What Can and Can’t You Drain Down The Sink

Now that most households have a dishwasher, rinsing dishes is no longer as common. Even still, tipping the wrong things down the drain can cause your drain to get clogged.

Many different items are tipped down the drain, so in this article, we will go through the most common items and whether they can be tipped down the drain.

List of what can’t be tipped down the sink:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Flour
  • Yogurt
  • Dairy
  • Grease
  • Fertiliser
  • Paint
  • Expandable foods
  • Animal droppings
  • Eggshells
  • Produce Stickers
  • Cotton balls
  • Medication
  • Plastics
  • Oils
  • Pesticides
  • Non-biodegradable products
  • Wet wipes
  • Chemicals (generally)
  • General food scraps (as much as possible)
Closeup of tap water flowing into stainless steel drain of white washbasin background



What can be tipped down the sink:

Many items can be tipped down the sink. Here’s a list of some of the common liquids and solids that can be tipped down the sink.

  • Vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Ammonia (only when diluted with water)
  • Baking soda

As you can see, the list of things that can’t get tipped down the drain is long, and that isn’t everything (although it includes the most common ones). We have seen many Brisbane houses with clogged drains due to tipping the wrong thing down. If you have been tipping any of the listed items down the sink, you should stop. Although it may not have caused an issue so far, you never know when it might. Unfortunately, it’s always at the wrong time that something does go wrong, so you should avoid “taking a chance” wherever possible.

Check out the detailed explanations below if you want to know why you can’t tip some items down the sink?

Can I pour coffee grounds down the sink?

No. Coffee grounds can still stick to your pipes, causing blockages later on. Because of the myth that coffee grounds “clean pipes”, we frequently get called to houses with blocked pipes due to coffee. It is one of the most common reasons a sink gets clogged. The best way to get rid of coffee grounds is to decompose them in your compost, sprinkle them on your garden or seal them in a bag and put them in the bin. 

Can you put flour down the drain?

No. Flour and any substance that expands when wet should not be tipped down the drain. Just think of what happens when you bake something, then leave the mixing bowl out for a few hours before washing it. The flour will be hard to scrape off. You don’t want flour acting as glue in your sink. Scrape flour and other similar substances into a bag before putting it in the bin.

Can you pour yogurt down the sink?

Not really. Dairy products do not clog the drain; however, they can’t be easily broken down, affecting the oxygen level of the waterways. Disposing of dairy products in the sink can thus affect the aquatic life living inside. Every person doing the right thing when disposing of dairy will make a difference. To dispose of dairy correctly, decompose it in the garden.

Is it okay to pour grease down the sink?

NO! Grease is the most significant cause of clogged drains that we see. Even if grease is in liquid form, do not tip it down the sink. Grease, as well as other oils and fats, attached solid objects to your pipe. The correct method to dispose of grease is not widely known, leading to many mistakes. To properly dispose of grease or other fats and oils, freeze them in a jar before putting them in the bin.

Have you been tipping the wrong things down your sink? If so, it might be a good idea to get your pipe checked. We can use the latest CCTV technology to get footage inside your drains. That way, we know if there is a potential problem and can fix it straight away. 

Once your pipes have been checked, you can start again from scratch with what you tip down the sink.

Book an inspection

If you would like to book an inspection in Brisbane, call the Brisbane Plumbers. We are Brisbane’s best emergency plumbers and have the team to handle any job. Our superior equipment and skills allow us to manage these jobs properly, the first time. Call us today on 1300 847 086.

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