During a particularly busy party or family event, you may find the most convenient way to get rid of a small piece of food or used napkin is to wash it down the sink. If you don’t immediately encounter any issues with your draining, it’s easy to believe that item was flushed away. However, continually putting food and other things down your drains can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Protect your home by never putting any of these items in your plumbing.

Starchy or Fibrous Foods

Starchy foods like potato peels, rice, pasta and beans aren’t meant for your pipes. When you put these items in a garbage disposal, they create a sticky paste that can coat your plumbing. The more water you add to wash them away, the more they’ll expand until they completely block up your drains.

Fibrous foods like corn husks, celery, asparagus and onion skins will also expand as well as damage your disposal’s impellers. The many fibers in these foods can’t easily be broken apart and will instead wrap around the system’s motor. They can also snag other debris in your drains, leading to clogs and unpleasant odors.

Egg Shells

Contrary to the belief that eggshells sharpen your disposal, they actually only cause more harm than good. It’s never a good idea to add eggshells due to their sturdy membrane layer that can cling to your impellers. Additionally, if the shells sit in your pipes for too long, they’ll dissolve into a sandy sediment. Too much of this debris will narrow your pipe’s circumference, making it harder for wastewater to travel out of the home.

Fats, Grease or Oils

Hot grease or fat should never be poured down the drain even as a liquid. Once it cools down, it will harden, coating your pipes in a thick sludge. This substance will grab onto other small pieces of food and hair, worsening your sink’s drainage. You should also avoid pouring these types of substances down the toilet. It’s best to set them aside and let them cool and harden before throwing them safely in the trash.

Napkins or Paper Towels

Thin napkins may seem like they’ll eventually dissolve either in your pipes. However, not every type of paper towel or napkin is biodegradable and safe for your plumbing. In reality, many brands use chemical perfumes or heavy-duty fibers that won’t fall apart over time. They’ll instead collect around the bends of your pipes until they cause a clog or a bigger issue like a fatberg.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are another kind of sediment food that can accumulate over time. The grounds are most likely to rest in low areas of your plumbing and won’t break down or easily disintegrate in water. They’re also at risk of sticking to other substances like grease or fat. This food waste is best suited for the trash can or your compost bin.


Regularly putting poultry or beef bones in your garbage disposal can harm both your impellers and your pipes. Firstly, disposals aren’t designed to chew up the thick, dense bones found in most kitchens. While delicate fish bones are safe in small amounts, other harder bones will break your disposal. Even if your system does manage to shred them, the sharp shards left behind will filter into your pipes. These pieces can puncture old pipework and create blockages.


When you’re working on a meal for dinner, you may want to drop your trimmings right into your conveniently close disposal. Unfortunately, many meats have large quantities of non-soluble fats. If the pieces themselves are too large and you don’t have access to a disposal, you risk creating a clog. Putting any food in your plumbing also comes with the possibility of increasing common pests like drain flies and cockroaches.

Brighton Residential Plumbing Company

You can always depend on the plumbing experts at TYCO Plumbing for reliable service in and around Brighton, CO. Our licensed staff members take pride in earning your complete satisfaction no matter the size of the plumbing issue. We can install your new garbage disposal, clean your drains, or detect leaks. Our team is also trained to handle bigger projects like water heater service, sump pumps and gas piping. Call TYCO Plumbing for the best residential plumbing care in Brighton.

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