Things You Should Never Put Down Your Drain

clogged kitchen sinkEverything that goes down your home’s drain lines can come back to haunt you.

That’s right; the system is only designed to accommodate waste of a specific kind. If you allow something to go down the drain that you really shouldn’t, then you will have to deal with the slew of issues that come with it. You can save yourself lots of headaches by learning what you should never put down there.

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Best Ways To Avoid Clogged Drains Bethlehem PA

One of the best ways to prevent the hassle of a clogged drain is by understanding what can do down a drain and what can’t. In this article, we will discuss some common culprits that lead to plumbing issues with your drains.

Be Conscious Of FOG: Fats, Oils, And Grease

cooking greasePicture what happens when a grease/oil container is left out in the open for a while. It becomes viscous. It could even congeal into a solid mass on a cold enough day. That’s pretty much what happens when you let fats, oils, and grease (collectively known as FOG) travel down your drain — it’s a surefire way to cause a blockage.

For one, FOG will quickly solidify into a blob when subjected to the cold of the drain. Fats, oil, or grease will then begin to grow as it traps other items, eventually reaching a point where it completely blocks flow. Moral of the story is that you’re better off recycling your FOG whenever appropriate. Otherwise, pour the stuff into a container and toss it into your dumpster *after* it’s cooled down sufficiently.

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Avoid Eggshells & Coffee Grounds

You’re probably wondering whether coffee grounds can cause harm, given their small size.

But as any experienced plumber would attest, they’re one of the most common culprits of blocked kitchen drains. As for eggshells, their thin membranes risk ruining the grinding apparatus inside your garbage disposal. Both of these items will make excellent additions to your compost pile. And if gardening isn’t your thing, throw them away in your trash.

Personal Hygiene Products & Your Drain

flushable wipesPersonal hygiene products include everything from cotton balls to wipes and paper towels. While these are often advertised as biodegradable, not all brands adhere to the relevant standards. Moreover, the items are designed to be absorbent (i.e., retain their form when wet), which means they can’t disintegrate as easily as toilet paper does.

Some health experts have been quoted recommending flushing as the most sanitary way to dispose of personal care products. However, this tends to cause more harm than it does good. A safer alternative would be to wrap yours carefully and dump them in the trash. You may also consider switching to cloth towels.

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Avoid Specific Foods When It Comes To Your Drains

Foodstuff can create problems for your drain in many ways. On one hand, scraps may get caught up in FOG and impede flow. Secondly, flour-containing foods on to become sticky when soaked in water. Additionally, foods like rice and pasta will swell in volume when exposed to the same conditions — no need to point out how this could compound the problem. Be aware of fibrous food when it comes to your garbage disposal.

Other Plumbing Drain Considerations

Ultimately, being mindful of what goes down your drain should all but eliminate your chances of experiencing a blockage.

As a rule of thumb, you also want to keep it free of elements that could wreak havoc on the environment. Such include:

  • Flushable Cat Litter: Not only do cat feces harbor disease-causing micro-organisms, but they also pose a threat to water ecosystems.
  • Paint: The rule of thumb with paint disposal is to head down to your local hazardous waste facility.
  • Medication: Simply put, the last thing you want to do with your unconsumed/expired medications is to flush down the toilet.
  • Cleaners: These often contain ingredients that pose a threat to the micro-organisms responsible for breaking down waste in water treatment plants.

Make no mistake that disposing of your messes properly will often require you to get your hands dirty. Even so, prevention always proves more prudent than cure. Speaking of which, it’s imperative that you bring in an experienced professional plumber any time you spot signs of a plumbing malfunction.



Dealing with a clogged drain can be stressful, especially when it never seems to go away. If you have tried your best with the plunger without getting any positive results, call your plumber. They will understand the best solutions to fix the issue.

If you live in the Lehigh Valley, Robinson Plumbing is here to help you. We offer affordable, honest, and high-quality plumbing services for residents and businesses of the area. As a family-owned business, our priority lies in delivering positive customer experiences. Be sure to call Robinson Plumbing if you have a troubling clogged drain or if you have any other plumbing needs.

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Some of the areas we service include Allentown, Bethlehem, Coplay, Emmaus, Whitehall, and these zip codes: 18101, 18015, 18037, 18049, 18052 as well as all surrounding areas in the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

Call us today at (610) 351-9889 or contact us for any questions that you might have!