What You Should Never Put Down Your Drain

Clogged drains can be a nightmare. Not only are they an unsightly mess, but they can also cause water damage and even flooding if not taken care of promptly. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent clogs from happening in the first place. One of the most important things to know is what you should avoid putting down your drains since different items have different effects on your plumbing system. Let’s explore further.

Food Waste

The number one item you should never put down your drain is food waste. Food waste will stick to the sides of pipes and quickly accumulate over time, eventually causing clogs that require professional help to resolve (not to mention expensive repairs). This includes grease and oils as well as bits of food that may remain after rinsing dishes or pots and pans. To avoid clogging up your sink with food waste, make sure that any bits of food are carefully scraped into the trash before washing dishes or pots and pans in the sink. It’s also important to pour used cooking oil onto a piece of paper towel or newspaper when finished cooking rather than directly down the drain where it can solidify and cause blockages later on.

Cotton Products

Another type of material you should avoid putting down your drain is cotton products such as cotton balls and Q-tips. These items are not easily broken down by water and have a tendency to get stuck in pipes, leading to major problems with drainage down the line (pun intended). If these items accidentally go down the drain, it’s best to fish them out as soon as possible before they become lodged in the pipes or cause a clog.


Using chemical cleaners may seem like an easy way to clean out your drains but they should actually be avoided as much as possible since they often contain harsh ingredients that can corrode your pipes over time. Instead, opt for natural methods such as baking soda, vinegar, or boiling water which will break up any buildup without damaging your pipes in the process.
No matter how careful you are, accidents happen; however, knowing what not to put down your drains can go a long way towards preventing costly plumbing disasters! Avoid putting food waste, grease, oils, cotton products like Q-tips or cotton balls, hair, coffee grounds and other large objects like toys into your drains at all costs! These items can cause serious issues for both your plumbing system’s performance and its longevity if left unchecked. Taking these precautions now will save you from expensive repairs later on—so remember what NOT to put down your drains!