4 Foods to Keep Out of Your Kitchen Drains

As a homeowner, you know the frustration and annoyance a clogged drain can cause. In addition to drainage and backflow problems, a full or partial clog in a kitchen drain can also come with unpleasant noises and odours.

In our last blog, " Gurgle, Gurgle, Glug: Why Is Your Sink So Noisy? ," we discussed the many causes of loud sink drains. In this blog, we help you protect your kitchen sinks from one of the most common causes of loud, inefficient or smelly drains: food clogs.

Here are four of food items that you should never let slip down your kitchen drain.

1. Coffee Grounds and Tea Leaves

Many homeowners assume that because coffee grounds and tea leaves are biodegradable, these items don't pose a threat to a home's plumbing system. These food items have a tendency to clump together in the bends of pipes, and these clumps can contribute to serious clogs.

While you can welcome coffee grounds to your compost pile, you shouldn't let them into the kitchen drain. Instead, dispose of grounds and leaves in coffee cans or straight into the garbage.

2. Cooking Fat and Grease

Oil, fat and grease all stay liquid when warm, but solidify once they cool. When you wash a fatty substance down the drain, you risk creating an obstruction when you stop running the hot water. Worse, these substances encourage other debris to stick to them.

Over time, congealed fatty food items create tough, stinky clogs in plumbing systems. Only let residual oils go down the drain. Dispose of the majority of your bacon grease, shortening and butter in plastic bags you place in the rubbish bin instead.

3. Hard Animal Products

While your garbage disposal can handle many types of food waste, it struggles to break up particularly hard items. Putting eggshells, bone shards or even soft fish bones in the drain can gum up your disposal, wear down your system and lead to blockages.

If a piece of hard waste goes down the drain, it may become stuck somewhere in your pipes, trapping everything you try to wash down after it in your system. Avoid cleaning poultry or fish in the sink without a drain cover. Dispose of all animal products, especially bones, in the rubbish bin instead of the drain.

4. Starches

In addition to animal products, keep starchy foods out of your drains. These foods include:

  • Breads
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes

Starchy foods expand and become sticky when wet, a feature which can encourage these food products to linger in your pipes. Starchy foods can create some of the most solid and most foul-smelling clogs near your sink.

Clear all plates, bowls and food storage containers of starchy foods before washing up.

If you notice the signs of an existing clog, contact a plumbing technicians for obstruction evaluation and a pipe cleaning. A plumbing expert can determine the exact location and nature of the blockage, making it easier for the technician to return your sink to normal function than any do-it-yourself remedies.

To prevent future clogs, pay attention to what goes down the drain. If you frequently find yourself letting excess food wash away with your dishwater, consider moving a rubbish bin closer to your sink so you have an alternative disposal method. To protect your sink from smaller particles that can build up in the pipes, place a mesh screen over the opening when you rinse dishes, wash vegetables and clean up after cooking.

Keep these foods out of your sink to ensure the drain continues to empty quickly, smoothly and quietly. To learn more about your home's plumbing,  read our other blog posts.

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