6 Food Items That Should Never Go Down the Drain

When you operate on a busy schedule, the last thing you want to add to your plate is plumbing problems. However-– this is easily preventable.

To ensure that your garbage disposals, dishwashers, and bathrooms never throw a wrench into your plans, restrain from letting these 6 food items go down the drain.

FOG – Fats, Oils, Grease

Fats, oils, and grease can come from numerous food sources. Not only will FOG cause backups in your home pipes, it’ll also clog city sewer pipes.
Backups lead to overflows of harsh chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide, which can cause health hazards, harm to the environment, as well as damage to your home.
Harsh chemicals leaking into the environment can kill plants, as well as cause headaches and respiratory problems when airborne.
Oil is not water-soluble, meaning that it can coat the lining of your drain pipes causing backups and a decreased drain rate in your kitchen sink.

Salad Dressing

With the New Year officially in full swing, one of the most popular new year’s resolutions is to eat healthier.
One approach to accomplish this goal is through your diet,–which explains why smoothies, salads, and proteins are a lot more popular this time of year.

If salads have become your healthy meal of choice, be sure to take preventative steps in protecting your kitchen sink drain.
When it comes to cleaning salad bowls, oil-based salad dressings can be detrimental to your drains. These dressings fall under the categories specified in FOG.
Prior to washing dishes in your kitchen sink, it is best to wipe salad bowls and utensils with a paper towel or napkin which you can dispose of in the trash.

Pan Grease

Similar to salad dressing, pan grease is made up of cooking oil and excess greasy drippings (such as bacon grease). These substances are also considered part of FOG.
Even though these substances begin in liquid form, they will solidify and in time cause backups further downstream in the water system.
Instead of pouring pan grease and excess drippings down your kitchen sink drain, pour them into an old can or jar then set that can on the counter to solidify. Once no longer a liquid, dispose of the grease into your trash can.
If FOG accidentally runs into your sink, restrain from pouring cold water immediately after. This can speed up the process in which fats, oils, and greases congeal — or harden.
Instead, run hot water down the sink in an attempt to help the substances and other debris pass through the pipes easier.

Coffee Grounds

Few things are better than starting your morning with a hot cup of coffee as you get ready for the day.

The popular morning kick-starter begins as tiny granules that are placed into a coffee maker where hot water is filtered through to make coffee. These coffee grounds are not water-soluble, meaning they will not dissolve as they run through your pipes.
In the event that oil or grease goes down your drain, be wary of letting coffee grounds flow down your garbage disposal because these can also cause a clogged drain.
In extreme cases, a sink clog can be subject to professional clearing.


The term “garbage disposal” can be easily misunderstood.
While it is assumed any food scraps are permissible to enter the garbage disposal, there are a handful of foods that are not. Certain foods have the ability to absorb water and expand in size when they do so. Some of these foods include:

These water-absorbent grains and starchy foods are common in creating a balanced meal. However, letting these down your drain can cause clogs as they take up space in your drains.
As the food particles absorb water and expand, they prevent water from efficiently flowing through your pipes.
It is important to scrape off any remaining food scraps before washing dishes or placing them in the dishwasher.
A garbage disposal’s blades are not strong enough to tackle everything it is put up against. Make sure you protect your garbage disposal by being aware of what other food waste can and cannot be put in it.

Mud/Clay Face Masks

While taking a break from your busy schedule, face masks are a soothing way to pamper yourself. As amazing as clay and mud face masks are to us, our drains do not share the same sentiment.
As you wash off your face, the mud or clay from the face mask can clump up and clog your drain. This leads to a slower drainage rate both in your bathroom sink as well as in the pipes that lead to the city sewer system, eventually causing potential larger-scale clogs.
Face masks are one of the common non-food items that can be detrimental to bathroom sinks and shower drains.

Instead, opt for wiping off the majority of the mask with a paper towel and throwing it in the trash prior to rinsing your face.
To keep your busy schedule running smoothly, prevent clogs and do not let these substances run down your drains.
We’re not always perfect. If one of these food items causes a backup in your kitchen sink, there are ways to fix it.

How Can You Fix a Clogged Drain?

Dissolving the waste inside your garbage disposal can clear the way for water to efficiently run down your kitchen drain. To do this, you will need
1/4 Cup Baking Soda
1 Cup Vinegar
4 Cups Boiling Water

After you gather your materials…
Pour the baking soda into the drain opening of your garbage disposal and let it run for a few seconds.
Add your vinegar, let it bubble, and leave it to sit for 10 minutes.
Wash it all down your drain with boiling water.

And Viola! Your drain is smelling fresher and is no longer clogged.

Sometimes, professional help is needed…

In the event that drain clogs occur and an emergency plumber is needed, contact your local Boise plumber, Knight Plumbing, for 24/7 service all over the Treasure Valley!
Say goodbye to clogged drains today!

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