What Can and Can’t Go Down Your Drains

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What Can and Can’t Go Down Your Drains

water going down kitchen sink

There’s no problem more sticky and annoying, in the bathroom or the kitchen, than a clogged drain.

There are many ways to remedy the situation, but DNA Plumbing has some helpful tips to help you prevent this problem from arising in the first place.

Read on to learn what exactly you can and cannot put down your drains and garbage disposals, and reach out to our expert Plano plumbers or our plumbers in North Richland Hills if you have any questions or need drain cleaning help!

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What to Avoid Pouring Down Bathroom Drains

While there really isn’t much of a difference between the inner workings of bathroom pipes and kitchen pipes, it’s helpful to think of what can go down each drain based on what is usually in the room. Bathroom drains are pretty simple to keep track of – most of what is in the bathroom are drain-friendly, such as shampoo and soap. On occasion, soap can build up in a drain – particularly bar soap – and this can be solved by simply pouring boiling water down it.

The following items should always be kept out of your bathroom drains:

  • Cosmetics
  • Cotton Balls and Q-Tips
  • Cat Litter
  • Paper Towels
  • Feminine Products
  • Hair
  • Diapers
  • Bandages
  • Cigarettes
  • Food

Can You Pour Laundry Detergent or Fabric Softener Down the Drain?

Wondering how to properly dispose of laundry products like detergent or fabric softener? Don’t worry – these products are designed to be added to water and rinsed safely down the drain, so there’s no harm in pouring out any liquid products you no longer wish to use along with plenty of running water.

However, keep in mind that this is for liquid laundry detergents. If you have a large quantity of powder detergent, don’t dump it all down the drain at once or it could cause a clog that requires drain cleaning in Plano. It should also go without saying, but be sure to also refrain from flushing fabric softener sheets. These items always belong in your trash, not your drains.

What Can & Cannot Go Down the Kitchen Drain

an image of our plano drain cleaners

Next, you have the kitchen. This is a little bit more complicated, as there is more of a variety of food products and waste that could cause potential damage to your drain. Yours may even have a garbage disposal, but that doesn’t mean you can throw anything down there!

If you have a kitchen sink with no garbage disposal, it’s pretty simple: avoid putting anything down there that you wouldn’t drink (with obvious exceptions; for example, spoiled milk won’t hurt your drain). The extra steps you take to ensure only drainable items are thrown down there, the longer your drain will go without giving you any problems. Stick to beverages, water, and dish soap.

Never put these items down a drain without a garbage disposal:

  • Grease, fat, and oils – You can wait for these substances to cool slightly, and then simply put them into a disposable container. Many folks actually choose to save certain types of fat or grease, such as from bacon and use them as a cooking oil or for making gravy.
  • Food – Unless that food is a liquid soup broth, it is not something you want going down your drain – and eventually clogging it.
  • Other Solids – You name it: hair, pieces of plastic or paper, coffee grounds; any solid item can be a danger to the life of your kitchen or bathroom drain.

What to Avoid Putting in the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals simply grind or “chew” up the food that is put down them, in order to allow them to go down the drain – this is why they function when the water is turned on. When you think of what can and cannot be put into a garbage disposal, consider what you yourself would be unable to chew:

  • Eggshells – Eggshells are difficult to ground into fine enough pieces to be able to mix with water and go down the drain. They also contain a very thin membrane (you may notice this once in a while when cracking an egg) that is actually very strong and can wrap itself around the blades of the disposal.
  • Fibrous or Stringy Foods – This can mean peels of apples, potatoes, and other vegetables, or any type of vegetable that is full of fiber. It is unwise to put these types of food down the garbage disposal, as they are difficult to turn into a drainable pulp. Thinking about what would be difficult to chew is a good rule of thumb in this case.
  • Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds are not easy for a garbage disposal to get rid of, and can easily get stuck in there. Luckily, everything mentioned so far is easily compostable!
  • Pasta – This one may seem a bit odd, but the fact that pasta expands when it comes in contact with water makes it a danger to garbage disposals.
  • Any Non-Food Item – For any item that just isn’t food, it’s easier and safer to throw it in the trash, compost it (in the case of grass clippings, for example), or recycle it. Never put cigarette butts, wrappers, or any type of paper or plastic down a garbage disposal, as it will likely malfunction.

Along with avoiding any dangerous items in drains, it is also helpful to put baking soda down there every so often, as it has cleaning and deodorizing properties. If any drain in your home is working slowly, leaking, humming, or really, anything out of the ordinary, it may be time to look it over and nip the problem in the bud. DNA Plumbing can help you diagnose and fix your drain problem, so you can get your bathroom and kitchen back to normal.

Professional Drain Cleaning in Plano & North Richland Hills

Call DNA Plumbing or contact us online to schedule drain cleaning service in Plano, North Richland Hills or the surrounding area!

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