bathroom drain pipes

13 Things to Avoid Blocked and Clogged Drains

You may be abusing your plumbing system, without realising, due to your drain encountering certain items that you shouldn’t being putting down there. This then leading to a blocked and clogged drain that can be easily avoided.

Understanding the exact issues that is causing a blocked drain can be difficult due to your drains connecting to each sink, toilet and even washing machine. This then creating multiple places for a clog to form and that is why it is important to understand what certain things can cause a drain to back up and clog.

Here are 13 things that can block and clog your drain 

  1. Fats, Oils and Grease: Fats, oils and grease doesn’t mix with water, and if it cools in pipes it solidifies and starts forming barriers to the flow of water. These barriers can eventually break or split pipes and cause blockages. Even the oil that makes its way successfully through your own drainpipes will eventually find its way into catchments and waterways, resulting in environmental degradation. Large accumulations of oils and other non-degradable waste that incorrectly enters our sewer systems can even lead to the formation of fatbergs which can shut down sewage treatment infrastructure. Things like excess oil, cooking fats, grease face creams, body lotions, hair treatments, baby oil and certain makeups contain a lot of oil and should be disposed of in waste bins.

  2. Coffee Grounds: When wet coffee ground sticks together it can cause a clogged drain. You may think the coffee ground is small however, the small grains can build up causing a slow water flow within your drains.

  3. Egg Shells: Egg shells are difficult to break down and when bind to other fats, oils and food waste it can then create large blockages within your drains.

  4. Flour: Mixing flour with water down the drain leads to it sticking to your pipes and resulting in a blocked drain. Due to flour coagulating and then hardening insides the drain.

clogged drain

  1. Food Waste: Should be all placed in the bin however rice and pasta as it swells when added to water and when gathered can cause a smelly blockage. Fruit pits should also avoid the drain as they take years to decompose meaning they are more likely to block the drain. Leftover bones are also a no no as they are likely to get stuck causing major blockage. Onion skins, carrot peeling, raw meat, asparagus, pumpkin, dairy products, celery and corn husks should also avoid the drain as all can lead to unpleasant smells and blockages. 

  2. Stickers: In particular, food stickers can cause a significance within our drainpipes. They may be considered a small problem but the stickers we find on our fruit and other food items are most likely to end up sticking inside our pipes and interfering with other waste.

  3. Paint: No matter what type of paint it should avoid your drains, as this harmful solution can do harm to our aquatic life and your home. The paint can line within your drains causing harmful chemicals to release fumes back into you house.

  4. Chewing Gum: Another item that doesn’t break down in water and can stick to the inside of drains creating other objects to attach which then leads to a clogged pipe.

  5. Hair: Hair build up can cause serious blockage as shaving in the shower, washing our hair in the bath or even brushing our hair over the vanity can mean thousands of strands of hair build up in the pipes over time and other substances such as grease or larger particles can become entangled in the hair, forming an unpleasant clump.

  6. Paper Towels and Cotton Balls: Paper towels and cotton balls do absorb moisture and so are not designed to be placed down the drains as they will clog your pipes.

  7. Hot Water: Whilst having hot water go down the drain can sometimes be helpful in dislodging solidified grease that may be trapped there, pouring extremely hot water directly into plastic pipes can lead to them softening or even melting. Doing this repeatedly can result in the pipes eventually splitting, so leave boiling hot water to cool a little before putting it down the pipe.

  8. Bath Bombs: Bath bombs may turn your simple bath into a luxury, but just be aware that they often contain oils and salts which won’t dissolve in water. Some of the fancier bombs you can get also contain flower parts, glitter and even sparkling tiny stars, none of which are good for your drainage pipes. Whilst putting the bomb into a nylon cover won’t stop the oils and salts from entering your drains, it will hold back some of the other ingredients, and if you are a regular BB-user, using such a cover is common sense.

  9. Chemical Cleansers: Avoid using harsh chemical cleansers down the drain by making your own drain cleaner, such as baking soda and vinegar. This will help ensure small build-ups of scum and oils are removed before they become major headaches. They are also better for your pipes and the environment than harsh, chemical cleaners.

How to fix clogged drains and repair pipes

If you have been caught placing one of the above items down the drain and the old plunger isn’t budging, then get in touch with your local drain plumber at Nuflow to help in clearing your blocked drain and drain cleaning.

There are simple, inexpensive steps that can help give your domestic drain pipes extra years of life and save you from hefty repair costs. If pipe repairs are needed, however, you should carefully consider what the best strategy is for you.

Two ways to repair broken or damaged drainage pipes. These are:

  • Relining the pipe with advanced composite resins (no dig plumbing)
  • Traditional pipe repairs (where everything is dug up and replaced).

To get a no-obligation quote on relining or pipe repairs on your damaged pipes, get in touch with us via our contact page.


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