Here's What You Should Never Put Down the DrainClogged drains are a homeowner’s headache. To keep your drain clear and flowing freely, there are certain items you should keep out, paying special attention to the kitchen drain and the toilet.

Grease, Fat, and Oil

Hot grease and oils may be liquid when you pour them, but once they cool they congeal and cling to disposal blades and pipes to create a system backup. Dispose of grease, including bacon fat and gravy, in a close container like an empty coffee can and throw it away in your trash can.

Coffee Grounds

They may look small and harmless, but coffee grounds don’t dissolve. Instead, they grow heavier and more dense as they collect water in your drain. That means they often end up stuck in the trap and creating a backlog. Throw them in the garbage or use them in compost.

Stringy Vegetables

Stringy vegetables like asparagus and celery can get wrapped around disposal blades, making them ineffective and, in turn, transforming your disposal into a smelly waste bin. Treat these scraps like coffee grounds and either compost them or throw them away.

Fruit Pits and Bones

Disposal blades can’t handle fruit pits like those found in peaches or olives, nor can they chop chicken bones. Those items sit in your drain dulling the blades and collecting all forms of things that would otherwise flow past. Small fish bones are an exception.

Paper Towels and Flushable Wipes

Turning now from the kitchen to the bathroom, it’s important to know that not all things advertised as “flushable” should be flushed. Paper towels may seem to be the cousin of toilet paper, but they do not dissolve like toilet paper and clog plumbing lines. The same holds true of flushable wipes. It’s a nice thought but a plumbing hazard.


To rid your home of expired medication, find a pharmacy or other location that will take it back and dispose of it properly. Flushing it creates problems in the local water supply.

For help clearing an already clogged drain or other plumbing problem, contact the professionals at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about clogged drains and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.

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