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12 Things You Should Never Put down the Drain

When our plumbing is working like it should, we often don’t pay it a second thought. In not paying it much attention, we might grow complacent and allow things to go down our drains that we really shouldn’t. Worse still, if problems don’t occur, we might grow confident that we can stick other things down our drains, too. However, there are many things you should never put down your drains, and here we’ll be listing some of the worst.

12 Things You Should Never Put Down The Drain

  • Grease: Any type of grease is bad for your drains. Melted fat from bacon or other meats and even gravy can massively clog your drains.
  • Eggshells: After boiling an egg, you may find it easy to peel the shell off over the sink to catch any small flakes that break off. However, you must not allow these to go down the drain – the sharp flakes can clog other bits of waste together to block drains.
  • Cotton Buds: Cotton is an extremely absorbent material that will expand in your drains, making it likely that cotton buds disposed of down your drain will cause blockages. What’s more, the plastic handle isn’t biodegradable; it’s risky for both your drains and the environment to flush it down your drain.
  • Medication: Whether you’re taking liquid medicines or tablets and capsules, you should avoid pouring any medication down the drain. Antidepressants and birth control hormones may be found in water supplies due to natural human excretion, but other times medicines can be found undiluted in large quantities. This is both harmful to the environment and our own water supply. Unused medicine should either be returned or stuck in the bin.
  • Oils: It doesn’t matter what the oils are or what you’ve been using them for, they cannot go down your regular, in-house drain. Be it cooking oils, salad dressings, engine oil, braking fluid, or any likewise product, your drain is a no-go.
  • Condoms and Hygiene Products: The latex used to make condoms isn’t biodegradable, meaning they can’t be flushed down your toilet or drains. In all likelihood, if they don’t block your own drains then they’ll probably make their way to the sea, where they could harm marine life or greet an innocent swimmer. Bin them instead. The same goes for tampons and sanitary pads.
  • Fat: Whether it’s meat trimmings, lards and butters, ice cream, cheese, milk or any other type of fat, your drains don’t want it. Dispose of it elsewhere.
  • Paint: Paint must always be disposed of in a responsible manner, and that means never putting it down your drains. It is toxic to the environment and can cause havoc in your drains themselves. Paint should be disposed of appropriately at a dedicated waste facility.
  • Produce Stickers: If you regularly rinse your fruit and veg off in the sink, be aware that allowing the produce stickers to go down the drain is a mistake. Unfortunately, they can get stuck in the drains, caught on filters and generally cause trouble.
  • Conventional Cleaning Products: Adverts may tell you that antibacterial cleaners and bleaches are good for your surfaces and that they’ll kill almost all microbes and germs, but the reality is that they can sometimes do more harm than good. In fact, they won’t kill the majority of germs at all in the long run, they’ll merely make whatever germs are left resistant to antibacterial formulas. Such cleaners are also harmful to the environment. Instead, you should try and use all-natural cleaners instead.
  • Coffee Grounds: If you’ve ever left the lid off the coffee for long enough, you’ll know that coffee grounds harden and congeal when oxygenated. While they might wash straight through, having been diluted by water drainage, your coffee grounds are far more likely, en masse, to block the drains up instead.
  • Food!: Last but not least, you should never, ever, ever let food go down your sink’s drain. Over time, food can build up in the u-bend of your drainpipe and lead to a major blockage. Telltale signs that a blockage may be forming is that the drain will smell or water will take longer to empty, or both. Tiny bits of food may be fine every now and again, but larger bits or consistently allowing food to go down the drain could lead to some serious problems that your standard drain unblocker may struggle to dislodge. At that point, you may need the assistance of the professionals here at 1st Call Drain Clearance.


No matter the time of day or the issue you have with your drains, 1st Call Drain Clearance will be on hand to help. We offer a 24/7 emergency drain clearance and repair service for the complete peace of mind of our clients. Be it a drain re-lining, excavation, a CCTV drainage survey or more that you require, we’ll have the solution for you. Simply contact our professional team today to find out more.

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