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Oct 10

What Not To Flush Down the Drain

Long story short, there aren’t many things that you can flush down the toilet or wash down the drain that won’t cause an issue. Toilet paper is made to specifically decay, and along with waste, should be the only thing that you flush in the bathroom. Likewise, when you’re washing your dishes, keeping the food waste to a minimum is highly recommended.

Okay—so that’s easy enough to remember, right? But let’s say you forget to abide by these guidelines. What items are really going to cause your pipes some serious issues down the road if they happen to go down? Follow these three golden rules to the T and you’ll help avoid any serious backups or blockages.

Golden Rule #1: Don’t Dump Grease Down the Drain

Sunday morning: you wake up early with the family and decide to cook a classic American breakfast. You throw together some eggs, sauté some potatoes, pull out the OJ, and finally the pièce de résistance— sizzle that bacon.

Once it’s time to clean up you’re left with the issue of dealing with that nasty bacon grease that’s been sitting in the pan. Take it straight to the trashcan, or pour it into another container and save it for later, but never dump it down your sink drain.

Once grease cools it congeals and forms a solid, and this can seriously impede your pipe’s abilities to work properly. You can be left with clogging and backup that can really be a pain to deal with, and you really don’t want to be left having to call in an expert to clean up your mess.

Golden Rule #2: Use Your Garbage Disposal Wisely

This one is pretty easy but can be quickly forgotten in the rush of doing your dishes. Always avoid dumping large amounts of food down your drain.  If the food bulk happens to make its way past the disposal and down your sewage line, it can cause blockages within the line. Not only that, but larger food items can even damage or break your disposal. As a rule of thumb, throw any food waste into the trashcan before cleaning your dishes and you’ll help avoid any hassles with your line.

Golden Rule #3: Don’t Use Your Toilet as a Trashcan

Surprisingly, a lot of people throw caution to the wind when it comes to this golden rule. Any plumber will be able to tell you countless stories of all of the strange items they’ve discovered when attending to a clogged toilet. Face wipes, feminine products, paper towels, napkins, lipstick containers, socks – you name it, they’ve seen it (just don’t ask them how it got there!)

Be kind to your pipes (and to your local plumber) and stick to the basics. Only flush toilet paper and natural waste and you should be in the clear—don’t even think about flicking that Q-Tip in there!

Of course, we’re only human, and we’re bound to slip up at some point. If you ever find yourself in need of de-clogging, call in a professional like Alpha Environmental to tackle the job. Our trained professionals are well versed in curing your plumbing.

About The Author

Matthew has been Alpha's Director of Operations for over four years. He works directly with our clients in effort to provide exceptional customer service as well as managing the day to day of the company. When he's not at the office, you can find him at Red Tail Golf Club or cruising PDX in one of his project cars.