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The Dos and Don’ts of Drains

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The Dos and Don’ts of Drains

Whether you live in a house or an apartment, you’ve likely had to deal with drainage problems at some point in time. Clogged drains can be frustrating and if not dealt with correctly and properly, a costly nuisance. Getting educated on the dos and don’ts of drain usage and cleaning can definitely save you a headache in the long run!

Kitchen Drains

The first step to a clean kitchen drain is having a full understanding of what should absolutely never go down it! It easy to toss scraps down the drain whenever you cook, but when food and greases end up in your kitchen sink, it can lead to all kinds of potentially costly problems, including leaks, unpleasant smells, noises, and poor drainage.  All food scraps should be tossed scraped into a wastebasket before the dishes get to the sink.  The disposal is only intended to handle the remaining bits of COOKED (never uncooked) food that sticks to plates prior to washing.  Most kitchen clogs are the result of food or grease trying to be flushed down the drain.  Next we’ll discuss your garbage disposal specifically.

To better understand how to avoid harming your garbage disposal, it’s important to understand what it does. The role of your garbage disposal is to shred food waste in very small pieces (usually less than 2mm) so it can pass easily through your plumbing. It works by first using blades to break down the food and then an impeller arm and plate will force the food particles down your drain.

To keep your garbage disposal running smoothly, avoid putting the following down your kitchen drain:


  • Fats, oils, and grease (also known as FOG)
  • Pasta
  • Eggshells
  • Fruit pits and seeds
  • Bones
  • Coffee grounds
  • Any non-food items


When you do put food scraps down your garbage disposal, be sure to run water the entire time the disposal is running and for about a minute you turn it off to ensure everything went through its system. You should also avoid overfilling your disposal by trying to stuff too much down too quickly.

Bathroom Drains

Like your kitchen sink, you can keep your bathroom drains happy by making sure trash and other dangerous items aren’t flushed down the toilet. This includes other items such as:

  • Baby wipes
  • Hair
  • Food
  • Dryer Sheets
  • Diapers
  • Feminine products
  • Cotton balls
  • Paper towels
  • Cosmetics
  • Q-tips

Even if an item is label as “flushable”, these products can cause problems for some sewer and septic systems. A good of thumb is to only flush human biological waste and toilet paper.  Please keep in mind that some medications can alter the consistency of your waste and may even make it so hard that it can cause clogs easily.  You may need to consult your Dr. to help find a remedy if this becomes a problem.

How to deal with drain clogs

When it comes to clogs in your bathroom or kitchen, don’t immediately reach for the chemicals. Aside from being bad for the environment and dangerous for your health, chemical drain cleaners are corrosive and will eat away at your pipes. If you have a clog in your sink or toilet, we recommend taking the following steps:

For a bathroom or kitchen sink:

  • Remove any standing water with a cup or small bucket. Next, stuff a rag into the flow drain if you are trying to unclog a kitchen sink (will not be necessary in a bathroom sink). This will increase pressure while plunging.
  • Place the plunger completely over the drain and pump up and down vigorously.
  • Continue pumping for 1 to 2 minutes and repeat if needed.

For a toilet:

  • Remove any standing water with a cup or small bucket, but be sure to leave enough to cover the plunger cup.
  • Place the plunger completely over the drain.
  • Stand over the plunger and pump up and down several times.
  • Repeat these steps if necessary.

And of course, if there’s a clog that can’t be fixed on its own, Roto Rooter is here to help! Call us 24/7 at 1-812-339-1836!



By |2017-11-30T21:00:28+00:00January 2nd, 2018|Drains, Sink Clog|0 Comments