Your Drain is Not a Trash Bin: Things You Shouldn’t Discard down the Drain

Clogged Drains

Some see drains as magic portals that wash away various types of messes. Once people discard trash down the drain, they rarely think about it until it causes a problem with the septic system or the household pipes. Thus, homeowners who want to keep their plumbing system working properly should avoid throwing these items down the drain and, instead, discard it in a trash bin.

Oil, Fat, and Grease

Contracting companies that provide plumbing services, such as the Mechanical Contractors of Maine, understand that any of these slimy wastes form fatbergs that block household pipes. Every year, oil, fat, and grease buildups cause up to 36,000 sewer overflows in the states.

Paper Towels

Although biodegradable, paper towels have an inherent absorbency that can block pipes. Instead of flushing them down the drain, just throw it away in the bin. Better yet, switch to kitchen towels.

Flushable Cat Litter

While it does have the “flushable” label on it, families should never discard them down the drain for two reasons. First of all, these cat litters contain bentonite clay, an ingredient that forms a cement-like compound in water. They clog drains easily and can be a nightmare for septic systems. Second, cat feces may harbor Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Water treatments cannot destroy this parasite. Thus, it may threaten marine species, such as sea otters.


Even if the drain is equipped with a garbage disposal feature, eggshells create granular waste. This waste attaches itself to other waste and form a clog.

It can be a plumbing nightmare for a family when any of these items end up clogging the drain. Although there are water treatment facilities that remove contaminants from the drain, it may not be able to filter all harmful substances and chemicals that can potentially end up in clean lakes, rivers, and oceans.