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Plumbing systems are pretty amazing, but there are many items that just don’t belong down a drain. Even the strongest pipes can’t stop clogs from occurring. To prevent clogs and other issues from arising, it’s wise to know which items that should not go down the drains in your household or workplace.

Fat, Oil, or Grease

Oils, fat, and grease can clog both your household or workplace pipes, as well as the sewers in your area. They may also get into the local water supply and nearby waterways, which can negatively affect the ecosystem. An alternative to putting such substances down the drain is to fill a large can with them and then dispose of it appropriately.

Paper Towels or Napkins

Paper towels and napkins can stick to plates and placed in the sink. But both paper towels and paper napkins should be discarded in the trash instead of the drain. They won’t decompose the way that toilet paper does. This can lead to clogs in your plumbing system that may require professional attention.

Disposable Wipes

Disposable wipes are quick and convenient, but similar to paper towels, they should be disposed of in the garbage and not down your drains. Even the flushable types can cause problems in sewer systems. This includes the kinds you might use to remove makeup, for personal sanitary purposes, or to clean a baby’s diaper area.

Medications or Supplements

Whether you need to get rid of vitamin supplements or prescription medications, disposing of them via your drains can be hazardous to the general population. They can make their way into the drinking water in your area, posing potentially serious health risks, and are difficult to remove. Instead, you can take unused medications to your local pharmacy for disposal, and discard your unused vitamin supplements in the trash.

Cat Litter

The traditional type of cat litter was not designed to be flushed, and it will cause clogs in pipes. Even the flushable kind of cat litter should be disposed of in the trash instead of down the drain. It may be marketed as flushable, but it can still wreak havoc with a septic system.

When in Doubt

Anytime you aren’t sure whether something can safely go down a drain or disposal, it’s probably best to dispose of it in a different way. To help prevent unwanted items from going down your drains, you can install strainers in all of your sinks or you might also install a drain basket or garbage disposal basket in your kitchen sink.

By keeping certain things out of your drains, you could significantly reduce your household or workplace plumbing problems. And when a clog does occur, professional drain cleaning and disposal services can help clear persistent blockage and buildup.