The sink drains and toilets in your home often double as trash cans. You might use a paper towel and casually flush it, pour grease in the kitchen sink after cooking a big meal, or let the hair go right down the shower drain. All of these things are bad for your pipes.

Find out what you should never put down your pipes to avoid clogs, backups, and issues that could create damage in the long run. Start treating your drains better, and you will save money on plumbing issues.


What Not to Put Down Your Pipes

Kitchen scraps, paper products, and other things shouldn't go down your pipes. Find out which everyday items you should never put in the sink or flush down the toilet. You will save yourself a lot of grief and avoid big plumbing problems.


They seem so fragile and shatter easily, so it seems reasonable that they can be washed right down the sink. Wrong!

Eggshells have sharp edges that could allow them to get caught up in the pipe rather than slide smoothly down it. These little pieces of the shell can, in turn, capture pieces of food, hair, and debris that eventually become a clog.


 \It's common practice to pour this morning's bacon grease down the kitchen sink drain before you clean the pan. Get out of this habit immediately. Grease should not be poured down your sink at all. Grease coats the inside of the pipe on its way down. As it cools, the grease hardens. It becomes a thick residue that builds up inside the pipes over time. This can lead to serious clogs. Some people take the pan with the grease outside and empty it into the grass. We recommend pouring the grease into a disposable container and throwing it away in the trashcan. Oil-based products and grease of all kinds will do this. Mayonnaise, salad dressing, and butter should also never be poured down the drain!  


No type of medication or drugs, legal or illegal, should ever be flushed down the toilet or put down the drain. This won't cause a clog or plumbing problem in most cases, but it will cause those chemicals to break down and leak back into the drinking water. You can properly dispose of medication and controlled substances at the pharmacy or the police department.

Coffee Grounds

Many plumbers say that coffee grounds are the source of many clogged drains. Always put your coffee grounds in the trashcan or in the compost pile. Coffee grounds are a very rich fertilizer for your outdoor garden and landscaping areas. So-called "flushable" items like baby wipes, makeup wipes, feminine products, and cat litter that claim to be flushable should never be flushed. Despite the promises, these items do not always properly break down in the water and remain in large pieces that clog your pipes. You should throw these items in the trash rather than trying to take a shortcut.

Paper Towels

It seems natural that if toilet paper can be flushed, paper towels can be flushed as well. But these two items are not the same, even when they're sold in the same aisle at the grocery store. Paper towels do not break down in the water the same way that toilet paper does and are much more likely to cause clogs.

Pipe Cleaning Liquid

It may seem strange, but pipe-cleaning fluids may actually do a great deal of damage to your pipes. These chemical formulas are designed to eat away at clogs, which they do. The trouble is, they can also eat right through some pipes. This can create holes and damage in the pipes that create leaks.

The leaking water will attract plant roots, which can then grow into your pipes and cause massive damage. All this may lead to you replacing your drain line, which requires busting up floors or the ground in order to access these lines. The associated repair costs can be enormous. Try a natural option instead.