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What Not To Put Down Your Kitchen Sink

May 13, 2024
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Imagine having a clogged sink right before an important dinner party or holiday gathering. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can also be a huge inconvenience for you and your guests. The truth is, that most kitchen sink blockages are caused by common items that we put down the drain without much thought.

In this article, we will discuss what not to put down your kitchen sink. By the end, you will have a better understanding of what items should be disposed of differently to avoid potential clogs and plumbing issues. 

The Problem with Kitchen Sink Blockages

Before we jump into the list of items that should not be put down your kitchen sink, it is important to understand why these items can cause blockages. Most kitchen sinks are connected to a sewage system or septic tank that carries waste and water away from your home. 

However, this system is only equipped to handle certain types of waste. When foreign objects or substances are introduced, they can create clogs and backups that not only affect your home but also the entire sewage system.

What Not To Put Down Your Kitchen Sink

Below are 10 common items that should not be put down your kitchen sink:

Grease and Cooking Oil 

Grease and cooking oil are arch-enemies of your kitchen sink. You might think it’s harmless to pour these down the drain since they’re in liquid form. But here’s the catch! When these substances cool down, they solidify and stick to the pipe walls. Over time, this build-up narrows the passage, causing potential blockages. 

Further trouble ensues when other food particles get trapped in the grease or oil, accelerating the clogging process. More importantly, this could lead to costly repairs and could even damage your sewer system. 

To avoid this, consider collecting your grease and cooking oil in a container and dispose of it in the bin once it’s cooled. By doing so, you can keep your sink flowing smoothly and avoid unnecessary plumbing problems. Remember, your kitchen sink isn’t a dumping ground. Treat it right, and it’ll serve you well.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds might seem harmless, but they’re a major culprit in sink blockages. Like grease and oil, coffee grounds cling to pipes and accumulate over time, causing severe clogs. You might think running hot water or using the garbage disposal will get rid of them, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. 

These small particles easily get past the blades and stick to your pipes, leading to a slow drain or even a complete blockage. This isn’t just problematic for your kitchen sink, but can also cause issues in your sewer system that may require expensive repairs. 

Rather than rinsing them down the sink, consider composting used coffee grounds or disposing of them in your rubbish bin. Remember, taking care of your sink is as simple as tossing your coffee grounds in the trash, not the drain.

Flour

Flour might seem harmless – after all, it’s used in baking your favorite treats. However, adding it to your kitchen sink can lead to disaster. When you mix flour with water, it becomes a sticky, glue-like substance. This can stick to your pipes, causing them to narrow and eventually block. Imagine pouring a sticky glue down your drain – it’s the same effect! 

Consider this: would you wash clay or wet cement down your sink? Probably not, due to the damage it could cause. Treating flour the same way can save you from severe plumbing issues. 

Next time you’re baking, remember to clean up flour spills by sweeping it directly into the bin rather than rinsing your countertop off into the sink. A simple cleaning habit adjustment can save you from a blocked pipe headache.

Produce Stickers 

Do you ever wonder about the small stickers on fruits and vegetables? These tiny labels might seem harmless, but they can cause significant plumbing problems if they end up down your kitchen sink. Their adhesive backing doesn’t dissolve in water, so they stick to your pipes, causing them to narrow. Over time, these stickers can accumulate, leading to clogs.

The clogs not only disrupt your sink’s functionality but may also lead to costly repairs or replacements. So, next time you’re peeling stickers off your produce, think twice before letting them disappear down the drain. Instead, make it a habit to dispose of them directly in the bin. This small step could save you from future plumbing woes. Remember, every little bit counts towards maintaining a healthy and efficient kitchen sink.

Rice and Pasta

It’s tempting to tip leftover rice and pasta down the sink, isn’t it? However, doing so can spell trouble for your pipes. When soaked in water, these food remnants expand, acting like a plug in your drain. Over time, they form sticky globs that catch onto anything coming down the pipes. This results in a blockage that will disrupt your drainage system.

Aside from clogging up the pipes, these blockages can become breeding grounds for bacteria. This situation can cause foul odours to emanate from your sink, creating an unpleasant environment in your kitchen. In severe cases, it may even lead to health hazards. 

Instead of putting rice and pasta down the sink, dispose of it in a compost bin or throw it in your garbage. Drain the excess water before disposing of them to avoid attracting pests to your bin. By doing this, you not only protect your plumbing system but also practice responsible waste disposal.

Hair

Scraping hair from your comb straight into the sink seems harmless, right? But it’s not. Hair strands, whether from humans or pets, can cause severe damage to your plumbing system. When wet, hair clings to the insides of pipes, trapping other debris. Over time, this forms a mass that blocks the flow of water.

Hair is resistant to water flow and is not easily flushed away, making it a common culprit for clogs. The damage can be extensive, often resulting in the need for professional help to dislodge the obstruction. Besides the clogging issue, hair in the sink can lead to foul smells as it starts to decompose.

Avoid the hassle and potential expense by brushing your hair before a shower, collecting and disposing of loose strands in the bin. Use a drain strainer to catch any hair that may end up in the sink while washing. This one small action can save your pipes from a world of trouble.

Conclusion

Avoiding these everyday items in your kitchen sink can save you from a lot of stress and costly repairs. If you have already been putting them down, it’s not too late to make a change. Implementing these simple tips will not only keep your plumbing system running smoothly but also contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment.

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