Ever heard of the London “fatberg”? In September 2017, U.K. water company officials discovered a 130-ton mass blocking the city’s sewer system. It weighed roughly the same as 11 double-decker buses, and was comprised of cooking fat and sanitary products. YUCK.

Although pipe blockages in your home occur on a less serious (and foul) level, they can nevertheless cause irreparable and expensive damage. To keep your pipes free of mini fatbergs, here are a few things you should never put down the drain:

Cleaning Products

Kitchen, bathroom, and household cleaning products should never be flushed down the toilet or dumped in the sink. Phosphates and antibacterial agents make these products toxic and disruptive to water ecosystems. Avoid this problem by using all-natural products or making your own cleaning solutions.

Coffee Grounds

The perception that coffee grounds will “clean your pipes” is wrong. Combine a few teaspoons of coffee grounds with a little grease and you’ve got a plumbing nightmare on your hands. To avoid this mess, ensure you dispose of your coffee grounds in the garbage or compost.

Grease

What do you think held London’s fatberg together? Grease is one of the worst materials you can put down the drain. Whether it’s cooking fat, coconut oil, or gravy from last night’s turkey, it should be disposed of elsewhere.

“Flushable” Cat Litter

This concept may seem ingenious, but the actual science behind it struggles to hold true. Flushable cat litter, unfortunately, is somewhat of a myth. Not only does it clump together and clog your drains, it can potentially expose you to Toxoplasma gondii—a harmful parasite found in cat feces.

Paint

When it comes to getting rid of excess paint, dumping it down the toilet may seem like an easy fix. Depending on your municipality, there are different legal requirements with regards to disposing oil and latex paints. They are harmful to the environment and can coat your pipes with a toxic, sticky substance.

Medicine

Whether it’s Advil, Tylenol, or a birth control pill, no medication should be disposed of in your drains. Many medications contain hormones and chemicals harmful to the environment. To avoid polluting nearby ecosystems, safely dispose of your medication in the garbage or with a medication take-back program.

It’s so easy to forget about what we put down our drains. But tossing non-biodegradable products down the sink can lead to plumbing nightmares down the road.

If you are concerned you have a mini fatberg in your drains, and are looking for a plumbing service you can trust, get in touch with us today at Priority Pluming.