By AJ Danboise

When we scrape off our plates after dinner or give our toilets a flush, that tends to be the last time we think about the waste going down the drain. But the food items and products we toss travel through our pipes, and sometimes they can cause unexpected plumbing issues.

At AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we want to help you protect your pipes and prevent plumbing problems before they happen in your home. Here’s a list of 10 items that should never go down your drain.

Cooking Oil/ Fat

Cooking oil can mix with other waste or solidify as it cools and cause major drain blockage. It can cause sewers to overflow, and it can contaminate natural waterways and affect the surrounding wildlife.

Pasta/ Rice

Since pasta and rice swell up when they sit in water, they can expand inside your garbage disposal and pipes and cause blockages.

Egg Shells

Even after they have been ground up by the garbage disposal, eggshells can create granular waste that combines with other waste and clogs your pipes.

Coffee Grounds

Ask a plumber what the worst culprit for drain blockages, and he will probably point you toward coffee grounds. Either throw your grounds in the trash or use them as a fertilizer for certain types of flowers.


Your garbage disposal will not be able to handle even the smallest bones. They can get stuck in your disposal and jam it, creating a plumbing nightmare. Scrape bones into the trash or compost and keep them far away from your sink.

Fruit Pits and Rinds

Like bones, fruit pits are too hard for the blades of a garbage disposal. Rinds can clog up your drains as other particles stick to them. These would both make excellent compost materials, or you can simple throw them in the garbage.

Paper Products

Paper towels, sanitary napkins, and many other paper products will absorb moisture after they are flushed away. Once they expand, they can block your pipes.


Since latex is not biodegradable and will not dissolve in water, condoms can either get stuck in your sewage or even pollute the ocean if they manage to escape.

Animal Feces

Not only can they clog your pipes and mess with septic systems, they can attract harmful bacteria. Even “flushable” cat liter can carry parasites that spread disease.

Motor Oil

In some areas, disposing of motor oil using you’re the water system is actually illegal. The chemicals in motor oil can taint the soil and water table in an entire area easily.

If you stick to these guidelines, you can avoid backed up drains and clogged pipes in your home. If you notice your water draining poorly or your garbage disposal acting unusually, it is always best to contact a professional to help you troubleshoot the problem.

If you experience problems with your plumbing, AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical is here to help. Contact us at (248) 477-3626.

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