Dishes go into the kitchen sink for washing. Food particles on the dishes get washed down the drain. No one thinks twice about this, but they should. Some foods cry havoc with pipes and let slip the dogs of plumbers. Here are nine foods to never wash down the drain.
Mixing flour and water for the batter in a bowl makes a paste. Mixing it with the water in the kitchen drain makes the same paste. As it dries inside the pipes, it clogs the pipes. Scrape any flour mixture into the trash to avoid the need for a plumber.
2. Pasta And Rice
Uncooked pasta and rice absorb moisture. Cooked pasta and rice still do. Cooked pasta and rice clumps up on a plate, so it does the same in your pipes. Scrape any cooked or uncooked pasta and rice into the trash to avoid clumping in your pipes.
Before draining cooked pasta and rice into the sink, think twice. The starch from these products binds oil and water in sauces. It will bind things in your pipes, too. Save starchy water for sauces or place it in ice cube trays for future use.
An interesting thought is what to do with potato peels. They contain the same starch as pasta and rice do. They might get washed down the kitchen drain, too. The starch will have the same effect on the pipes.
What to do?
Instead of trashing them, pop them in the oven to bake for a snack or treat. Top them with your choice of favorite toppings. Have some fun with it!
3. Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds don’t dissolve in water, as opposed to your cup of joe. Washed down the kitchen drain, they line the pipes to cause clogs. This happened to me quite a few times, and I had to call a plumber. You may need to do the same when this eventually happens to you, but don’t worry. If you’re one of our followers in Chicago for example, your local Chicago plumber is available when and if clogged pipes require expert assistance.
Coffee grounds make excellent compost as well as skincare products. Save your coffee grounds for these and other things, or just ditch them in the trash.
They’re so thin and delicate. What harm can they do? The sticky insides of eggshells stick to the pipes. If too many eggshells do this, you’ll have clogged pipes. Eggshells, however, make excellent compost. They can also go in the trash for the best results.
5. Grease And Fats
Trimming the fat off-cuts of meat, bacon grease, cooking oils, and butter all harden when they enter pipes. They form a layer around the pipes that narrow them so that little water can pass. In time, your pipes will close up.
You can avoid the need for a plumber by using an empty coffee can or another container into which to pour your grease, oils, and fats. When the container is full, just trash it.
6. Seeds and Kernels
Bowls with unpopped popcorn, seeds from cut apples, and similar things also play havoc with drains and pipes. They get caught in the things glued to the sides of the pipes to make a gigantic clog. Scrape these things into the trash.
7. Fibrous Foods
Stringy celery, string beans, and corn cob fibers not only get stuck between the teeth. They also form a virtual hairball in pipes. This causes clogs. Scrape fibers from certain foods into the trash to avoid clog problems.
8. Unfinished Or Expired Medications
Chemicals in wastewater plants aren’t filtered, so they get into the drinking water. They also get into lakes and streams, which poison fish, birds, and wildlife. Toss any unfinished or expired medications into the trash or return them to pharmacies with proper waste procedures.
Drain cleaners, window cleaners, and other cleaning products may contain ammonia. When mixed with bleach, these cleaners form a gas dangerous to inhale. Additionally, bleach eats at pipe materials, forming holes in the pipes. Avoid pouring bleach into drains, and you’ll be good to go.
Drains aren’t an alternative to a trash or compost bin. Avoiding putting the above-listed items in drains will save you money on plumbing professionals.
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Fallon Chan is a food and lifestyle photographer and blogger.