It’s so easy to just rinse whatever you please down the drain, but there are some things that will damage your pipes and bungle up your plumbing. Refrain from sending these 12 things down your drain or disposal and your pipes will thank you.


Sink Drain

Coffee grounds are an extremely common cause of clogged kitchen pipes. We know, we know, you’re groggy in the morning, but get in the habit of throwing those coffee grounds in the compost, not the sink, and you’ll avoid bigger problems in the future.

Oils and fats. After cooking with fat or oil, it can be tempting to just pour the liquid down the sink. Don’t! They won’t stay liquid once they cool and will really mess up your pipes. Instead, transfer oils and fats into an empty jar or can, allow it to cool and solidify, then toss the whole container into the trash.

Paint won’t damage your pipes, but toxins from paint poured down household drains can make their way into public water supplies and pose health risks, so make sure you dispose of it elsewhere.

Flour might not seem like a big deal to wash down your drain, but remember what happens when you add liquid to flour in a recipe. You get a sticky, gloppy substance that you definitely don’t want forming in your drain.


Garbage Disposal

Eggshells can dull disposal blades. Instead, opt to toss them in the compost.

Bones of any kind. Even small chicken or fish bones will just damage your disposal and cause plugged-up drains.

Corn husks are very tough and fibrous, which can dull blades. The corn silks also shouldn’t go down the disposal since they are so thin and will tangle around the mechanisms.

Fibrous vegetables like celery and pumpkin will just plug up your disposal and trap other debris in there.

Pasta swells up bigger and bigger with water exposure, so it can cause blockages in your disposal and drain.

Oatmeal will pass right through the disposal and then expand in your pipes, which can easily clog things up.

Nuts. Before you throw any nuts into the garbage disposal, stop for a moment and think: what happens when you grind up a bunch of peanuts? You get peanut butter. Which is not something you want to create in your disposal and then send down your pipes. Do yourself a favour and toss any nuts into the compost instead.

Potato peels are usually skinny enough to slip right through the disposal unscathed, so they will clog things up and catch other bits of debris.