Never pour these 10 things down your drain if you want to avoid a clogged sink

A clogged sink can be a nightmare to deal with – it’s troublesome, expensive, and just plain gross to clean out. But a clogged sink can be prevented simply by ensuring that you’re not causing it. Read on to find out what things you might be mistakenly pouring down your drain. 

Avoid a clogged sink by remembering never to pour these items down your drain

1. Flour

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Thinking of showing off your prowess in the kitchen to your friends by baking up a batch of homemade pineapple tarts? Well, remember not to throw your excess flour into sink. When you add water to flour, the flour forms a batter-like mass, clogging up your pipes.

Throw excess flour into the trash disposal, or save it be keeping it in an airtight container. If the flour has been exposed to air, freeze it in your fridge for around 48 hours before storing it in a dry, cool location.

2. Eggshells

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You might think that eggshells that have been crushed up are safe to throw down your sink. But the sharp edges of the shell bits may stick to other objects coming down your sink, possibly causing a clog. Throw your eggshells in the bin, or since they’re biodegradable, add them to your compost.

3. Coffee Grounds

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You were in a rush in this morning, so after downing your morning cup of coffee, you absentmindedly dump your excess coffee into the sink. That may seem harmless, but coffee grinds absorb a large amount of water. When wet, they clump together to form a large, sticky mass.

Simply pour your leftover coffee into a coffee filter over your sink, and toss out the stray coffee grinds, or compost them. There’s no need to get rid of your morning cuppa, which may have more health benefits than you think.

4. Grease and Fat

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Before you put your oily wok into the sink after stirring up a batch of stir-fry, read this. Cooking oil, butter, mayonnaise, and other oil-based products should never go into your sink. Why? The fats present in oil solidify upon cooling, such as when cold water comes pouring out of the tap and into your drain.

After cooking, pour the excess oil into a cup and dispose of it in a bag. If you’re boiling meat, a common step in preparing sauces, drain the top layer of water and fat into bowl. Wait for it to cool or place it in fridge to allow the fat to congeal, after which you can throw it away.

If you’re wondering what to do with those meat chops still left lounging in your fridge, you might be interested in these four delicious recipes using beef cuts.

5. Rice, Pasta and Potato Peels

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Be careful when washing your rice! You may think a stray piece rice grain  escaping down your drain is no big deal. But actually, starchy foods like rice and pasta absorb a lot of water and expand in size, possibly causing congestion.

6. Kitchen Towels

Kitchen towels, tissues and other paper-based products dissolve in water, so it may seem tempting to just throw them in the sink. However, only toilet paper is designed to break down in water. Meanwhile, paper towels are designed to be sturdy and absorbent and can cause a clogged sink.

7. Sticker Labels on Fruits

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These sticker labels are made of plastic, which is non-biodegradable. If enough debris build-up in your pipes, you may have to eventually remove the using a hair clog.

Do still wash those fruits and veggies properly though, to avoid ingesting any pesticides still lingering on the surface.

8. Paint

Clogged Sink

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Paints may not clog up your sink, but flushing some of them down the sink can be dangerous to your health and the environment. Natural paints can be washed down the sink, but oil-based paints also contain hazardous chemicals and shouldn’t be placed where you wash your vegetables and meat!

While it should be okay for you to wash your dirty fingers in the sink after an arts-and-crafts session, unused paint should be allowed to dry, scraped up, and tossed.

9. Medication

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As with paint, medications poured down the drain can find their way into water bodies and soil, harming the environment. The Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore advises disposing of medicines in a tightly-sealed trash bag.

10. Liquid Drain Cleaners

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It almost defies logic. Drain cleaners are supposed to exist to help you clear your pipes! The problem is, many liquid drain cleaners are caustic, meaning they will cause the insides of your pipes to deteriorate too!

So, what do you do if your sink does becomes stuck? Learn three easy ways to unclog a sink if it unfortunately does occur.


You might be in a rush in the morning, but take care not to pour these foods down the drain. You’ll save yourself time from mucky unclogging afterwards!

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