Like chewing your nails, cracking your knuckles, or skipping breakfast, flushing trash down the drain or toilet has become a bad habit for many people. We’re not sure why the plumbing is so inviting. Maybe it’s the way the water swirls or how whatever they’re dumping bubbles and then disappears to never be seen again, but either way it is really a terrible habit. Flushing things other than regular toilet paper and human waste – both of which are completely water soluble – is not only bad for your own and the city plumbing; it can also horrible for the environment. So what are the things you should never pour down the drain?
The most common no-nos that are flushed are cooking wastes and sanitary products. Cooking waste are often fats and greases from ground beef, bacon, or any oily food. Other food wastes may include scraps left on eating dishes. No food products should ever go down the drain except water soluble liquids such as juice, teas, or coffee. Any amount of grease will often solidify in your pipes causing clogs; chasing it with hot water might help, but it’s still not a good idea! Just wait until it’s solid (or throw it in the freezer to quicken the process) and throw the fat away directly into the garbage. This is true for all the food mess left on plates and bowls and other dishes. By scrape them off into the trash before washing, you’ll greatly improve the health and lifespan of your plumbing system.
Sanitary products also incorporate a wide variety of materials. Paper towel, kleenex and other tissues (this means baby wipes as well!), make up applicators including cotton balls and cotton pads, and all feminine hygiene products – tampons don’t get a pass either – are just some of the sanitary products that should be thrown out in the garbage. These sort of sanitary materials don’t break down in the sewage system the way toilet paper and human wastes do. Often, even if they’re labeled as flushable, it’s wiser to just throw them in the garbage.
We understand that the toilet or sink is often the more convenient way to be rid of these common materials. However, like most bad habits, flushing and washing food or hygiene products down the drain causes more problems than they help. If it helps, keep your toilet seat shut and have a small garbage easy to access in your washroom and under your kitchen sink. Try to make it routine that everyone scrapes their plates before putting them in the sink or loading them into the dish washer. If you will follow the list of things you should never pour down the drain and these little changes in your behavior, it can save your plumbing many repairs! That said, if your drains are running slow and you suspect a clog, give us a call at 403-452-2911, and we’ll do everything we can to help.