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What can and can’t be flushed down my drains?

Our drains are delicate, yet some of us misuse them – leading to pricey results.

Whether it’s a tampon flushed down the toilet or grease washed down the sink, every unsuitable thing we send into our drainage system has a cumulative effect, resulting in expense and effort further down the line.

Luckily, it’s easy to take care of our drains.

To help you keep your drainage systems healthy and unburdened, we’ve put together this simple article outlining exactly what you can and can’t put down your drains.

Drain being unblocked

What can be flushed down my drains?

Pipes in domestic homes are designed to withstand three things only:

  • Toilet paper
  • Human waste
  • Water

And that’s it. Anything else could lead to trouble for your drains, so let’s now look at the items that could cause you the biggest headaches.

What can’t be flushed down my drains?

The majority of items and substances cannot be safely flushed down drains – and in this section, we’ll highlight the offenders that could result in the most damage.

  • Food
  • Oils and grease
  • Sanitary items
  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Cotton pads or buds
  • Medicines or medical items
  • Condoms
  • Paper towels
  • Dyes
  • Cleaning chemicals

Now you know what not to put down the drains, you’re probably wondering why?

What happens if I put the wrong thing down the drain?

It may seem harmless to slip the occasional unsuitable item into your drains, but if everyone does this, it can have a big effect on our home drain system along with the wider environment.

Let’s take a closer look.

The problem with… plastics

Plastics are a huge problem for our planet. Because they don’t break down or decompose, they instead accumulate in our water systems, leading to the death of marine life and disruption to our oceans, rivers and lakes.

Build-up of plastics can also cost you money, resulting in blockages to your home drains that need to be remedied. Instead, recycle plastics where possible and dispose of them responsibly. You can even seek out plastic-free alternatives to your commonly used items if you want to really make a difference.

The problem with… grease

Fat, grease and oils are bad news for our drains. Whether it’s bits of food down the sink or washing a plate that’s smeared with grease, anything that contains these substances can form fatbergs. These accumulations of fat and solid materials can grow larger and larger, completely blocking drains and reducing the efficiency of our sewer systems. They can also result in flooding, pollution and a greater need for repairs.

Instead, scrape all food into the bin, and make sure to wipe off the film of grease on your crockery and cutlery before putting it in the dishwasher.

The problem with… pharmaceuticals

Wastewater plants are not designed to filter out medicines, making it dangerous for them to enter our water systems. This means these pharmaceuticals can ultimately end up in our drinking water. They can also be harmful to aquatic life, leading to long-term damaging impacts on our oceans and freshwater ecosystems.

Medicines and chemicals should therefore always be disposed of in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Dealing with drain problems? Here at MPH Drain Services, we’re Yorkshire’s go-to drainage experts for homes and businesses. Whether it’s a blockage or an unresolved problem, we’re here to help. Using the latest equipment and industry know-how, we get your drains back to full health. Give us a call to discover more.

Call us 24/7 - Freephone 01977 802 283
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Published: 5 September 2023 Category: Drain Unblocking

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