5 Items You Should Never Pour Down Your Drain, Straight From Cleaning Pros

<p>SBenitez / Getty Images</p>

SBenitez / Getty Images

Pouring liquids or even certain food items down the drain may seem like an easy way to clean up your kitchen or bathroom and prevent any further mess, but in some instances, you may be setting yourself up for clogs—or worse.

Here, we spoke with cleaning experts to learn more about specific substances that should never be poured down the drain in any circumstance. Below, they share five items you should pay extra attention to when disposing.

However, if it's too late and your sink is already clogged, keep in mind that there are many at-home hacks you can attempt before calling in a repairperson; begin by testing out the eight unclogging methods described here.

Meet the Experts


When discarding oils, you won't want to pour them down the drain for a multitude of reasons.

"Any oils or fats, grease, even salad dressings with oil in them, should not go down the drain," Myco Momplaisir, the CEO of SuperMaids, says.

Momplaisir explains how oil can often build up and attract other items. It will not only potentially create a terrible clog but it will also start to smell rotten in the sink, which you may need to use natural remedies or cleaners to get rid of.


Be mindful that pouring oils down the drain can affect your kitchen for the worse in multiple ways. For one, doing so can create a clog in the sink, but additionally, it can contribute to foul smells.

<p>Nicolas Lupul / 500px / Getty Images</p>

Nicolas Lupul / 500px / Getty Images

Pasta and Rice

Pour these food items into the trash can, not down the drain, experts say. This is due to the fact that these foods can expand, which can cause clogs. Your affordable at-home dinner could end up costing you a pretty penny if you have to call a plumber in after you clean up.

Coffee Grounds

When emptying your coffee maker, toss the extra grounds into the trash (or hold onto them for one of the activities described below), but do not pour them down the drain, Vanessa Terra Bossart, the owner of Green Terra Cleaning, warns.

"Coffee grounds may seem harmless, but they can clump together and create blockages in your pipes," she says.

That said, keep in mind that coffee grounds can be used for a wide variety of other purposes, so do not rush directly to the trash can each morning. If you're an avid gardener, you can use coffee grounds in the yard for plant growth; they can also be added to your compost pile or used as a fertilizer.

Feel like thinking a bit further outside of the box? Keep in mind that there are several other ways to repurpose coffee grounds. For one, you can place some in the fridge to help camouflage some of the odors in there. You can also mix coffee grounds with olive oil to hide scratches on wood furniture, create brown dyes for craft projects, or make clay for kids to play with—the possibilities are endless!

<p>Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images</p>

Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images

Produce Stickers

Even something as small as the sticker on your apple or banana can actually cause harm if it goes down the sink—these stickers can cause clogs in garbage disposals, Katie Lambert, the owner of Clean Queen, says. Throw them into the trash can instead; you'll save yourself a headache in the long run.


After peeling the produce stickers off of your fruits and vegetables, take a moment to toss these into the trash can. If you place them in the sink, they can end up causing clogs, despite their small size.


Do not grab that expired cough syrup from your cabinet and head toward the sink to pour it out. It is harmful to pour medicine down the drain as it can then end up in the local water supply, experts note. But don't go running into the bathroom with them as a backup plan, they shouldn't go down the toilet, either.

"Never flush medications; dispose of them according to pharmacy or hazardous waste collection guidelines," Lambert says.

Read Next: How to Flush a Drain

Read the original article on The Spruce.