- The improper disposal of household waste in the sink and even toilet can lead to backed-up drains, clogs, and other issues
- Toilet paper is completely safe to flush down the toilet in small amounts
- If you suspect you have a major clog in a sink or toilet, you should call a professional plumber
While it’s definitely easy to just dump household waste down the drain, you can actually do a lot of damage to your drain, plumbing, and sewer system. The improper disposal of household waste in the sink and toilet can lead to backed-up drains, clogs, and other issues. It’s important to know what items are suitable and unsuitable for your plumbing system.
Here are some common household items that should not be put down the drain or toilet:
Coffee grounds are a major contributor to clogs. They shouldn’t even be put down the garbage disposal. Instead, simply throw them away with the regular trash.
Diapers and feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down the toilet. This may seem obvious, but diapers often cause a number of clogs. In most cases, once a diaper or feminine hygiene product is lodged in the pipes, a plunger will not be able to dislodge them. You will need to call in a professional to sort out the problem. The worst-case scenario is that the item ends up stuck along the pipe somewhere outside your home. In order to resolve the issue, they will need to dig up your yard to reach the clog.
Egg Shells, Hard Food Waste, and Bones
While egg shells, hard food items, and bones may be okay in your garbage disposal, there’s still a chance that they will cause a clog. For these materials, it’s recommended that you dispose of them in your trash or compost them.
Dental Floss and Hair
No matter what you do, hair will find it’s way down the drain. A few strands won’t cause any major damage, but if you allow it to build up it can create a large clog. Dental floss is similar. Do not dispose of floss down your sink. It can stick to the pipes and lead to blockages.
Fat, Grease, and Oil
It’s very tempting to pour cooking oil, fat, and grease down the drain after cooking; however, this can be catastrophic to your plumbing. These materials get thick and congeal as they cool and can stick to the side of your pipes and harden. While this may not cause a major clog, other items can then stick to the thick fat, which can lead to serious blockage issues. Dumping fat down your drain can also damage the public plumbing infrastructure of your city, affecting drinking water.
Toilet paper is completely safe to flush down the toilet in small amounts. It is designed to dissolve in water. However, other paper products, such as paper towels, cotton balls, and similar materials are not designed to travel through pipes and the sewer system. They absorb water quickly and can easily create clogs.
If you suspect you have a major clog in a sink or toilet, you should call a professional plumber. They can use video camera inspection to look inside of your drains and pipes to determine the location of the blockage. Once the problem is identified, they can use a drain snake or other method to clear the pipes. It’s recommended that you avoid chemicals and rented drains snakes as these can inadvertently cause further damage to your drains and pipes.