Items You Should Never Flush Down the Drain

Items You Should Never Flush Down the Drain

Kitchen sink and dishrag consistently ranks one of the dirtiest places in the home with the most germs. These Items You Should Never Flush Down the Drain are listed below.

Even worse than the bathroom or toilet seat, your sink is the ideal place for illness-causing microbes to thrive.

Your kitchen sink may be a source of frustration when it becomes clogged, or may be an area through which you inadvertently are polluting the environment. The plumbing in your home may seem like a mystery since it’s usually hidden behind walls and under the sink.

Expandable Foods

Foods like pasta and rice continue to expand as they soak in residual water in your garbage disposal and drain pipes. Pastas are often made with semolina flour, which becomes sticky and easily gums up your pipes.


Grease sticks to the inside of your sewer pipes, both on your property and in the street. Over time it can block the entire pipe. Instead, scrape grease into the trash.

Any oils are a major contributor to drain clogs, which includes mayonnaise, salad dressing, butter, cooking oils and fats from cooking meats, such as bacon, beef and pork. Motor oil and transmission fluid shouldn’t go down your sink drain or toilet either.

Egg Shells

Egg shells are composed of a hard outer shell and a thin membranous inner layer. The shells are hard on the blades of your garbage disposal, reducing the overall life of the appliance.

The thin membranous layer may wrap around the grinding apparatus and slow the motor until it burns out. The shells may compound the development of other blockages.

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Items You Should Never Flush Down the Drain

Coffee Grounds

These don’t harm your garbage disposal and may help absorb odors, but they do accumulate in your pipes and increase the risk you’ll experience a clogged drain.6 Coffee grounds do make an excellent addition to your compost pile.


Have you mixed flour and water together? Basically, this produces glue, sticking to the sides of the drain pipes and capturing any other little bits of garbage along the way. This is essentially the problem Madison County is facing after disposal of cookie dough from the cookie company in town.

Paper Products

Toilet paper is developed to eventually break apart in water. Other paper products do not break apart after being flushed down the toilet or after going through the garbage disposal in your sink. Products like paper towels, feminine hygiene products and cotton balls should go into your garbage can instead.

Each of these items have a high absorbency rate, making them perfect for clogging your pipes.


Paint and Cleaning Products

While they are in liquid form, these products both increase your risk of developing a drain clog and pollute the environment. Your city will have different requirements for latex and oil paint, so it’s important to get that information from your municipality.10

Conventional cleaning products often contain phosphates, antibacterial agents and other compounds that don’t often get removed at your water treatment plant. Instead, make your own cleaning products at home with environmentally safe vinegar, baking soda and essential oils.


It might seem logical to flush your expired or unused medication down the toilet or crush it in your garbage disposal, but research demonstrates that a high number of those medications do not get removed at your local wastewater treatment plant and then enter the environment.

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Even your tap water likely has a small amount of medication you’re drinking every day, as neither wastewater treatment nor clean water treatment before it gets delivered to your home is able to remove medications.


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