15 things you should never put down the drain.
I was in the middle of a busy morning, baking pies and cookies for farmer’s market. The kitchen was hot from the oven, the counters piled with dishes that needed washed, and I needed to leave in a couple hours. But the kitchen drain wasn’t working. Water just sat there – barely seeping down at all. I finished my baking and went to market – but as soon as I got home I went to work on my sink.
Not only was I baking for farmer’s market, but my parents were staying with us for a few months as well. So, I had extra cooking and no working sink!
If you have ever had a drain backed up, you know how frustrating it can be. I gave my kids a little lecture that day, about what can and cannot go down the drain. It wasn’t their fault – I forget to tell them things, sometimes. Teaching our kids practical life skills, right? I mean, it might not be quantum physics or deeper spirituality – but every kids needs to know what NOT to put down the drainpipe!
Here is a list of 15 things you should never put down your drain.
Bacon fat. All animal fats harden when cool. This can stick to the side of your drain pipes and quickly cause a blockage. This includes: sausage grease, beef grease, chicken fat, and any other animal grease or fat.
Coconut oil. It may be good for your health but it is certainly deadly to your drainpipes! Put it in the trash.
Melted lard. Like bacon grease, it is animal fat and will harden in pipes.
Melted crisco. Same as lard.
Flour. Small amounts in regular cleanup is ok, but don’t allow large amounts of flour to go down the drainpipe. Flour mixes with water and other debris in your pipes to form a paste. Not good.
Oil. Though oil is a liquid, it is a sticky liquid that can mix with other stuff to cause blockage.
Rice. Grains of rice can continue to swell when wet.
Pasta. Same as rice. It swells and has a sticky substance that causes problems.
Coffee grounds. Surprisingly, plumbers say that coffee ground are a common problem. I never thought of putting them down the drain, but I guess it happens! Just because they are small particles, doesn’t mean it’s ok to wash them down the drain! Compost them or put them in the trash.
Ice cream. All dairy products can have a solidifying effect in your kitchen pipes. The fats and thickeners used can form clumps and clog your drain. This includes butter, cheese, and more.
Gravy. Gravy usually has fat or thickeners in it. Both have clogging effects.
(You can order a drain snake on Amazon through my affiliate link:)
I bought a drain snake and ran it through my drain – but it was too short. My husband finally had to borrow a bigger, extra long snake to get the drain clear. It was a mess! Apparently the kitchen drainpipe is pretty long before it connects to the main pipe. Anyways, I was glad to have a working drain again. I was starting to feel like Ma Ingalls – tossing my dishwater out the back door! 🙂
I hope this list helps you avoid the yucky problem of a stopped up drain! If you have kids who do your dishes, share it with them. It may prevent a mess. 😉