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Household Items That Should Never Go Down Your Drains


It’s important to know what materials cannot go down your drains in order to avoid causing damage to your pipes. Even with a garbage disposal, these items can be a threat to the working condition of your pipes:

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are a great example of a food item that does not break down when exposed to water. Coffee grounds tend to clump together in pipes, leading to clogs. Coffee grounds are best disposed of in your compost or trash can.

Rice and Pasta

Uncooked rice and pasta can absorb water, and instead of breaking down, they expand and stick together. This can cause hard-to-remove mounds to form in your pipes.


When dry flour is mixed with water, it can create a paste-like substance. This can stick to the side of your pipes and become very hard to remove. The paste can also stick to the blades in your garbage disposal, making them dull and ineffective.


Both in the bath and the kitchen, oil should be avoided from going down the drain. Oil may be liquid when you’re cooking your favorite dish or adding it to a warm relaxing bath, but it cools when exposed to room temperature air. This means it will harden and stick to your pipe, making it harder for your drains to drain properly.

Bath Bombs

Bath bombs are staples of a great self-care night, but if used improperly over time can cause damage to your pipes. Some bath bombs have other materials inside them, like glitter, petals, confetti, etc. While these items may look cool when floating in the tub with you, they can build up in your drain and cause a clog in your pipes. A great solution is to place a strainer over your drain to collect all the unwanted items. It can then be emptied and the material can be thrown away in your trash can.

“Flushable” Wipes

A good number of baby wipe packages will say that they are safe to be flushed down the toilet. While this may be a convenient solution, most plumbing experts argue there is no such thing as a flushable wipe. Wipes do not break down when exposed to water. This means they can clump and build up in your drains and septic tank (if your home has one). It is important to dispose of wipes in the trash can.

If you ever find yourself with a stubborn clogged drain, contact our team at Nuckols Plumbing, Heating & Cooling by calling (804) 214-2077 or contact us online! We are here to ensure all of your pipes are working properly.