Young woman doing dishes at her kitchen sink, making sure not to pour anything down the drain that may clog it.

4 Things That You Should Never Pour Down the Drain

A clogged drain is one of the most stressful things that homeowners have to deal with because it usually requires plumbing services to come in to fix your drain. Now, there are ways to prevent this from happening to you. As we’ve mentioned in our drain cleaning article and how to prevent clogging, the best way to avoid this issue is proper waste disposal.

And while we did list off some things that should never be poured down the drain, we thought it would be helpful to provide you with a more specific guide on the subject. If this is something that you’re interested in, read on as we discuss the four things that you should never pour down the drain:

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds beside ungrinded coffee beans

Disposing of coffee grounds can be such a chore, which is why most people often just pour them down the drain. However, this can really cause trouble for you down the line as coffee grounds have the tendency to clump up in the pipes. In the end, it will cause a clog that will require you to call in a plumber to fix it.

While it is a little tedious to dispose of coffee grounds properly, there are incentives beyond plumbing that should help encourage you. Instead of dumping them down your sink, you can add them to your garden compost pile instead. The coffee grounds add a lot of nitrogen, which helps break down the organic material and raise the quality of the soil.

Cooking Oil

Oil being poured into a glass bowl

This should be a no-brainer, but people still keep doing it. Cooking oil (and other types of oil) should never be poured down the drain because oil solidifies once it cools. The solidified oil will then block your pipes and clog your drain.

A good way to dispose of oil is to let it cool and throw it away in the trash. Contrary to popular belief, oil can also be reused, and there are actually programs that are geared towards recycling cooking oil. Try to look into these alternatives, as they are infinitely better than pouring cooking oil down your drain!

Rice and Other Grains

Close up of rice grains

While rice (and other types of grain) may seem harmless due to their small size, they can prove to be troublesome once they get poured down your drain. This is because rice expands when it absorbs water, and it can really do some damage and clog your pipes, especially if the rice piles up. Just like the coffee grounds, we suggest just composing rice and grains. If you don’t have a compost pile at home, you can just throw it away in the trash.


Person pouring white paint out of the can

While paint won’t clog your drains, it will surely stain your pipes. Additionally, pouring paint down the drain opens up the possibility of the chemicals getting into your groundwater. This can be particularly harmful, especially if the paint used contains toxic chemicals.

Not many people know this, but paint cans are considered hazardous waste, which means that you also shouldn’t just throw them away in the trash. As such, you should contact your waste management collection service for the proper procedures for getting rid of paint cans.


We hope that this list proves to be helpful when it comes to preventing clogged drains in your kitchen and bathroom sink. Now, we understand if you forget and pour some of the things mentioned down the drain because bad habits are hard to break. However, we implore you to keep trying and to be more mindful of what you pour down your drain, as it will significantly affect the state of your plumbing system.

If you’re looking for a licensed plumber in Abbotsford, BC, to handle your plumbing needs, then you’ve come to the right place. Our experts at Bromac Mechanical provide the best plumbing and heating solutions for your home. For more information on our services, get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment!

Share this post