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Just as there are many things you shouldn’t flush down your toilet, there are also numerous things you shouldn’t put down your kitchen sink. Despite having a garbage disposal unit, most foods and many liquids can give you a clogged drain that’s tough to fix. Many items that appear to break up easily and would seemingly go down the drain with no issue are actually common sources of pipe blockage that can put your sink out of business. Here is our top 10 list of things you shouldn’t put down your kitchen sink to avoid garbage disposal and drain clogs:

Top 10 Things You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Kitchen Sink


It’s been argued that eggshells are both beneficial for your drain and potentially damaging for your drain. Ground up particles of eggshells scrape up other blockages in your kitchen sink drain, relieving it of any odors that other food has left behind. On the other hand, an egg shell’s ground up particles can also get stuck to the pipe’s walls and clog the drain completely.

Grease, Fats, and Oils

Grease, fats, and oils: these three thick liquids are huge contenders for a clogged drain because they are believed to water-soluble. Pouring grease down the drain will build up layers over the blades of your garbage grinder and eventually solidify, blocking your drain. It’s better to pour your excess grease, fats, and oils in a separate container and dispose of it like normal trash.

Soft Foods

There are many foods that are put down the garbage disposal unit that are broken down smoothly and cause no clogging issues. But, foods like pasta, rice, potatoes, and beans swell with water, creating a consistency that’s paste-like and will undoubtedly obstruct your drain pipe. You should always be wary of what foods you put through the garbage grinder that can get caught in the pipes because of its density.


Modern TV shows may show actors and actresses dumping pills down their drain and grinding them up with the garbage disposal unit in a moment of sudden mental clarity and determination to get better and — STOP! You should never put pills down the drain. Anything from ibuprofen to antidepressants is better left bagged up and thrown away or dropped off at a medicine disposal area at pharmacies if you have one nearby.


This applies more to those who are working or living in buildings that have strict limitations on how latex and oil paint is dealt with at the kitchen sink. Generally washing out brushes and washing down very little latex paint is the full extent of how much paint you should ever pour down the drain. Other leftover paint should be left to dry and then disposed of with your other trash.

Produce Stickers

One of the unique things you shouldn’t put down your kitchen sink, produce stickers, are something that many people don’t think about when washing their fruits and vegetables. Those small stickers attached to your produce are washed off and get stuck in your drain, pipes, wastewater treatment plant pipes, hoses, and filters. This can be fixed by removing the stickers or washing your fruit and veggies in a strainer to reduce the risk of the stickers creating a clogged drain.

Fruit and Vegetable Peels

Speaking of produce, many peels of fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, and potatoes can clog a kitchen sink drain. When you’re peeling your produce, it’s easy for things like apple and potato peels to fall down the drain as well as other fruit stems that block the drains. These peels become paste-like, just like pasta and rice, and can be avoided by plugging your sink when you’re peeling produce over it.

Coffee Grinds

Washing your coffee grounds down the kitchen sink drain is one of the main reasons plumbers stay in business. Coffee grinds are rumored to clean out drains with their acidic and grainy nature, but they actually are only acidic when they’re fresh. Once they’ve been used, they are neutral and will only build up an obstruction in the pipes. Instead, toss your used grinds, use them to fertilizer for your plants, or find other uses for coffee grinds.


There are many people who put their cigarette butts down the sink when they are finished smoking them. Whether this is done for convenience or to avoid setting it down on something flammable, it’s a bad decision that will lead to a huge blockage. Invest in an ashtray or designate another spot in your kitchen to dispose your cigarettes on and throw them away after they’ve properly cooled down.

Chemical Cleaners

Mother Nature Network has described how conventional cleaning products that contain phosphates, antibacterial agents, and other assorted compounds are disruptive to water ecosystems. Using all-natural cleaners is your best option to avoid damaging your pipes, and there are other ways to use ingredients around the house to clear out your drain pipes to avoid future clogs.

Drain Cleaning Advice

Despite how uncomplicated it is to put the wrong things down the kitchen drain, cleaning them out isn’t as simple of a task. Arizona drain cleaning services range from using drain augers, flushing out your pipes, or having to replace damaged pipes entirely. If your kitchen sink drain isn’t working properly and you’ve washed down one or more of these things you shouldn’t put down your kitchen sink, consider calling a dependable Phoenix plumber from Deer Valley Plumbing to come take a look at your pipes and fix your kitchen sink as quickly as possible.

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