Keeping your drains clear and unblocked is one essential household task that we tend not to think about until it is too late and we are reaching for that plunger. There are certain things that should simply not be put down kitchen sinks, and the following list of dos and don’ts gives an overview of the basics. Giving a little thought before you go ahead and rinse anything and everything down your sink may save you a lot of drain and pipe unblocking in the not so distant future.
1. Don’t rinse foods down your sink unless you have an incorporated garbage disposal unit. Vegetable peelings, pasta shells, breads and butter can form a blockage in the pipe between your sink and the outside drain. Mixing water with the food can make it particularly sticky and more liable to cling to the sides of the pipe.
2. Grease of any kind, hot or cold, clings to the inside of your pipes and causes blockages. Grease thickens very quickly when exposed to the cool pipes underneath your sink going to the outside. Grease should be left to cool and harden in an airtight container and then be disposed of in the garbage.
3. Dishwashing liquid, designed for sink use, is the only detergent you should be washing down your plug hole. Detergents designed for dishwashers or clothes washing will block your pipes, particularly if used in large quantities. This is because the strong agitating forces that break down these thick detergents in a dishwasher or washing machine will not be present in your sink or pipes.
4. Never pour toxic pesticides down your sink. They can congeal when mixed with cool water, forming hard deposits in the sink line, as well as eating away at the pipes and causing leaks.
5. Some people that have septic systems pour calcium chlorate down their kitchen sinks to eliminate odor. You should always use a product that has been specially designed for sink use rather than powdered calcium chlorate. When this is mixed with water it forms a cement-like state which can easily plug your drainage system.
6. As with kitchen grease, never wash oils used for mechanics or cleaning down your sink. Lubricating oils for joints or hinges, and motor oil are two of the major culprits. As well as blocking your pipes, disposing of outside oils in this way is bad for the environment. Environmental Protection Agency regulations state that it is illegal to put motor oil in anything other than a designated container.
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