Just because you can flush or pour something down your drains doesn’t mean you should! Prevent future clogs by making sure you keep the following items out of your home’s plumbing system.
1. Wet Wipes (Even the “Flushable” Ones)
Many manufacturers claim that their wipes are safe to flush, but do those claims truly hold water? As you can see in numerous examples (like this adorable science experiment from The Fit RV and this “edutaining” episode of Adam Ruins Everything), flushable wipes are not actually flushable. The reason: they don’t break down in water nearly as fast as toilet paper, making them much more likely to wad up and form clogs--not just in your pipes but also city sewers!
2. Paper Products That Aren’t Toilet Paper
At first glance, toilet paper, facial tissues, paper napkins, and paper towels seem pretty similar. So if you can flush toilet paper without a problem, why can’t you flush the rest? Unlike toilet paper, these other products are more absorbent and made to hold their shape against moisture for longer periods of time. After all, what good would a paper towel be if it disintegrated in your hands while you were drying them?
These paper products’ sturdiness and absorbent properties make it harder for them to travel through your home’s drains. As a result, they’re prone to get stuck and cause clogs.
3. Cooking Grease, Fat, and Oil
After frying up a delicious meal, it’s never a good idea to pour the excess grease down the drain. Why? Used grease, fat, and oil solidify once they cool off. This congealed grease can coat your pipes’ interiors and “catch” other objects as they try to pass, forming a clog. Instead, collect excess oil and grease in a jar or aluminum foil until you’re ready to throw it out on garbage day.
4. Paint, Glue, and Other DIY & Craft Materials
When it’s time for clean-up, pouring glue, mortar, and latex- and oil-based paints down your drains is a DIY don’t! Like grease, these materials harden deep down in your plumbing pipes, creating prime conditions for a clog. Depending on the type of material, you might be able to let it solidify and throw it out with your normal garbage, but some substances, like oil-based paint, should be taken to your local hazardous waste collection site.