Top 15 things to never flush down your drains

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Oh, gross! The toilet is backed up. If you’ve ever dealt with an overflowing sink or toilet you automatically wrinkle up your nose just thinking about it, right? Plumbers are called frequently when a family member flushes something they shouldn’t down the drain. We’ve fished out all kinds of gross and even funny items – like whole diapers or stuffed rabbits – and other items too yucky to even mention in this column.

Plumbing By Jake hopes you never have a big plumbing backup. Here’s the good news: The inconvenience and cost of a clogged drain can be prevented before it ever happens if you just follow our rules for the top 20 items you should never send down the drain pipe.

Here’s the list:

1. Grease from your cooking pot should never go down the disposal. Over time, fat and oils can build into a murky mess that will stop this tool in its tracks.

2. Bones from fish, chicken, or other animal products should go in the trash, not in your sink.

3. Rice, bread, or pasta will expand in your pipes and cause a blockage.

4. Coffee grounds and filters will stick to the sides of your disposal just like grease does.

5. Human or animal hair should never go down any sink. If you bathe your dogs in the shower or tub, lay down a cloth to pick up the hair and then throw it in the trash.

6. Even the cleaning items that say they are disposable – are not. From baby wipes to toilet scrubbies, don’t flush ‘em, put them in the trash.

7. Feminine hygiene products should never ever go into the toilet.

8. Even if your cat litter says it can be flushed – don’t do it!

9. Dental floss should go in your trash can.

10. Cotton balls or even Q-tips have been flushed with disastrous and expensive results.

11. Never put your G.I. Joe in the toilet, okay? Teach your kids that the guy cannot swim!

12. Oddly, bottle caps are often tossed in the toilet. We don’t know why.

13. It may be tempting to toss expired medicine, even over-the-counter cough syrup, down the drain or toilet. But think about what happens on the other end of the process. Your waste medicines are likely to end up back in the water supply or into the environment with very detrimental effects.

14. Paint or other solvents like motor oil, believe it or not, often end up down the drain. See #13.

15. Gum is one of those items that we often toss carelessly outside the car window – or into the toilet. Can you imagine how that might get stuck on the first elbow it comes to? Then think about all the hair and other items that go down your drain, balling up into a sticky mess.

At Plumbing By Jake we know that life happens. If you wake up to a clogged toilet or drain, please don’t hesitate to call us – we can help.