Whether we mean to or not, most of us are guilty of treating the drain in our kitchen sink as another trash can (only worse, because it’s one we never take out). Sometimes, when you’re cleaning up after cooking or just thoughtlessly chucking random bits away, it can be way too easy to toss things down the hole and forget about them. Unfortunately, those items don’t just disappear into the ether and, in certain cases, they can even ruin your pipes.
Although it might seem like no harm when you’re actually doing it, and you may not even see any consequences for months, or years — just know that if you put these things down your drain, you’re asking for trouble down the line. Always ensure you properly dispose of everything in your kitchen. It’s better for the environment at large and your home in particular in the long run.
Certain foods will cause major drain blockage
As Insider advises, keep uncooked rice out of your drain because the grains swell up and clump together once they get wet, leading to major blockage. Likewise, pasta can swell up and clog your pipes, too. Pour boiling water down to shift it or even use some vinegar and baking soda to dissolve the mush. Eggshells might seem relatively low-risk but they can coat your pipes when wet, too, and if this coating hardens it’s hugely difficult to remove.
Used coffee grounds can also cause a serious clog down the line. Wet flour, meanwhile, has a tendency to harden when poured down the drain and wet dough can stiffen into a paste and clog it (wet flour is tough to shift at the best of times, so imagine trying to get it out of your drain). As for cooking oils, and fats such as bacon grease, they cool and harden in your drain, again causing blockages but also leading to foul smells as they turn rancid.
Other items can harm the environment
Outside of foodstuffs, Drain Doctor advises not to put produce stickers down the drain. They can easily slip off, but try to be vigilant as they’re typically plastic and therefore don’t biodegrade, compiling with other wastage to cause blockages. Putting any medications or pills down the drain is very dangerous, because end up in our drinking water eventually, which can even lead to antibiotic resistance over time.
Any harmful chemicals contained in cleaning products, like bleach, and paints should also not be put down the drain because they eventually reach the ocean and lead to widespread pollution. As Insider notes, motor oil shouldn’t be put down the kitchen sink either because, aside from it being illegal to put it down the drain in certain areas, it can contaminate the equivalent of a year’s water supply for 50 people.
If you’re ever uncertain about how to dispose of something in your household, check the label and contact the local authority if necessary.
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