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5 things to not put down the drain

The kitchen sink seems like an endless portal, able to make anything conveniently disappear with a spritz from the faucet. However, much like the old adage “what goes up, must come down”, the opposite can quickly apply to sink drains — what goes down, can come back up. Putting the wrong combination of items down the sink drain will quickly create an unpleasant scenario, leading to blockages, back-ups, and overflows. So, to avoid having to use a drain clog remover, consider these 5 things that should never find their way down the drain.

1. Grease, Oil, or Fats

While liquid at, or slightly warmer than, room temperature, grease, fats, and oils quickly solidify once they cool down. Once fats transition from liquid to solid, these substances create blockages in pipes, especially at bends, which will back up anything else trying to get through the drain. To safely dispose of these slippery substances, wait for them to cool to room temperature, then put them in an old container — a jar, a milk carton, an old can, etc. — and dispose of the entire container.

2. Pasta, Rice, and Other Grains

Though tasty, the carb-rich foods become a real problem for pipes once they’re run down the sink, as the foods continue to absorb moisture as they work their way down the drain. The more moisture absorbed, the easier it becomes for these foods to stop-up openings, not to mention they become gummier, which makes them much more likely to stick to the walls of the drain they’re trying to move through, and much harder to remove once they’re stuck.

3. Coffee Grounds

While a fantastic addition for composting, coffee grounds are the bane of the drain. Because they’re not completely water soluble, it is very easy for coffee grounds to clump together, and create a massive headache requiring a sink block remover to truly alleviate.

4. Egg Shells

Even if the sink has a garbage disposal, it is difficult to grind eggshells down, and thus, it is very easy for large pieces to find their way into your sink drain if they’ve been rinsed down. Adding another layer of annoyance, the membranes that coat the inside of the eggshell is particularly sticky, meaning anything else rinsed down with the shell will likely clump into one hard mass that even the most notorious drain treatment will have a hard time clearing up. Much like coffee grounds, eggs shells are best put to use in compost, or in gardens.

5. Flour

When dry, flour doesn’t seem like it would be too big of an issue, but a drain is a particularly wet environment. Once the flour is mixed with any sort of liquid, it begins forming into a supremely nasty paste that sticks to everything and is exceptionally difficult to remove from surfaces. Left alone, this paste will harden, creating truly intense blockages throughout the pipes in a home. This same warning should be heeded for any batters or mixes containing flour and eggs as well, as the same science that makes them such delicious emulsifiers also makes them drainage nightmares. Simply throw away any leftover flour, batter, or cake mixes that aren’t being baked.

Call us for professional drain cleaning in Lake and McHenry Counties

Once an errant substance makes its way into a drain, it can be very difficult to dislodge and clear up. There are options for home remedy drain clog removers, such as pouring boiling water down the drain, using a plunger, or using a small cable auger — commonly referred to as a drain “snake” — to clear up small issues. There are also over the counter drain treatments that can be used but should be used with caution, as they can just as easily cause major damage to the pipes you’re trying to clear.

If you’re ever unsure about what to use to clear up a drain stoppage, or if you would it be handled by a professional the first time around, reach out to Duane Blanton Plumbing, Sewer, Heating, and Cooling or contact us online, and one of the plumbing experts will be able to keep the water running smoothly down the drain, and clear up any unwelcome drain additions.

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