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The things you shouldn’t put down your drain

Whether it’s our kitchen sink or the basin in the bathroom, most us put things down the drain without even giving it a second thought. What we don’t realise however is that there are a number of everyday foods and products we’re pouring away that are actually causing a lot of damage to our drainage systems.

As well as this, what we’re putting down our drains is also having a huge impact on the environment. Streams are becoming full of chemicals which has an affect on wildlife and it’s also wreaking havoc with sewage systems.

If you want to avoid clogged drains and do your bit to help protect the environment, below is a list of the things you should never pour down your sink.

shutterstock_104421059Food products  

Most of us wouldn’t even consider throwing a piece of chicken down the sink but when it comes to liquids, it seems as though anything goes.

The problem with this is that it’s causing an increasing number of cases of sewerage overflow. This is being caused by pipes becoming blocked with grease and can result in the unpleasant experience of raw sewerage overflowing into parks, streets and even your home.

If you would rather not risk the chances of this happening, make sure you don’t put any of the following food items down your sink:

  • Meat fats
  • Lard
  • Cooking oil
  • Butter and margarine
  • Shortening
  • Food scraps
  • Baking goods
  • Sauces
  • Dairy products
  • Coffee grinds
  • Egg shells – this is one of the biggest offenders and although you shouldn’t put any food down your drains, egg shells could cause the most damage. Although they might seem fragile, they can’t be broken down and will therefore settle in your pipes and create a barrier so water won’t be able to get through.

The toilet 

Your toilet counts as a drain so it’s wise to be careful what you’re putting down there as well. A lot of people flush countless household items down the toilet without even thinking about where it’s going to end up. As well as leading to a potential blockage, doing this is incredibly detrimental to the environment.

Things you shouldn’t flush down the toilet:

  • Nappies
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Flushable (or any) cat litter
  • Rags
  • Face wipes
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Hair



You should never throw prescription and/or over-the-counter medicines down the toilet or your drains. Although they won’t block your toilet or drain unless you’re flushing a large amount in one go, it is very dangerous for the water supply. This is because dangerous chemicals and compounds are present in these products and this could therefore alter the water supply if people flush enough away.

It’s highly unlikely that you alone could enough of an impact to cause this but if even a small percentage of the population is doing it, it’s enough to have a damaging effect.


When it comes to disposing of chemicals, the first place we think of is down the sink. As we mentioned above however, anything that goes down your drain has to end up somewhere and often it’s in streams or our water supply.

Below is a list of chemicals you should never flush away:

  • Motor oil, transmission fluids, anti-freeze or any other toxic chemicals
  • Solvents, paints, turpentine, nail polish, polish remover
  • Flammable or explosive substances
  • Corrosive substances that are either acidic or caustic

If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not it’s safe to flush something away, the safest solution is to throw it in the bin rather than tip it down the drain.

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