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Common Items That You Should Not Get Down Your Drain


It can be disturbing to learn that almost half of all water bodies above ground are polluted with stuff you and I do at home. What we throw down the drain inside our houses all take their toll outside. Do your part to discover which polluters are the largest. Here’s a list of five items that never should go down the drain.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are as fine in pipes as cement. Dumping a mass of soggy grounds down the drain would turn them into an impenetrable nightmare.

Instead, what to do: compost or scatter them across your yard. Coffee grounds make excellent fertilizer!

Coffee rinds look delicate and harmless. When left in the sink, these easily wash away. Yet coffee rinds will clog your drains like grease. Coffee rinds behave like sludge in larger amounts and clog your pipes. By putting these in your green bin and using them in composting, you can properly dispose of coffee rinds.

Grease, Fat And Oils

Pouring used cooking grease down your sink drain is sure to be tempting. Hold it!  Not only does the grease back up your drains, but also those in your neighbourhood. That’s because it can easily block sewage pipes as grease hardens, and can actually force raw sewage back into your home or into other people’s homes on your street.

These substances account for more than 47 percent of all annual sewer overflows in the United States. And when it comes to bacon grease, pork fat and other substances like these, the best rule of thumb is to place them in a jar or allow them to cool down and then throw them in your garbage.


Toilet paper is made to decompose when it is wet, while other types of paper, such as paper towels, tissue, and feminine hygiene products are not! Yes, they’re going to flush but they’re going to leave you with a clogged drain instead of disintegrating.

Instead, you should recycle or throw them in the garbage.

Paint Thinner

Paint thinner is an extremely toxic element. For obvious reasons, this should not be flushed into the drain. It should never be put into the trash or recycling, either. This is poisonous and can be detrimental to your body and environment. 

When painting your home or office, then try to select a product that is more environmentally friendly. Using a water-based (latex) paint or varnish is a good option that reduces the need for thinners in general.

Washing paint down the drain is a big issue. Most localities have paint disposal rules and regulations — both water-based and oil-based. You may need to dispose of the paint at a hazardous waste facility depending on your state. Some rules are so strict that the paintbrushes can’t even be washed in the sink because the paint will flow into the drain. The concern is not so much with the condition of your own pipes. The major problem is the number of paint contaminants and chemicals that can end up in the water supply.

Medications, Old Or Unwanted Medicine

If you have medicine that you are no longer taking or that is past its expiry date, don’t flush it unless it says so clearly on the bottle. Instead, throw the medication into the garbage in a sealed bag with coffee grounds or find a responsible company for disposing of medicine. Most pharmacies work with companies that can properly take care of your old medications, and some of those companies allow you to directly return your medicines to them.

For your plumbing concerns and emergencies, call Shaul’s at 778-397-4850 to schedule an appointment with us.

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