Plumbers reveal what not to put down the sink — and people are stunned

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When it comes to keeping your home’s plumbing in top shape, it’s better to prevent problems than to deal with them later.

While it’s obvious that solid food scraps, straws, and paper goods shouldn’t go down the drain, there are other lesser-known items that can cause clogs without you realizing it (even if you have a garbage disposal)!

Here are 9 foods you should avoid putting down your kitchen sink to keep your plumbing in top condition.

Grease or Cooking Oil

Grease or cooking oil should never go into the sink because when they cool down, they solidify and can stick to the inside of pipes, causing blockages.

Over time, these blockages can lead to clogs and potentially costly plumbing repairs. Instead, it’s best to pour grease or cooking oil into a heat-resistant container and dispose of it in the trash once it has solidified.

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Coffee Grounds

When coffee grounds are washed down the drain, they can stick to the inside of pipes and combine with other substances like grease or soap scum, forming blockages over time.

Their gritty texture can catch on rough surfaces in the pipes, further contributing to clogs. As more coffee grounds are poured down the drain, these blockages can become larger and more difficult to remove, potentially causing backups and plumbing issues.

Pasta or Rice

Pasta and rice expand in water as they absorb moisture. When these foods are washed down the drain, they continue to absorb water as they travel through the pipes.

This can cause them to swell and expand, eventually forming a sticky, starchy paste that can cling to the walls of the pipes and create blockages. As more pasta and rice particles accumulate, they can further restrict the flow of water and lead to clogs.

Plus, their sticky consistency can trap other debris and food particles, exacerbating the problem and making it more difficult to clear the blockage.


Eggshells are often mistaken as safe to dispose of down the kitchen sink, but they can actually cause problems.

When eggshells are washed down the drain, they can stick to the pipes and accumulate other debris, creating blockages over time.

Their thin, membranous inner lining can easily adhere to the walls of the pipes, providing a surface for other substances like grease and food particles to cling to.

It’s best to dispose of eggshells in the trash or compost bin instead of rinsing them down the sink.

Fibrous Vegetables (e.g. celery, potato peels)

Fibrous vegetables like celery and potato peels might seem harmless to wash down the kitchen sink, but they can actually cause blockages.

Their long, stringy fibers that can tangle together and create a mesh-like barrier in the pipes. As more food particles and debris pass through the pipes, they can get caught in this mesh, leading to blockages over time.

In fact, the fibrous nature of these vegetables makes them resistant to breaking down in water, exacerbating the problem. It’s best to dispose of fibrous vegetables in the trash or compost bin instead.

Bones or Fruit Pits

Bones or fruit pits might seem sturdy enough to handle, but they can actually wreak havoc on your kitchen plumbing. When put down the garbage disposal, these hard objects can damage the blades or motor, leading to costly repairs.

Even if you don’t have a disposal, bones and pits can get lodged in the pipes, causing blockages and backups.

Dairy Products

Dairy can curdle and solidify in the pipes, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and emitting unpleasant smells.

The fats in dairy can also coat the pipes, trapping other debris and contributing to blockages over time. To avoid these issues, it’s best to dispose of dairy products in the trash rather than pouring them down the sink.

Starchy Foods (e.g., Oats, Beans, Potatoes)

When these foods are washed down the drain, the water causes them to expand and form a sticky, glue-like paste. This paste can adhere to the walls of your pipes, gradually building up over time and eventually leading to clogs.

As more starchy foods are washed down the drain, the paste becomes thicker and harder, making it increasingly difficult for water to flow freely through the pipes.

Eventually, this can result in a complete blockage, causing water to back up and potentially overflow from sinks and drains.


Someone might mistakenly think that flour can go down the sink because it is a fine powder and may seem harmless when mixed with water.

Since flour is a common kitchen ingredient and is often used in cooking and baking, people may assume that it can be easily washed away down the drain like other food particles.

However, when flour mixes with water, it becomes sticky and can adhere to the pipes, leading to blockages over time. Moreover, flour particles can accumulate and trap other debris, further contributing to clogs in the plumbing system.

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