Here's What You Should Stop Putting Down the Drain
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Here’s What You Should Stop Putting Down the Drain


Like many systems around your home you depend on for convenience and comfort, you may not think of the plumbing until something goes wrong, especially when a drain stops working. Preventing problems with drainage is by far the most convenient way to avoid the hassles and expenses associated with clogged drains.


  • Kitty litter. Although there are flushable kitty litters available, be very careful about flushing them. They’re hard on septic systems and can clog sewer lines. Solid cat waste may carry the toxoplasmosis parasite and waste water treatment doesn’t destroy this parasite. If the water is used for any other reason, any pregnant woman and her unborn baby could be at risk.
  • Baby and facial wipes, cotton balls, tissues, and paper towels. These won’t degrade fast enough to clear your home’s plumbing and will cause drain clogs.
  • Medicines. While they’re not likely to clog the pipes, dumping medicine down the sink or toilet doesn’t make it go away. As it dissolves, it stays in the water and is harmful to the environment.
  • Drain openers. Instead of using harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes, use baking soda and vinegar, diluted hydrogen peroxide, and a plumbing snake.


Your garbage disposal may be a convenient way to get rid of food waste, but avoid the following to prevent problems that may require the services of a licensed plumber.

  • Coffee grounds and eggshells will stick to the walls of the pipes, eventually causing a blockage.
  • Potato peelings, pasta, beans, and rice. These foods contain high amounts of starch that can deposit inside the walls of the plumbing, eventually narrowing the pipes.
  • Stringy foods like celery, artichokes, fruit peels, and pits.
  • Grease is a certain way to plug up the pipes, even if you wash it down with hot water.

Paying attention to what you put down the drain not only keeps your pipes draining freely, but prevents largely avoidable plumbing problems. To learn more, contact Roth Heating & Cooling, providing trusted plumbing and HVAC services for Portland-area homeowners.

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