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  • Writer's pictureJustin Shook

The Top Things You Should Never Pour Down Your Kitchen Sink

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Beautiful kitchen with white cabinets, brass hardware, commercial oven, range, and hood with a farm style stainless sink and brown wood floors.

Your kitchen sink serves as the gateway to your plumbing system, responsible for handling various food scraps, liquids, and waste. While it may seem convenient to wash everything down the drain, there are certain substances that should never find their way into your kitchen sink. Pouring the wrong things down your sink can lead to clogs, backups, and even damage to your plumbing system. The best way to avoid stoppages is to know what to avoid putting down your sink in the first place. To help you maintain healthy and functional kitchen plumbing, we've compiled a list of the top things you should never pour down your kitchen sink. If you already have a clog, check out this article on clearing them. On to the list- some of these items may surprise you!

Grease and Cooking Oil

One of the biggest culprits for clogged drains is grease and cooking oil. When poured down the sink, these substances may appear liquid, but they solidify as they cool, causing sticky buildup along the pipe walls. Over time, this buildup can restrict water flow and lead to stubborn clogs. Instead, collect grease and cooking oil in a container and dispose of them in the trash.

Coffee Grounds

While it may be tempting to wash away coffee grounds down the sink, they can cause significant problems. Coffee grounds do not dissolve in water and can accumulate in your pipes, forming a dense sludge that leads to blockages. Dispose of coffee grounds in the trash or consider adding them to your compost pile.


Eggshells have a thin membrane that can easily stick to the pipes, creating a sticky residue that catches other debris and leads to clogs. It's best to dispose of eggshells in the trash or use them in your compost.

Pasta and Rice

When pasta and rice come into contact with water, they absorb it and expand. This expansion can lead to clogs in your pipes. Instead of washing them down the sink, dispose of leftover pasta and rice in the trash.

Fruit Peels

While fruit peels may seem harmless, they can be problematic for your kitchen sink. They have a fibrous texture that can wrap around the blades of your garbage disposal, causing it to jam. It's best to dispose of fruit peels in the trash or use them for composting.

Fibrous Vegetables

Vegetables like celery, onion skins, and corn husks have tough fibers that can tangle and wrap around the disposal blades or accumulate in the pipes, leading to clogs. It's better to discard these items in the trash or use them in compost.

Chemical Cleaners

Pouring chemical cleaners down the sink may seem like a quick fix for clearing clogs, but they can cause damage to your pipes and harm the environment. Chemical cleaners are corrosive and can erode the pipe material over time. Opt for natural alternatives or consult a professional plumber for safe and effective solutions.

Paint and Solvents

Paint, paint thinner, and solvents should never be poured down the sink. These substances are toxic and can contaminate the water supply. Dispose of them properly according to local regulations or take them to a hazardous waste collection facility.


Flushing unused or expired medications down the sink can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic life. Instead, consult local disposal guidelines or take them to a medication drop-off location.

Non-Biodegradable Items

Never flush non-biodegradable items like wipes, diapers, cotton balls, or dental floss down the sink. These items do not break down easily and can cause major clogs in your plumbing system. Dispose of them in the trash.

By avoiding these common mistakes and being mindful of what goes down your kitchen sink, you can prevent costly plumbing issues and keep your kitchen plumbing running smoothly. Remember to dispose of greasy substances, coffee grounds, eggshells, pasta, rice, fruit peels, fibrous vegetables, chemical cleaners, paint and solvents, medications, and non-biodegradable items properly. Your plumbing system will thank you for it, and you'll avoid unnecessary headaches in the future.

Maintaining a healthy and functional kitchen sink is essential for the overall well-being of your plumbing system and the environment. Practice these good habits and you will be on your way to a trouble-reduced kitchen plumbing experience. When you do experience plumbing issues, contact Premium Rooter Plumbing Services for help!



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