Foods You Should Never Pour Down the Drain

It’s convenient to just rinse food down the drain, but doing so can clog the drain and cause long-term damage. Bigger issues may require a plumber to fix, too. To avoid clogging the drain, and save yourself the hassle, keep in mind that some food items are best tossed in the trash. Avoid pouring these items down the drain:

1. Coffee grounds and tea leaves

Most foods break down in water, but coffee grounds don’t. Instead, they clump together and eventually build up in the drains and create clogs.


Used tea leaves can also choke your drain. If they don’t immediately clog the sink, they will in time.


So your drain can keep doing its job, either toss the coffee grounds and used tea leaves in the trash or add them to your compost. Don’t pour them down the drain.


Coffee grounds are easy to compost, and they’re beneficial for your soil. Tea leaves are also naturally rich in nutrients that help with your plants’ growth and health.

2. Cooking oil

Aside from coffee grounds, grease or cooking oil causes more blockages and clogged drains than anything else. It significantly contributes to sewer blockages and sewer backups, too.


Grease hardens when it cools. Therefore, it builds up and accumulates on the side of your pipes, and whatever goes down your drain will get caught in it, too.


Even if some of the grease gets through your pipes without hardening, it can still lead to bigger issues. Grease, when added into chemicals in sewers, create hardened deposits in sewer lines.


To dispose of grease or used cooking oil, allow it to cool, and toss it in the trash in a sealed non-breakable container.

3. Chia seeds, grains, popcorn kernels

Chia seeds may be healthy for you, but not for the drains.


They quickly absorb water, which makes them expand and eventually clog the drain.
Just a few won’t usually cause a problem, but chia seeds, grains, and kernels don’t easily break down in the first place.

4. Flour

Mixed with water, flour coagulates and gets stuck on the sides of your pipe, catching food particles and other debris. This mixture can also get the drain’s disposal completely stuck.


Instead of rinsing loose flour in the sink, brush it into the trash and save yourself the trouble of a plumbing issue later on.

5. Pasta and rice

Pasta water won’t clog your drain, but the noodles can. It expands when mixed with water and can lead to a clog.


Rice, like pasta, bloats with water and may also clog pipes.

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