Drain clogs are common, but preventable. Putting the wrong things down the drain or garbage disposal will not only lead to clogs, but it could also end up polluting the local waterways.
Everything that you flush down the toilet, or put down the drain eventually ends up in the sewage system. The water is sometimes treated, sometimes not, but the end place for this water is always our rivers, lakes, oceans, and other water bodies.
It is in the environment’s and your best interest to be aware of what goes down the drain.
What NOT to Put Down Drains
Clog prevention starts with watching what goes down the drain. The biggest enemies are grease, oils, fats, and coffee grounds.
Here are some things that you want to keep out of your drains:
- Car Fluids
- Pesticides, Insecticides, Fertilizers
- Bleach and Cleaning Products
- Paint, Varnish, and Paint Remover
- Beauty Products
- Medicines and Prescriptions
- Garbage and Trash
- Dental floss
- Feminine Hygiene Products and Condom
Properly dispose of your hazardous waste by taking it to your local Orange County collection center.
What NOT to Put Down Garbage Disposals
Here are some things that should never throw down the garbage disposal (unless you want a clog or stop-up):
- Glass, plastic, metal, or paper
- Trash or garbage
- String and fibrous vegetables (celery, onion skins, etc.)
- Pasta, rice, or any other food that expands
- Pits and large bones
- Grease, oil ,or fats
- Large amounts of anything
How to Properly Use Garbage Disposals
- Turn on cold water first (it helps solidify liquids).
- Feed food waste slowly, one by one, into the drain.
- Use garbage disposal frequently to avoid rusting.
- Remove objects around the sink to avoid having them fall into the disposal.
- If you need to remove anything from the disposal, we recommend turning the unit off at its source, either at the bottom of the unit or at the breaker box.
- If odors are emanating from the disposal, some ice and a couple lemon wedges should help considerably. You can also try some vinegar and baking soda.
If there is gunk and other grossness stuck to your splash guard, you can clean the underside with an old toothbrush.
These clog prevention tips will not only help you avoid expensive plumbing repair and replacement costs, but they will also help keep our public water system clean for generations to come. For more tips on improving the water quality for your home and community, read our Water Quality Tips.
For more Answer Videos, click here.
August is National Water Quality Month! Learn what you can do to improve the water quality for your family and community.