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6 Holiday Foods that Should NEVER Go Down Your Drain

tips and definitions plumbing

Here’s the scene: Your guests are happy and full after an excellent holiday meal prepared by yours truly. You give yourself a mental pat on the back as you head to the kitchen to finish cleaning. 

But then you turn the corner and see a clogged sink full of murky, stinky water.

Gross. How’d that happen? Well, while cleaning and washing dishes you were most likely sending food down the drain that clogged it. And now you’re left with a mess that’s embarrassing and just plain nasty.

So how do you prevent a clogged sink in the midst of the holiday madness?

Easy. Just read our list on holiday foods that should never go down your kitchen sink drain (or any drain for that matter).

1. Grease and oil

Grease and oils are big no-no’s for drains. Why? Well, when they cool they harden into a gelatinous barrier inside your pipes. 

Be sure to watch out for all “FOGs”  (fats, oils, grease) this holiday season. Some of the more common culprits from this list include:

  • Drippings from the turkey/ham pan
  • Gravy
  • Any animal fats (i.e. bacon grease)
  • Butters

How to correctly discard: Let it cool then pour it into a sealed non-recyclable bottle and throw away the entire bottle.

2. Turkey bones

This one really goes for bones of any kind. Bones are pretty much self-explanatory, they don’t break apart very easily and can get lodged inside your pipes. Even very small bones can cause damage to your garbage disposal or pipes.

How to correctly discard: Toss them in the trash instead.

3. Stringy vegetables

If you’ve ever bitten into a piece of celery, you know that the fibrous strands get stuck in your teeth. Similarly, they can wrap themselves around the blades of your garbage disposal, preventing it from working properly.

Other stringy vegetables include:

  • Celery
  • Leafy greens (Kale, lettuce, spinach, etc.)
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Artichokes

How to correctly discard: Same as bones, toss them in the trash.

3. Egg shells

The next time you make a batch of deviled eggs or your famous breakfast quiche, pay attention to what you do with the shells. And for the love of your drain, don’t throw them down your garbage disposal. Why? Well, those egg shells break apart into tiny fragments that stick to anything inside your pipes, quickly causing a clog.

How to correctly discard: You can toss egg shells in the trash or use them for compost. Because the shells are rich in calcium and other minerals, they make for great fertilizers. Mash up the eggshells and place them in the soil of your garden or plants.

 

4. Pastas

Most starches swell up when they come into contact with water. And dumping a good amount of rice or pasta down the drain at once can easily create a thick, goopy clog.

How to correctly discard: Scrape rice or pasta off plates/bowls and into the trash before washing.

5. Coffee grinds

Coffee grinds are a lot like egg shells. The tiny, grainy particles of coffee grinds attach themselves to any grease barriers already in your drains. And if you’re dumping a large amount of grinds, you can expect a clog in the near future.

How to correctly discard: You can re-use coffee grinds for so many things. For example, use it as fertilizer by sprinkling it in your garden or plant’s soil. Or dump a small amount in an open cup and leave it in the back of the fridge to absorb odors. You can even mix coffee grinds into your hand soap for a little exfoliation.

Need professional drain advice?

Whether you need drain maintenance or just have questions, we’re here to help.

Just contact us and we’ll get you the help you need.

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