Home News Stuff You Can and Cannot Flush Down the Sink

Stuff You Can and Cannot Flush Down the Sink

by Uneeb Khan

The sink is the heart of every house plumbing system. If the sink is blocked all the plumbing will be a disaster because you have to pump, you need to flush, you need to let the water waste flow down again like in your bloodstream. Good flow means healthy pipe. That is the reason that we need to know what and what not to flush down our sinks.

Safe items that can go down the sink with no worries:

1. Water – very obvious that this is the safest of all, either clean or waste water is safe down the drain.

2. Vinegar – it is also best for unclogging and cleaning so a big yes to your pipe.

3. Baking soda – it eliminates the smell and breaks down some debris together with the vinegar.

4. Lemon juice is also secure to go down the sink, it deodorizes it as well.

5. Toilet paper – the only friendly paper that you can flush, it is meant to tear apart as it is soaked in the water, it is almost like dissolving it, design for toilet bowls and your convenience.

Not the ideal stuff to be flushed down the sink, purposely or accidentally:

1. Grease, oil and other fatty substances – if these solidify it will be very hard to clean it out. It will create blockage overtime

2. Plastic – it is a non-biodegradable material, so it will never dissolve and will cause harm down the pipe.

3. Wipes (wet wipes, baby wipes, facial wipes) – even if they are paper like and the manufacturer says flushable do not flush it. They are still not safe to be flushed down, because it won’t break down easily and the longer you flushed it can cause clogging in your pipe.

4. Paper towels – this absorbent towel is meant to absorb more water, so the tendency of tearing it apart when it gets wet is not good for paper to be flushed down your sink. They will clump up and stuff together and block your pipe.

5. Cloth towel – of course you do not want cloth material down your drain hence they are not pipe friendly.

6. Cotton ball and Q-tips  – they are not meant to go down the sink either

7. Diapers, sanitary napkins, tampons and other related types –  they are clogging material big time.

8. Unused medications and birth control pills – it takes time for this little tablets to melt and could rust your pipe, so still a no no.

9. Cat litters – they don’t dissolve and just block the passageway

10. Cigarette butts – unhealthy to humans and so to the pipe. It will clog the drain because it won’t melt nor break down.

11. Dental floss – these are like tiny ropes with plastic so they are not eco-friendly.

12. Hair – for sure you know that hair never deteriorates. So think of it as you flushed it down the drain what will happen?

13. Flour, rice, oats and quinoa – they do not dissolve even if they go through your garbage disposal.

14. Metallic stuff like foil, aluminum cans, metal shavings and others.

15, Milk containers

16. Wood and a lot more

 Hazardous liquid that you cannot flush ever even mistakenly:

  • Harmful chemicals (like pesticide, mercury, BFR-brominated flame retardants) insecticide and more)
  • Paints
  • Alcohol
  • Bleach (unless diluted with water and soap)
  • Formaldehyde (it is a flammable, stinky compound can irritate your eyes, throat and mucus membrane and can cause nausea, headache and vomiting. Long exposure may increase your risk to brain cancer and leukemia, so a NO to flushing it, dispose it properly)

Aside from the other drains in your home, the kitchen’s sink is the most convenient and frequently abused when it comes to flushing a lot of stuff. The bathroom is next to the issue of becoming a trash bins for items that are not supposed to go down the drains. We should just be careful and aware on what to and not to flush down your sink. Always remember what goes down will go back up.

Always remember:

Keeping your sink clean and sanitized and remembering what stuff to flush and what not to flush, will keep you from trouble and other dilemmas with your plumbing. But in cases that you cannot avoid and tend to forget, keep a number of a very reliable plumber always ready and quick to respond to your plumbing problem so you do not have to wait for more issues to arise in your home.

Keep in mind that grease, oil and fats on your kitchen sink, beware! Hair, cottons, wipes, cloth paper and others, not good for your bathroom sinks ever. Simple things but always forgotten to follow. Not all liquids can go down the sink and very much not the solids. The fact of educating yourself and getting used to the idea of not doing it and making it a habit will save you a crisis and expenses. Who wouldn’t like that?

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