Running water draining into kitchen sink drain

Everyone is guilty of putting things down the drain that they shouldn’t have. At the time, disposing of these items down the drain may have seemed like the best option. However, doing so poses a huge risk to the health of your plumbing system. Here, the drain repair and cleaning specialists at Arrow Sewer & Drain discuss what not to put down the drain.


Given how easily they break, you might think that putting cracked eggshells down the drain is harmless. Even after your garbage disposal grinds them up into small bits, eggshells can be problematic. The sharp edges can become stuck in substances, creating a trap for other waste coming down your drain. This mess can easily create a clog. Residents are better off disposing of their eggshells in the trashcan.

Fats, Oils, and Grease

Under no circumstances should fats, oils, or grease (FOG) ever be poured down a drain. That’s because they can coat the inside of your pipes, preventing water flow and creating a clog. FOG is reported to account for more than 47 percent of all sewer overflows that happen in the United States each year. FOG that commonly ends up down the drain include:

  • Cooking oil
  • Meat trimmings
  • Grease from meats
  • Salad dressing
  • Peanut butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Olive oil
  • Butter

Instead of disposing of FOG items down the drain, residents should allow them to harden and then place them in the trash.

Coffee Grounds

Most people assume coffee grounds are safe to put down the drain. However, because coffee grounds don’t dissolve in water, they can remain in your pipes, causing a blockage. Many clogs found in kitchen pipes are because of coffee grounds. For this reason, coffee grounds should always be thrown out in a trash can or used for composting.

Produce Stickers

Produce stickers commonly find their way down drains. Many people forget to remove them before washing their produce in the sink. While it may seem like no big deal, these identification stickers contain plastic, meaning they won’t break down. This can cause clogs in your pipes. It’s important to remember to peel produce stickers off before you wash your fruit and dispose of them properly.

Marketed Flushable Products

Products that claim to be flushable still pose a high risk of damaging your plumbing system. These types of products, such as flushable wipes, may not break down as they should. If this happens, the product often gets caught on other items in your pipes, which can lead to a blockage.


It’s estimated that one-third of medication sold in the US is left unconsumed. Flushing it down the toilet or pouring it down the drain, which was once advised, can result in chemicals being leaked back into your drinking water and the environment. Rather, residents should seek a medication take-back program at the local pharmacy or police department.

Learn More about What Not to Put Down the Drain

The health of your drain and plumbing system starts with you. Homeowners and property owners should be aware of what not to put down the drain. Clients in North and Central New Jersey unsure of what items they should and shouldn’t be disposing of down their drains can turn to the experienced team at Arrow Sewer & Drain. In addition to providing sound advice, we also offer professional drain cleaning should you experience a clog.

Those wishing to learn more about proper drain practices or in need of our services should contact us today at Arrow Sewer & Drain.

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