Are you guilty of putting things down your drains that don’t belong there? Even if it’s unintentional, putting certain items down your drains can do a number on your plumbing. Sure, washing waste down your drains is usually more convenient than tossing it in the trash, but that doesn’t make it a great idea. At Drain Blaster Bill, we see an endless stream of drain blockages, and the majority of them result from debris accumulation within your pipes. So, to help you keep your drains fully functional, we’ve put together this list of nine items that never belong in your drains.
Hair is notorious for clogging drains, but long-haired women aren’t the only culprits here—facial hair and pet hair are equally guilty. When hair washes down your drain, it gets caught within your pipes, and over time, accumulates a thick, sticky residue. This residue traps other particles that wash down your drain, resulting in a large, dense clog that can be difficult to remove. If your drains are prone to accumulating hair, install drain traps to prevent hair from washing down your pipes and causing a drain blockage.
● Paper Towels and Napkins
Have you ever unexpectedly run out of toilet paper? It happens to the best of us, and it can be tempting to reach for the paper towels or napkins until you make a trip to the store. Don't make that mistake!
Paper towels are not designed to break down in your septic system the way that toilet paper does. When you flush paper towels down your toilet drain, they often become stuck to the inside of your pipes. As they accumulate, they can prevent waste from freely traveling down your toilet drain, resulting in a sewer drain clog. If you’re in a pinch and must resort to paper towels or napkins, always toss them in the trash after use.
● Sanitary Products
Ladies, even if your sanitary products claim to be flushable or septic safe, don’t flush them down the toilet. Cotton can snag on anything inside your pipes, and once caught, it can trap other waste that flows through the system. Over time, you’ll inevitably start plunging your toilet more frequently just to allow it to flush, and eventually, you’ll end up with a severe sewer drain clog. To avoid that headache, always dispose of sanitary products in the trash.
● Cooking Oil and Grease
It doesn’t matter if you have a garbage disposal—oil and grease never belong in your drains. When you pour these products down the drain, they quickly adhere to the inside of your pipes, where they form a sticky residue. This residue traps other particles that flow down the drain, and over time, a drain clog forms. To properly dispose of cooking oil and grease, collect waste in a small container. When you’ve filled the container, either scrape waste into the trash or toss out the entire thing.
● Fibrous Foods
High-fiber foods like asparagus and celery can be a disaster for your drains—even if you have a disposal. These foods contain tough, fibrous strands that do not break down completely, even after they’ve run through your disposal. As these strands wash down your drains, they become caught within your pipes, where they’ll accumulate passing debris. To avoid this type of clog, always compost fibrous food waste or toss it in the trash.
Flour is one of those sneaky foods that unsuspecting homeowners frequently wash down their drains. Unfortunately, even though it seems an unlikely culprit, flour can cause major drain problems. Because flour is highly starchy, it forms a thick, sticky paste that adheres to the interior of your pipes where it builds up over time. This starchy buildup can trap food particles, hair, and anything else that passes by. As debris accumulates, your pipes begin draining slower and slower, until eventually, they stop draining altogether. To avoid a drain blockage, always toss flour in the trash.
● Coffee Grounds
Have you ever heard that it’s a good idea to occasionally toss coffee grounds down your disposal to eliminate drain odors? If so, toss that idea out the window. Coffee grounds don’t belong in your drain—ever. They might appear to wash down easily, but once they’re out of sight, it’s a different story. Over time, coffee grounds build up in your pipes, creating sludgy, slimy sediment that can trap anything that passes by. What’s the result? A severe drain blockage and a call to your local drain cleaning expert.
● Starchy Foods
Much like flour sticks to the interior of your pipes, potato peels and other starchy foods can get caught in your drain, too. If you toss these foods down your disposal often enough, they’ll clump together, forming a sticky, congealed mess. To avoid a drain clog, peel potatoes over your trash can or consider starting a compost bucket.
Need Sewer or Drain Cleaning? Contact Drain Blaster Bill
When your drains are clogged and in need of professional help, it’s time to contact Drain Blaster Bill. We specialize in toilet, floor, laundry, shower, and sewer drain cleaning for homeowners throughout the Twin Cities metro and pride ourselves on efficient, professional service. To learn more about our services or to schedule your appointment, give us a call at 763-913-8719 or message us on our contact page. If you’re ready to get started, feel free to request your free estimate.