We are guilty of dumping and flushing things we shouldn’t, and we’ve all re-evaluated our decisions as the water rose. For the record, here are ten things that should never be dumped down the drain, or flushed away!
If you stop these ten things dumped down in drain, then you never need to use harmful drain cleaner anymore. Read on:
1. Never dumped down fats, grease, and oil
Accounting for a large portion of all clogs, dumping your grease down the drain is a major no-no. Why not? Oily substances not only build up in your pipes, but they also act as glue to trap other particles that are in the drainage system. Oil and water mix together like…well, oil and water. Oil is very resistant to water and can be very difficult to wash away. Of the ten things that shouldn’t be dumped down the drain, this one accounts for a large majority of clogs.
2. Say No to dumping hair in the drain
This is no shock to anyone with long hair who has stood in the shower trying to pull nasty clumps of it free from the drain. Hair is the biggest, and arguably nastiest, the cause of shower clogging.
Why not? Hair not only balls up to clog the drain, but it also becomes a net to catch everything else following it. As anyone who has pulled yards of the stuff from a drain can attest, this is a very hairy situation. When you stop dumping hair in the shower drain, the channel stays open. As a result, you never need to use harmful drain cleaner.
3. Stop dumping expired medicines in the drain
Many people think that because medicine dissolves in your stomach, it should easily dissolve in the sink. This isn’t necessarily true.
Why not? Medications are designed to be broken by stomach acid, not water. Your medications will sit in the elbow of your drain and take a very long time to dissolve. Additionally, there is no filtration device that can remove the medication from water, so you are medicating fish and other wildlife when the medication is finally flushed away; chances are, trout don’t have high blood pressure, and deer don’t suffer from high cholesterol, so these medications are very harmful to the environment.
Before dumping that last little bit of flour down the drain, think twice. Why not? Flour and water can mix together to form glue and can harden to block water from freely passing through the drain. Even, the strongest drain cleaner not going to help you to open it once it gets blocked. Just think of the paper mache that you made with flour and water as a kid; soft and sticky, then rock hard!
Take the few extra seconds to scrape all leftover pasta off of your plate. Why not? It takes a very long time for the pasta to break down into pieces small enough to wash down your drain, and because pasta is flour based, it is prone to forming a sticky, nasty clog. Rice is also in this category because it turns glue-like when left in water and dries into hard blocks.
It’s only natural to want to wash your seeds down the drain simply. They are tiny and harmless, aren’t they? But you should never be dumped down the seed in the drain. Because, many seeds will not only get stuck in the elbow of your drain, but they will also expand once they are there.
Even when broken into tiny bits, eggshells should never go down the drain. Why not? Eggshells have a tendency to clump together when wet and will block your pipes.
8. Cigarette butts
Cigarette butts belong in an ashtray or the garbage, not your toilet or sink. Why not? The filters in cigarette butts expand to absorb water, and the filters are made from materials that do not dissolve.
9. “Flushable” products
From cat litter to baby wipes and everything in between, “flushable” products are anything but flushable. It may seem strange that flushable things would show up on a list of ten things that shouldn’t be dumped down the drain, but plumbers report very high numbers of clogs stemming from these products.
Why not? Most products designed to be flushable are absorbent, meaning they trap liquid. These products expand when wet. Flushable wipes also contain a waxy substance that can help to clog your toilet and make you very popular with your local plumber.
10. Paper towels
You are just taking care of a little business when you notice you are out of toilet paper. No big deal, you spot paper towels on the counter. Why not? Paper towels are not designed to break down easily like toilet paper is. Flushing a paper towel is almost guaranteed to cause clogging because it balls up and fits perfectly into your pipes. This is one that can create an instant and complete clog.
You can save yourself a lot of headaches by simply avoiding any of these top ten things that should never be dumped down the drain. Also, can save a lot of money for not buying any kind of expensive drain cleaner.