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Drain Disasters: 10 Things You Should Never Let Down Your Sink



We’ve all been there. You’re cleaning up after a meal, and it’s tempting to simply wash everything down the drain. Unfortunately, life isn’t always that easy, and some common household items can cause serious damage to your plumbing system. Your drain might seem like a simple way to dispose of waste, but it’s not designed to handle everything. Items like coffee grounds, eggshells, and even so-called “flushable” wipes can lead to a clogged drain, disrupting your water supply and potentially causing significant damage to your plumbing system. Putting non-disposable things down the drain can also cause environmental problems. Medications, oils, and non-organic materials can pollute our waterways, harming wildlife and disrupting delicate ecosystems.

10 Items to Keep Away from Your Drain

This is why, at Black Lake Plumbing, we believe in the importance of proper waste disposal. To help you avoid a clogged drain, we’ve compiled a list of 10 items you should never put down your drain.

  • Fats, Oils, and Grease

Substances like cooking oil, bacon grease, and other types of fats and oils can solidify in your pipes, leading to blockages. Instead of pouring them down the drain, consider collecting them in a container, (like an empty can or a disposable dish) and throwing them in the trash.

  • Coffee Grounds

Despite their small size, coffee grounds can accumulate in your pipes and cause clogs. Instead, try adding them to your compost pile or throwing them in the trash.

  • Egg Shells

Egg shells can cause blockages and potentially damage your garbage disposal. Composting them instead is a safer, more environmentally-friendly way of disposing of them.

  • Medications and Pharmaceuticals

Flushing medications can introduce harmful substances into our water supply. Many pharmacies offer safe disposal programs for unused or expired medications.

  • Cat Litter

Though small and seemingly flushable when dry, cat litter will often expand with moisture and cause cement-like blockups in your pipes that are a hassle to clean out. Throwing your pet’s leavings in the trash is a much safer bet.

  • Feminine Hygiene Products

These products do not dissolve in water and can cause serious blockages. The trash is the place for these.

  • Flushable Wipes

Despite their name, “flushable” wipes often do not break down properly and can cause clogs. The trash is a much safer place to dispose of them.

  • Uncooked Rice and Pasta

These items can swell and clump together in your pipes, leading to blockages. Always throw uncooked rice and pasta in the trash.

  • Bones and Fruit Pits

These hard materials can damage your garbage disposal and cause clogs. Consider composting them instead.

  • Cleaning Products

Many cleaning products contain harmful chemicals that can damage your pipes and pollute our waterways. Always dispose of them properly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Truth about Garbage Disposals: What Can They Really Handle? 

Garbage disposals are designed to handle small amounts of food waste. However, they are not capable of breaking down everything. Hard or fibrous materials, such as bones, fruit pits, and fibrous vegetables can damage your garbage disposal and cause clogs.

When do You Call a Professional?

Signs of a Clogged Drain

Slow draining, unpleasant odors, and unusual noises can all be signs of a clog. If you notice these symptoms, it’s probably time to call a professional. If you’re dealing with frequent clogs, it might be a sign of a larger issue with your plumbing system. At Black Lake Plumbing, we’re here to help.

Closing Thoughts

Proper waste disposal is crucial for maintaining your plumbing system and protecting our environment. By avoiding the items on this list, you can prevent clogs and keep your drains running smoothly.

Black Lake Plumbing: Your Local Plumbing Experts

At Black Lake Plumbing, we’re committed to providing top-quality service to the Olympia area. We’re here to meet all your plumbing needs in a way that lasts. We believe in getting it right the first time, and we’re always ready to share our knowledge and expertise. To schedule a service, don’t hesitate to contact us. To learn more, you can visit our About Us page.