No one thinks much about bathroom drains until they get clogged. A clogged toilet is never fun, but some people don’t realize that the things they flush, like paper towels and wet wipes, can easily cause a backup. For showers, baths and sinks, body hair is the biggest clogging culprit.
So what other things shouldn’t go down bathroom drains?
- Food. It seems obvious, but you should never put food scraps down any bathroom drain.
- Oils. Whether it’s cooking oil or hair oil, it shouldn’t go down drains. Oil solidifies after traveling down pipes, causing a clog. Soak up excess oil with paper towels and dispose of them in the trash.
- Feminine products. These items are made of cloth and cotton fiber, and they do not dissolve in the sewer or pipes. Dispose of these and diapers, cotton balls, swabs, bandages, dental floss and cigarette butts in the trash.
- Hair. It’s hard to stop hair and pet fur from going down the drain, but that’s fixable with a drain screen, which are available at any home goods store. Dispose any hair you can keep from going down the drain in the trash.
- Pharmaceuticals. Don’t pour or flush medications down the drain. Many pharmacies have return programs to keep unused medications out of the wrong hands and out of drains they might damage. If your drugstore has no such program, ask the pharmacist about the proper method of disposal.
- Chemicals. Caustic drain openers and cleaning chemicals corrode pipes and don’t do the ground water or the ecosystem any good. You can make your own green drain cleaner using vinegar, boiling water and baking soda. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, and in five minutes, follow that up with two cups of boiling water. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes. Pour another cup of baking soda followed quickly by one cup of vinegar into drain. Cap the drain tightly. When it stops fizzing, pour two more cups of boiling water down drain. This method is also an excellent preventive measure for keeping drains clear.