The sink is one of the most important components of any kitchen, as it is where we clean, wash, and rinse the dishes and utensils. However, many of us often forget that the sink is also connected to a drain system that requires regular maintenance and care. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is putting the wrong things down your sink, as it can cause serious damage and clogs that can take a lot of time and money to fix. We will highlight some of the most common items that you should avoid putting down your sink to prevent drain problems.

Maintain a Clear Drain: Eliminate Food WasteA close up image of a drain with a mesh catch filled with food scraps

Throwing food down your drains might seem convenient, but it can lead to significant problems. Even small bits of food, over time, can accumulate and create blockages in your pipes. Unlike liquids, food particles don’t easily flush away with water; instead, they clump together and stick to the sides of pipes.

Over time, this buildup can lead to slower drainage and eventual blockages. Rice, pasta, and other starchy foods can be especially problematic as they expand in water and can easily obstruct water flow. 

Moreover, food waste in your drains can attract pests and create unpleasant odors as it decomposes. To prevent such issues, it’s best to scrape any leftover food into the trash, compost, or a dedicated food waste recycling bin before washing your dishes. Keep your drains clear and your pipes flowing freely by avoiding the disposal of food waste in your sink.

Grease and Oils

One of the most detrimental things that you should absolutely avoid pouring down the sink is grease and oils. These substances have a nasty habit of sticking to the sides of the pipes and gradually solidifying over time. This not only results in serious blockages but can also lead to corrosion and leaks, causing even more headaches.

Avoid Drain Cleaning: Disposal of Grease and Oil

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to dispose of grease and oil properly. Start by allowing the hot grease or oil to cool after cooking. Once it’s cooled, transfer it into a non-recyclable container such as a used coffee can or a glass jar. It’s crucial to avoid using a plastic container as the residual heat can cause it to melt.

Seal the container tightly, ensuring that there are no leaks. Instead of pouring it down your sink, you can toss this container into your regular garbage. For larger amounts of grease or oil, consider local recycling programs. Many cities have designated centers for collecting used cooking oil, turning a potential drain problem into a recyclable resource. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a clear drain and reducing the need for drain cleaning.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds seem harmless, but they’re one of the worst offenders for causing clogged drains. Despite their gritty, seemingly dissolvable texture, they, in fact, can accumulate in your pipes. Over time, they form a dense, thick mass that can be quite stubborn to clear out. Coffee grounds are particularly harmful because they absorb water, expanding and further compounding the blockage. This could lead to expensive drain cleaning or pipe replacement repair bills. Therefore, it’s best to compost your coffee grounds or toss them in the trash, rather than sending them down your sink.


Eggshells are another common item that should not be put down the sink as they can easily get stuck in your pipes and cause blockages. Even if you have a garbage disposal unit, eggshells can damage the blades and reduce the efficiency of the unit. It is best to throw away eggshells in the trash or compost them.

Chemicals and Cleaning AgentsA woman wearing light blue rubber gloves cleaning a kitchen sink

Using cleaning agents and chemicals that contain harsh and toxic ingredients can have detrimental effects on both your pipes and the environment. It is crucial to prioritize the well-being of both by taking certain precautions. 

Make it a habit to carefully read the labels of your cleaning products and ensure their proper disposal. In case you need to dispose of any toxic chemicals, it is advisable to reach out to your local waste management facilities to obtain guidance on the correct and responsible approach. By taking these steps, you contribute to the preservation of a cleaner and healthier environment for all.

Calling a Professional Plumber for Drain Cleaning

There are times when, despite our best efforts, a clogged drain proves to be too stubborn for home remedies. Or perhaps the clog keeps recurring despite your meticulous avoidance. In such cases, it’s best to call in professional help. Plumbing professionals are trained to handle a wide range of drain issues and have the necessary tools and expertise to diagnose and rectify the problem efficiently. 

They can provide drain cleaning services that ensure your pipes are clear and functioning optimally. So, instead of risking further damage to your pipes by attempting to fix a severe clog yourself, save yourself the hassle and potential expense by calling a professional plumber. Remember, the goal is a clear drain, and sometimes, the fastest and safest way to do that is through professional intervention.

Things That Should Never Venture Down Your Sink

Taking care of your sink and drain system is crucial to avoid costly repairs and serious damage to your plumbing. By following these tips and avoiding putting the wrong items down your sink, you can greatly reduce the risk of drain problems and ensure that your plumbing system is in top shape. Always remember that a little bit of care and attention can go a long way in maintaining a healthy and functioning drain system.

When Your Drain Shouts “SOS!” Call Stack ASAP

If you’re in the Avon, OH, Cleveland area and are struggling with a stubborn clog or other plumbing issues, don’t hesitate to reach out to Stack, Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electric. With exceptional expertise and years of experience in the industry, we provide efficient drain cleaning services that ensure your pipes are clear and working perfectly. Place a call at (440) 937-9134 or visit our website to allow our professionals to tackle your drain problems for a hassle-free and comfortable life. Remember, a clear drain is just a call away!

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