Although it may be convenient to simply put these common ingredients down the sink, incorrect disposal can lead to burst or clogged pipes in the future. Here are some common foods that can cause damage to your pipes if not disposed correctly.
Oils, fats and grease
Any type of grease, fat and oil that’s let down the kitchen sink has potential to be the cause of a blocked drain. These substances can often act as a binder for many other substances, and an excess amount can result in sticky build-up. Fats and oils that are solid at room temperature, such as coconut oil for instance, are especially damaging and pose a greater risk, as they can harden inside the pipes and cause blockages. Instead of pouring these down the kitchen sink, pour them into a separate container, let it solidify, and then dispose of it in the garbage bin.
Flour is a staple ingredient in many households, and you may think of it as harmless. However, even this humble ingredient holds risks when disposed of incorrectly. When flour mixes with water, a sticky solution is created. This is enough reason for why you should never push flour down your sink. These kinds of sticky mixtures tend to stick around in the interior walls of the pipelines, preventing water from following freely. Over time, this can also cause build up from other foods sticking onto it, only worsening the likelihood of a completely clogged pipe.
Coffee grounds may seem small enough to easily make it through your pipelines, but they tend to stick together to create a sludgy kind of sediment in the drain that’s not easily pushed away by water. Again, excess amounts of this increases the chances of issues arising in the pipes. When disposing of coffee, ensure that none of the coffee grounds themselves make it down the sink. Before tossing the remaining coffee grounds straight in the garbage, consider ways to recycle the grounds and put them to good use. A nifty way is to either mix the grounds into your compost bins or directly use it as a fertiliser in your garden beds. The coffee will help the soil retain moisture better, creating a better environment for composting while also providing extra nitrogen to your plants, helping them to thrive! Another fun idea is to repurpose the coffee grounds as a face and body scrub – the coffee’s natural antioxidants will do wonders for your skin!
Particularly sticky ingredients such as honey are not recommended to be poured down the sink. Since it is unlikely that the water will dissolve the honey well, especially if the water is cold, these stickier ingredients cause other food debris to latch onto it and stay along the walls of the pipes. Honey in particular, also crystalises over time, making it even more likely to cause a blockage. If you cannot dispose of honey in the garbage bin, mix it with warm water until it dissolves before rinsing it down the sink.
In the case that you’ve accidentally poured any of these ingredients down the sink, and/or suspect that any damage has been caused, contact Sydney Blocked Drains and Pipe Relining at 1300 403 201 or through our website contact form. Our team is here to help you find the optimal solutions to keep your pipelines clean and working efficiently.