You’re tired, or maybe you’re in a hurry. Perhaps you’re distracted. You’re eager to get on to your next activity – or to taking it easy – and you have a mess to clean up.
Your kitchen sink may well be the right place for some of the items you’ve collected, but unless you enjoy routine visits from a plumber for sink repair, there are some things that just don’t belong in your drainpipes. Here are 10 of the worst, and please don’t think that the fact that you have a garbage disposal will render them harmless.
Your drainpipe has a fixed width. Once you put pasta down the drain, it continues to absorb liquid and swell, taking up more space than you could have predicted. The cause of the swelling is semolina, a flour made from durum wheat. For the same reason, you should never put flour down a sink drain.
Like pasta, rice will continue to take in water. Imagine a cup of uneaten rice, soaking in water, getting soggier and sticker by the minute. It’s not hard to see why you would not want such a substance in your pipes.
3. Egg Shells
Egg shells are a problem in two ways. If you grind them in the disposal, they become an abrasive substance that can actually dull the blades of your disposal. As they travel on, they contribute to a mass of material that can lead to a clog. If you’re trying to keep them out of the trash, they are an excellent addition to your compost pile.
4. Coffee Grounds
Word has it that plumbers count coffee grounds among the most common causes of kitchen sink drain clogs. You can put them in the trash, or if you are a gardener, you can put them around acid-loving plants such as azaleas, roses, blueberries, lilies and evergreens.
5. Cooking Oils and Fats
Cooking oil hardens once it’s down the drain. Unless you run hot water hard enough and long enough to be sure you have flushed it all the way to the treatment plant, find another place for it.
6. Food Fat
As is the case with the fat that you use for cooking, leftover butter, dairy products, nut butters, etc. should not be put down the kitchen sink drain.
The cute stickers on fruit are generally made of plastic. They can stick to the sides of your drains, and if they manage to break free before you have a problem, they can end up sticking to filters in waste treatment centers or, eventually, polluting rivers and oceans.
8. Fruit Pits
A garbage disposal cannot break down a fruit pit thoroughly enough for it to be fully flushed down the drain. This is something else that can go in your compost bin, though it will take a while to decompose.
Even with help from the disposal, you’re not going to be able to fully flush bones down the drain. Find another place for them.
This is a bit of a new entry to a list such as this. You may not cause a clog with that pill you thrown down the drain, but research in recent years has revealed that pharmaceuticals are now a common contaminant in drinking water. Some enter the water supply through sewage, but these have also entered our ecosystem by being flushed down skin drains.
Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
It’s always possible that, despite your diligence, your sink can get clogged. The technicians at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help make short work of this in that does happen. If you follow the guidelines above, we won’t need to visit you often!