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10 Things You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Drain

Our drains and sewer systems are mostly out of sight and usually out of mind. We view them as a convenient place to pour the things we don’t want but they are not the indestructible waste chutes we think them to be. There are some items which will damage your drainage system, either blocking it, breaking it or simply making it less efficient at what it should do.

In this article we’re going to list the things you definitely shouldn’t be putting down your kitchen sink or flushing away in your toilet.

#1 Nappies

Like so many of the items you’ll see on this list it should be pretty obvious why you can’t flush these away. So many people treat the toilet as the ultimate waste disposal, but being super absorbent and hard to break down means you’re almost certain to block the toilet with nappies – use a dedicated nappy bin instead.

#2 Medicine

While medicine won’t block your toilet or drain – unless you’re flushing a lot of it all in one go – it can be dangerous for the water supply in general. Dangerous chemicals and compounds are present which could alter the water supply and pose a health hazard if enough people flush enough away.

#3 Oils and Fats

Cooking oils and fats should never be poured away in large quantities, your drains will eventually become clogged with congealed materials. Just look up the London Fatberg to see how badly things can end.

#4 Wipes

A trend had emerged in the last few years, with wipes companies claiming that their wipes can be flushed and will be broken up. However, this isn’t always true and therefore you should probably avoid flushing any wipes to prevent blockages.

#5 Hair

Cutting your hair at home? Or simply removing chunks of hair from hair brushes? Wherever you’re getting hair from you should think twice before flushing it away. Hair is a great tangling material and will catch lots of other waste, creating a nasty blockage if you flush enough of it away.

#6 Condoms

You should probably be taught this in school in Sex Education classes but if you weren’t aware already: condoms can’t be flushed easily. They’re essentially a balloon and even if you think it’s flushed it may reappear at a later stage when you have to have a blockage fished out of the system.

#7 Feminine Hygiene Products

Once again, these are items which are absorbent as well as hard to break down, therefore they cannot be flushed. You should keep a small bin for such items to dispose of them discreetly instead, avoiding creating blockages.

#8 Coffee Grinds

If you like to make your coffee the classic way then you’ll probably have dealt with disposing of coffee grinds, and while it might seem easy to pour them down the kitchen sink you should avoid doing so at all costs. The grounds will simply compact and block your pipes if you try to pour enough of them away.

#9 Egg Shells

It’s advised that you don’t put any food down your kitchen drain but eggshells are among the top offenders here. While they might seem fragile they won’t be broken down if they settle in your pipes and they could create a barrier in your pipes.

#10 Paint

Washing brushes off in your is fine, but if you have large quantities of excess paint to dispose of then you should never pour them away down your drains. Most paints contain harmful toxins and chemicals which will disrupt the local water balance and can pose problems for the local environment.


At 1st Call Drain Clearance we can help clear your drains and sewer system regardless of what’s blocking them. Contact us today to arrange for drain jetting or a CCTV drain survey to locate your block drain issue.


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