Flushing stuff away through the sink might seem like the easiest, most convenient way to get rid of them. It feels safe: as long as they can pass down the drain, they can’t cause any harm, right? Well, no, not really. Things that might appear harmless while flushing down your drain could also be the culprit of some costly issues over time. Moreover, the way you clean the basin also counts. If you would rather not ruin your kitchen sink, it is important to know which habits are better to avoid.
Things That Can Clog Your Kitchen Sink
There is more than one thing that appears safe but can actually clog your kitchen sink fast.
Cooking Oils & Fats
Cooking oil and similar fats belong to the most damaging things to pour down your drain. When liquid, they appear easy to just slide away without causing any issue. Quite the contrary: while fat and cooking oils are a form or liquid, they are also very viscous. It means they can easily clump together somewhere in your pipes, solidify, and obstruct them as a result.
It isn’t good for your pipes to wash coffee grinds down the drain. Even the most negligible amounts can gradually build up and block the flow. That increases the chances your sink will back up and overflow when too much waste accumulates over time.
If you’re reading this and thinking – who could even think to wash bones down the drain? – then, feel free to jump to the next paragraph. However, suppose you believe that the blades of your garbage disposal can effortlessly mill anything to make it safe for sending down a drain. In that case, you might end up with a problem. The only bones that are small enough to go down your drain are thin fish bones.
Flour might seem fluffy and weightless when dry – but remember what happens when you mix it with water. No one wants a tough ball of thick substance growing in the middle of their drain pipes, collecting debris. The same applies to oatmeal, by the way.
Tiny Pieces of Fruit and Vegetables
The skin, seeds, and cores of fruit and vegetables can be rinsed down the drain without any issue. Or so it seems. However, when these tiny pieces are left to accumulate, they can quickly create a clog.
Rice & Pasta
Both pasta and rice are full of starch. That means, no matter how cooked, they will continue to absorb liquid. If stuck in the drains, they can quickly transform into a messy ball, hard to break down but also ideally sticky to collect other debris passing by.
You’ve probably seen those tiny stickers on fruits and vegetables and noticed how they seem to shrink and melt when wet. They may seem harmless, but it’s better to remove them in advance.
How Not to Ruin Your Kitchen Sink
Now that you know what shouldn’t be flushed down the drain, there are some tips on maintaining your kitchen sink in good condition.
- If you have any leftover oil or liquid fat, pour it into a container and store it in the fridge or freezer. When it’s solid, you can then scrape it off and discard it in the trash.
- Don’t let food or grease build-up on the sink. That can be difficult to remove and can also lead to bacteria growth. Wipe down the surface with a damp cloth after every use. If necessary, add some dishwashing liquid or a specialized product to the mix. This will help to keep it clean and free of debris.
- Use mild detergents and appropriate cleaning products. Don’t misuse harsh chemicals or abrasives to scrub your sink. They can damage the surface and leave it looking unsightly.
- If something does happen to clog your sink, try using a plunger to clear it. If that doesn’t work, you might need to call a plumber.
- Don’t overload the sink with dishes and other items. That can cause the sink to overflow and create a mess.
- Try to leave some space for the water and waste to flow freely. If the sink is too full, it will be more difficult for the water to exit, increasing the chances of a clog as a result.
- Remember to always remove as much food waste and debris from the sink as possible before running the water. That will help to keep it clean and functional.
Now that you know what not to do, your kitchen sink should stay in perfect condition for a long time. Just remember to be mindful of what goes down the drain. Follow our simple tips for keeping it clean, and you’re good to go!