6 Foods That Shouldn’t Go Down the Drain

Superior Plumbing and Drains Clean Drain

Many calls we get at Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC could be avoided with a bit of foresight. Homeowners often treat their pipes as all-purpose disposals. However, some things should simply not go down the drain. Don’t let a clogged and overflowing drain disrupt your day. Even if you have a high-quality sink garbage disposal, these foods can lead to clogs and more severe plumbing damage over time.


Your sink garbage disposal is a great place to dispose of most food waste that would typically go to your compost bin. However, anyone putting eggshells down their drain is going to need emergency drain cleaning sooner or later.

How do you determine what foods are suitable for the garbage disposal? Most importantly, the food should easily break up and eventually dissolve in water. That way, your drain can wash it away. Unfortunately, eggshells don’t break down all that quickly.

Your eggshells will shatter into many small pieces going through a garbage disposal, but they’re just going to sit there afterward. It will take a lot of water to soften these hard-shell fragments, giving rise to a significant clog over time.


Most types of meat give off grease when cooked—some more than others. Bacon and hamburger often leave substantial oil in the pan. Homeowners think it can go down the drain just fine since it’s a liquid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Grease does not mix with water. Even with thorough mixing, oil or fat will separate into a distinct layer that sits on top of the water. That becomes a problem once the oil gets to your drain’s P-trap (the pipe that holds a small amount of water to prevent gases from entering your home).

The grease will sit on top of the water instead of flushing through to the other side. There, it will congeal into a solid mass that will accumulate other gunk and food waste. Eventually, you’ll need some plumbing drain service to handle this mess.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds—a common compostable waste—have no business being in your garbage disposal. First of all, garbage disposals can’t grind them up any more than they’ve already been ground. It’s the same as dumping them down a regular drain.

The coffee grounds you pour down the drain aren’t going to dissolve in water. You’ve already extracted everything that dissolves when made coffee. The grounds are the leftovers, and they will not be washed away easily.

Enough coffee grounds in your pipes will form a dense sludge that will call for residential drain cleaning. That can quickly spiral into a much worse situation if other debris gets stuck in this sludge.


The defining property of flour is that it will make dough when mixed with water. When you put flour down your drain, it will mix with water and make dough. Then you’ll have pipes full of dough that will need drain and sewer cleaning services to remedy.

The chunks of wet flour left in your pipes will allow other particles to build up, eventually leading to major clogs. You may think that running enough water will dilute the flour enough to wash away, but that just isn’t how it works.

You should always place flour in the compost or garbage bin to avoid major plumbing repairs. Otherwise, the flour can wash deep into your plumbing before it eventually takes hold and forms a clog.


Like eggshells—but even worse—bones don’t dissolve or break up in water. They are incredibly hard, even when cooked, and can essentially last forever for our purposes.

Even small bones from fish or chicken will lodge themselves in your plumbing and provide a surface for more clutter to cling to. Over time, a clog forms, and you’ll need some drain cleaning and plumbing help.

Your garbage disposal might seem good enough to break up bones when traveling down the drain, but those pieces aren’t going anywhere. Bones are among the very worst things you could put down your drain.


Of all foods, this food may be a bit less expected than the others on the list, but it can be just as bad if not worse. Celery has long fibrous strands that can cause severe problems with your garbage disposal.

Foods that present a similar problem can include the following:

  • Corn husks
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Artichokes

These strands wrap around the rotating blades like a string, eventually causing them to seize up. You’ll have to call in emergency drain service near me to fix this, rather than possibly injuring yourself trying to unjam it.

Plumbing Services When You Need Them

Superior Plumbing and Drains, LLC provides excellent drain cleaning and 24/7 emergency services for when you need plumbing help immediately. Our experienced team can provide any installation, repair, and drain cleaning in Charlotte, NC, you need. Contact us today for a quote on any plumbing job.

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