What products should you avoid pouring down your drains?

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Maintaining a healthy plumbing system is essential for the smooth functioning of your household. One way to ensure its longevity is by being mindful of what goes down your drains. While it may seem convenient to dispose of various products down the sink or toilet, certain items can wreak havoc on your pipes, leading to costly repairs and environmental damage. In this article, we will discuss the products you should avoid pouring down your drains to protect both your plumbing and the environment.

Cooking Oil and Grease

Pouring cooking oil and grease down the drain is a common mistake many people make. While it may be liquid when hot, as it cools, it solidifies and sticks to the inner walls of your pipes, causing blockages. Instead, let the oil or grease cool, and dispose of it in a sealed container, or consider recycling it if possible.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are notorious for clumping together and forming dense masses in your drains, leading to clogs. Avoid rinsing them down the sink or toilet and opt for composting or using them in your garden instead.


Flushing unused or expired medications down the toilet can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life. Instead, contact your local pharmacy or healthcare facility to inquire about proper medication disposals methods, such as take-back programs or designated drop-off locations.

Paper Towels and Tissues

While toilet paper is designed to dissolve quickly in water, paper towels and tissues are not. Flushing these items down the toilet can cause blockages and put a strain on your plumbing system. Always dispose of paper towels and tissues in the garbage bin.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Although it may seem counterintuitive, chemical drain cleaners can actually harm your plumbing system. These harsh chemicals can erode pipes over time, leading to leaks or bursts. Moreover, they can be harmful to the environment. Instead, try natural alternatives like a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, or use a drain snake to clear minor clogs.

Paint and Solvents

Paint, paint thinner, and other solvents contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment and can damage your pipes. Avoid pouring them down the drain or toilet. Contact your local waste management facility to learn about safe disposal methods for hazardous substances.

Hair and Personal Care Products

While it’s difficult to prevent some hair from going down the drain, it’s crucial to avoid deliberately pouring clumps of hair or excessive amounts of personal care products into the sink or shower drain. Hair can accumulate in pipes, causing stubborn clogs. Consider using drain covers or traps to catch hair and clean them regularly.

Taking precautions and being mindful of what you pour down your drains can save you from plumbing disasters and protect the environment. Avoid pouring cooking oil and grease, coffee grounds, medications, paper towels, chemicals, paint and solvents, as well as excessive hair and personal care products down your drains. By adopting these simple practices, you can contribute to the longevity of your plumbing system while reducing your impact on the environment. Remember, a little care goes a long way in maintaining a healthy and efficient plumbing system. If you wish to learn more tips for good drain maintenance, visit our blog. If you need help with your drainage, give us a call at 020 3488 6280 or fill up our online contact form.