Items you should ‘never ever’ put down your drain

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David Cruz, a plumbing expert at, said: “Drain problems are some of the most common plumbing issues that need to be dealt with.”

The expert has shared various different items which should never be put down the drain, some of which are “surprising”.

1. Grease, oils and fats

The plumbing expert explained: “Grease, oils, and fats are three substances that you should never, ever put down the drain. Many people make this mistake, and it’s one of the most common causes of plumbing problems in a kitchen drain. 

“Grease, oils and fats act as a binder for other types of drain waste and can create thick, sticky glops that coat your drain pipes, preventing anything from being able to pass through. 

“The best thing you can do with these substances is leave them aside and allow them to cool before placing them in the bin.”

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2. Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are one of the most common items which can block a drain due to people thinking that they are small enough to flush.

However, they are not water soluble and over time, will build up in pipework, causing a huge blockage.

The expert said: “If you want to avoid hiring a plumber to come and unclog your drain, you should dispose of your coffee grounds in the bin or, if you have a garden, coffee grounds are very beneficial for plants, so composting is a great way to dispose of your old coffee grounds.”

3. Flushable cat litter

Even though some cat litters are advertised to be flushable, according to the expert, “they’re far from flushable”.

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David explained: “Even flushable cat litter are known to clog up drains and can cause a range of issues in your plumbing work. Additionally, cat litter can harbour a range of germs and bacteria from your cat’s faeces. 

“These types of bacteria are resistant to chemical treatments used to treat water, meaning the bacteria will eventually make their way into the water supply. This could be a threat to many animals and wildlife.”

4. Paper towels

Even though paper towels and cotton balls are biodegradable, this doesn’t mean they will dissolve as soon as they go down the sink.

They are designed to be absorbent, which makes them one of the “worst culprits” for clogging up your pipework.

5. Produce stickers

The plumbing pro continued: “It’s safe to assume most people won’t purposefully put produce stickers down the drain. However, they can easily slip down the drain accidentally when washing fruits or vegetables. 

“This can be a problem as these stickers are usually made from plastic and, therefore, are not biodegradable. When washed down the drain, these stickers can combine with other drain waste, which can eventually block the drain.

“ If possible, try not to forget about those stickers. Remove them and dispose of them in the bin before washing your fruits and vegetables to prevent them from accidentally making their way into your drain.”

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