Things That Should Not Go Down the Drain or Flushed

Blocked pipes in the kitchen not only leave a funky smell, but they can cause a lot of issues with the overall plumbing in the home. There are certain substances that should never be poured down the plughole.

We’ve all accidentally rinsed things down the sink— possibly without giving it a second thought. These lapses in judgement can end up costing a lot in drain cleaning costs.

Yes, abusing your plumbing system by allowing too many items to make their way down the sink can lead to pipe failure, which will add up to a costly fix. 

This may mean changing a few habits or getting your hands a little dirty. By putting more time and attention into your home’s drains may save you a lot of money in the long run.

Oils and Cooking Fats

Oil is first on the list because it causes the most blockage with the minimal amount placed down the drains. It creates a nasty, sludgy substance which mixes with other debris, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for water to flow freely. 

Butter and margarine, especially when melted can congeal in the same way as oil, creating a water-resistant barrier. The best way to dispose of fat is to melt it down,  mop up the liquid using a paper towel, and throw it in the trash with the general waste. 

Coffee Grounds

Coffee Granules are not water-soluble and can mix with oil and grease already in the pipes. Grinds should be put in the trash, or composted for use in the garden.

Pasta and Rice

Pasta and Rice will continue to expand the more they are exposed to water, each time the taps run water in the sink. When draining these foods, it is easy for them to slip into the sink–wait for them to cool and fish them out of the sink to prevent this from happening. 


Flour and Water basically make a home-made edible glue–too high a volume of this is a disaster for the pipes. When cooking with flour, wipe down surfaces with a cloth, and collect any leftovers in a bowl to be taken to the trash.

Cotton Balls and Paper Towels

While toilet paper is designed to be flushed down the toilet, the same cannot he said for cosmetic cotton and paper towels, due to the fibrous texture of the materials within these products. Throw them in the trash-they will eventually biodegrade. 

Feminine Hygiene Products

These products are not typically flushable, and although there is debate as to the best and most sanitary way of disposing of these products. Wrap them up and place in the main trash—better yet, try out reusable products, such as washable pads or menstrual cups as they are environmentally friendly, too. 


Flushing medication is not likely to cause too many issues and won’t block the drains. However, exposing these to plumbing systems can result in medication infused water. Disused medical supplies should safely be placed in the trash. 

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