3 Things You Should Never Put Down The Drain

Just as there are certain items that should not be thrown in the trash, there are a few things that should never enter your home's plumbing. Here are three items that you should avoid putting down the drain to prevent clogging and contamination, and avoid expensive repairs.

Oily and Fatty Food Waste

Garbage disposals are excellent for grinding up food scraps and making the after-dinner cleanup much easier, but there are a few things that your sink can't handle even with a garbage disposal. The problem with fatty and oily foods is that they will always harden at some point inside your plumbing, even if you rinse them down the drain with hot water.

In many cases, the hardened grease will create a clog that is deep in your home's plumbing, far from the sink where you poured it. These clogs often require expensive professional repairs. Examples of oily and fatty foods that should never go in your drain are meat trimmings and grease, shortening, large amounts of butter or margarine, and cooking oil.


It may seem surprising that rinsing gelatin down the drain can cause a clog, but the problem is that gelatin will expand while it is in prolonged contact with the water in your drain. Be aware that gelatin is not only found in fruity gelatin desserts, but also in many other treats such as marshmallows, gummy candies, and even candy corn.

Toxic Chemicals

There are so many toxic chemicals that people make use of on almost a daily basis that it can be easy to forget the danger that they can pose to the environment. Many chemicals that are not normally disposed of through a home's plumbing system contain toxins that cannot be properly removed at a water treatment facility. Toxins that are not filtered out can cause harm to marine life and even make their way back into drinking water supplies.

As a general rule of thumb, ask yourself if you would want to ingest the liquid you are about to pour into the drain before you do so. If the answer is no, think twice. Some specific examples that you should avoid pouring down the drain are paint, pesticides, auto fluids, bleach, and other home cleaning products.

Always think carefully about what you are putting down the drain in your home, and be sure to avoid these items that are known to cause problems. If your sink is clogged, contact a plumber like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating.