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What Can and Can’t Go Down Your Drains?

What Can and Can’t Go Down Your Drains?

What's Safe to Put Down Your Drain?

You may be causing your drainage pipes a lot more harm than you realize. While a drain is may seem an easy way to dispose of certain items, it could actually be injuring your drain.

When you're washing dishes in your sink or cutting up vegetables, you may think that your garbage disposal and drain are good enough to take care of the waste that you're producing. In reality, you could actually be doing a lot more harm than you realize. In the case of washing your dishes, you may not realize just how much oil you're actually sending down your drain. It may only seem like a little bit of oil here and there, but that oil actually builds up over time. In the case of the vegetables, while your garbage disposal might chop it up, there's still debris that's going to be washed down the drain.

As such, knowing what you can and can't wash down the drain is crucial to the environment and your pipes. To make that understanding clear, this article will go over the materials that can and can't be washed down the drain.

What not to put down the garbage disposalThe Kitchen Sink

Your kitchen sink is going to see a lot of action. Items like fats, oils, and greases shouldn't be washed into the sink. Considering that you're likely going to have them when you cook, you'll have to resist the urge to wash the fat, oil, and grease from your cooking utensils and tools into the drain. These items and crust and harden inside your plumbing, causing clogs.

While this may seem like common sense, you'll also want to keep from washing down anything radioactive or flammable down your drain, too.

Eggshells are a common item tossed into the disposal, keep this out. They can break down into tiny granules that mix with things like grease and oil. When this happens, it can cause clogs in the drain.

Make sure you're also avoiding paint, medication, car fluids, and cleaning products. Instead, keep to non-hazardous fluids.

The only things you should be washing down your kitchen sink are items you can drink, water-based liquids and some very small food particles from meals. Keep in mind, your garbage disposal isn’t built to grind your food byproducts into small debris as secondary waste bin.

The Toilet

Stick to the same rules and principles of your kitchen sink to your toilet's drain. It's made for bodily waste, not actual garbage.

As a result, your toilet can easily become plugged up. It might even damage the drainage system as a whole which can be quite the expensive repair to fix. For those with pets, it may also seem easy and acceptable to flush your cat's litter down the toilet.


Those pebbles, however, can cause a lot of damage. Even flushable cat litter isn't exactly the greatest at being broken down. The only things that should ever be flushed down your toilet are toilet paper, fecal matter, and urine. Those flushable wipes may seem tempting as well, but they can actually clog up the drainage system, too. Items like that are large contributors of things called fatbergs.

Fatbergs are massive, in-the-sewer build ups of fats, human waste, and garbage. At the end of the day, those items are best left to be tossed into a trash can. For those who are embarrassed by leaving those items out in the open, buying a trash can with a lid is a lot cheaper than paying for a drain repair.


If you find that your drains need a little extra help, contact our experienced team at Ken's Plumbing and Heating.
We'll keep your drains functioning!


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