While drains offer convenient disposal solutions for a variety of liquids and solids, there are plenty of things that don’t belong down your kitchen or bathroom drain.
Here’s a brief guide to cover some of the most-talked-about topics when it comes to drains: what to not put down the kitchen sink, and what do you do with chemicals that are not safe to pour down the drain.
What to not put down the kitchen sink
Regardless of whether you have a garbage disposal or not, some items and substances should never go down the drain. Not only can some of the items on this list potentially cause clogs in your home’s plumbing system, but they’re also potentially harmful to the environment.
The worst things to put down a drain include:
- FOGs: Fats, oils and grease (FOG) belong nowhere near a drain. They can congeal and mix with other debris to create a sticky sludge that increases the risk of clogs.
- Medication: Medicine poses no danger to your home’s plumbing system, but it presents a huge risk to the environment. Medication that goes down the drain, whether in your kitchen sink or even down the toilet, can enter and pollute the water supply or groundwater.
- Flour: When flour and water mix in a drain, it’s a recipe for disaster. The two combined create a glue-like substance that leads to stubborn clogs.
- Hazardous chemicals: There are many chemicals and hazardous liquids that should never be poured down a drain, including antibacterial household cleaning products, paint, car fluids and flammable liquids.
- Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds aren’t water soluble, which means they can stick to pipes and combine with oils and other substances to form clogs.
- Flushable products: Products that claim to be flushable, such as kitty litter and wipes, should never go down the drain. Many of these products don’t break down completely, causing clogs and even carrying toxins with them as they enter the water supply.
- Paper goods: The only paper product that should go down a drain is toilet paper. Place everything else (including cotton balls, paper towels and feminine products) in the garbage can.
What do you do with chemicals that are not safe to pour down the drain?
The sink is no place to dispose of potentially hazardous chemicals. Not only are these pollutants harmful on their own, but they can interact with each other to form even more hazardous pollutants. For example, ammonia and bleach can react to form toxic gases that are harmful to both people and pets, not to mention the water supply.
If you’re disposing of paint, any cleaning products with antibacterial agents or phosphates, car fluids or flammable liquids, be responsible, and never pour them down the drain. Instead, reach out to your local hazardous waste collection agency for advice.
Part of responsible homeownership involves developing a basic understanding of what not to put down the kitchen sink and other drains in your home. By being mindful about what goes down your drains, you protect your family, the environment and even your home’s plumbing system.
For more information on the dos and don’ts of home plumbing, reach out to the experts at Orchard Plumbing today.