Dumping household waste down the drain seems so easy, but do you know how much damage it can cause to your drain and sewer system? Sure, it’s easy to pour that bacon grease down the sink after you cook breakfast, but even the smallest amount can cause major issues. Improper disposal of waste in your toilet or sink can result in clogs, backed up drains, or other malfunctions. These appliance systems have their limits, and even though these boundaries are often pushed daily, they aren’t indestructible. In order to prevent issues with your plumbing, and limit confusion, here are a few items that are safe or harmful to put down your drain.

Grease – Harmful

Whenever you finish cooking a meal, it’s likely that you’ll have some sort of mess to clean up. It may be easy to just dump the leftovers down the drain, but doing so can wreak havoc on your plumbing. Did you know that these materials harden and congeal as they cool? This means that as they travel down your drain, they stick to the sides of your pipes and harden. They also catch other materials on their way down, resulting in major clogs. When they are introduced to public sewer systems, they mix with other particles. This not only damages public infrastructure, but it can affect drinking water.

Citrus Fruits – Safe

As surprising as it sounds citrus fruits can be very beneficial to put down your garbage disposal or drain. The natural acidity will help break down gunk and grime built up in your pipes. This wont single handedly fix your issues, but is a healthy practice for your pipes and garbage disposal. So next time you finish using your garbage disposal drop a few slices of lemon or lime to help clean the disposal and give it a fresh citrusy smell.

Coffee Grounds – Harmful

Not even your garbage disposal can handle coffee grounds! They are a major cause of clogs, and any plumber will tell you to simply throw them away in the trash.

Ice Cubes – Safe

Ice cubes can help sharpen the blades of your garbage disposal and remove the potential food build-up on them. Ice cubes also pair well with citrus fruits so next time you want to clean your garbage disposal instead of purchasing chemical cleaners just grab a couple of lemon/limes and some ice.

Egg Shells, Bones, and Hard Food Waste- Harmful

Even though your garbage disposal can shred these food waste materials with ease, it’s still likely that they can cause a clog in your system. It’s best to throw these materials in the trash or in a compost pile.

company icon