Keep These Foods Out Of Your Kitchen Drain

Picture of kitchen sink drain with water around it

With shelter-in-place orders, we have all tapped into our inner-Gordon Ramsey’s and kicked up our kitchen game a notch. The cookbooks that typically lay dormant in living room cabinets are moving to kitchen counters, as we all have more time to try new recipes, and actually cook! However, with an increase in home-cooked meal preparation comes more opportunities for kitchen plumbing break downs. And, when you are relying on your kitchen to handle your new-found hobby, you want to avoid overworking your system, or rather, misusing it in the first place.

That’s why, we here at A. Fagundes Plumbing & Heating are here to provide preventative tips, so your garbage disposal stays up and running through this pandemic and thereafter. So, how do you avoid harming your kitchen plumbing during high use? By refraining from rinsing these items down your drains:

Food Wrappers

Although it may be tempting to use your garbage disposal as a trash can—we get it, its name lends this misconception—do not throw plastic, paper, foil, or other wrappers down your drain. These products are not manufactured to break down in your plumbing system and will cause clogs. Even though it may be a habit to toss food wrappings into your sink, make sure you are mindful when preparing meals and place coverings into your trash right away. It is easy to accidentally rinse particles of packaging down your disposal during clean up.

Meat Bones

Chicken and meat bones pose a serious threat to your garbage disposal’s motor. If they get lodged between its blades, while the motor is running, they will break your system. Without a properly functioning motor, anything subsequently coming down your disposal will likely cause a blockage. If you notice pooling water in your kitchen sink or slow drainage, you’ll need a new motor installed. Avoid problematic plumbing by disposing of all meat bones in the trash!

Coffee Grounds

When wet, coffee grounds cling together to form one, dense mass. If you brew your own coffee at home, you are familiar with the post-brew coffee filter, filled with sticky grounds. When coffee grounds make it into your pipes, they manifest as major blockages, as they bind together and stick to the lining of your plumbing. If you spill any grounds while preparing your coffee, do not brush them into your kitchen sink; but rather, gather them with a wet paper towel and toss them into your trash. Additionally, after brewing your morning cup of joe, place used grounds into your trash as well. Otherwise, you’ll be contacting a professional for drain cleaning ASAP.

Fibrous Vegetables

Ever prepare celery? When you shave off the exterior layer, stringy strands fall off the stalk. This, along with other fibrous vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, and brussel sprouts, shred in your disposal, dispensing stringy strands of food into your piping. Much like how tumble-weeds form, these shredded strands will accumulate and form clogs in your system.


Oils coat and cling to your piping when poured down your drains, and become sticky over time. Consequently, items coming down your disposal thereafter will cling to your plumbing. If you are experiencing consecutive clogs, this may be the cause. Keep all leftover oil from cooking, salad dressings, and dipping sauces out of your disposal!


Placing nuts down your disposal is well, just nuts! When this healthy snack is chopped and spun, a paste is formed much like that of peanut butter. It is incredibly sticky and is sure to pose a threat to your plumbing function.


Complex carbohydrates will block your pipes, as they expand when they are wet. From pasta to rice and from bread to potatoes, these starches are not compatible with your drains. They will expand until your water flow is so restricted, backflow occurs. This can compromise your water quality. Keep all starchy food items away from your drains!

For all of your Lowell kitchen plumbing needs, contact A. Fagundes Plumbing & Heating Inc. at (978) 350-5522. We are remaining open and taking the recommended precautions to ensure our technicians and our clients remain safe and healthy during these challenging times. Give us a ring, we are the Team Mom and Dad Call!

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