No matter if you are renting or owning, it is imperative to understand how to care for the drains in your home. While it is sometimes tempting, or even easy to forget, your sinks and toilets are only designed for very specific types of waste. Putting other items down the drain can lead to damage, blockage, corrosion, and contamination. Here is an overview of the top things that should certainly not be finding their way down your drain.
While toilet paper and the occasional Kleenex are ok to flush down the toilet, other bathroom toiletries are not. This includes cotton balls, q-tips, facial wipes, body wipes, baby wipes, tooth floss, band aids, sanitary napkins, and paper towel. This probably can be easily solved if you take the time to go out, buy a small trash can, and place that trash can directly next to your toilet.
Grease, Oil, and Fat
Small amounts of grease, cooking oil, and fat will inevitably find their way down your drain, but you should never intentionally pour them down the drain. Even if poured down the drain in their liquid form, these substances can and will turn in to a solid in your pipes—creating a blockage that will need repairing in the very near future.
Corrosives, Paint, or Any Non-Food Liquids
Corrosives poured down your pipes have the power to eat away at your pipes creating costly damage. There are many other liquids that are not ok to pour down your drains. This includes oil, car products, cleaning chemicals, paint, paint thinner, and nail polish remover. Not only can these products damage your plumbing lines, but these toxic liquids will be fed right in to local streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Cat Litter—Even the Flushable Formulas
While designed to be flushable, even flushable cat litter can create many problems in your plumbing lines—and in your septic system. Instead, scoop and toss it out in a garbage can. When cleaning your litter boxes, put a drain catch over the bathtub or sink drain you are using to make sure that none of the clay or clumping liter finds its way down your plumbing lines.
You will shed hair when showering and shaving, which is why it is a great idea to install a drain catch to your bathtub. That being said, never intentionally put hair down the drain. Even when cleaning the hair out your hairbrush, don’t flush—but instead throw it out in a trash can.
Coffee grounds might be small, but they can create some major problems in your drain. Just as with grease, oil, and fat, a bit of escaped granules here and there are not likely to cause a problem, but intentionally throwing them down the drain is another story. If you haven’t noticed the common solution here then we will say it again. The solution to all your problems can be solved using a trash bag as often as possible.