeine withdrawals. Chuck your grounds in the bin, it’s that easy.

5. Paint and Other Chemicals

This one is less because of the effect on your drains, and more because of the damage to the environment and public infrastructure. Water treatment plans can only do so much to remove chemicals from water, and substances like paints are incredibly damaging to the environment. If you have leftover paint that you want to get rid of, there are companies out there that will recycle your paint safely. This also goes for heavy-duty household cleaning chemicals. You probably think they’ll do your drains a world of good, but their impact on the environment can’t be reversed, as well as their potential to be corrosive and damage your drains.

So What Can I Put Down My Drains?

Overall, it’s pretty simple, solid objects and chemicals shouldn’t go down drains. Drains are for water and soap, and that’s about it. If you have no choice but to put something down your drain that you shouldn’t, just make sure it’s a once-off and not a regular thing.

What Should I Do If I Suspect a Blocked Drain?

If you suspect you have a blocked sink drain, it’s always important to get a professional to look at the damage. Sometimes they can be easily fixed, but sometimes the use of heavy-duty machinery such as drainage excavation may be needed in order to unclog the blockage. If you’re in need of an expert local plumber that can handle blocked drains along with other common plumbing problems, call Metropolitan Plumbing today.

Published: 20 Feb, 2020

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