Many other materials can clog your drains, causing the potential for bacteria-laden waste to back up into your home, sewers or roads.
- Coffee grounds
- Produce stickers
- Dental floss
- Cotton balls or swabs
- Paper towels
Many of these materials can hang out in your pipes and attract other clog-inducing items, like oil and hair. Some products, like fruit stickers and condoms, don’t get filtered out by water treatment facilities and end up harming wildlife.
One guideline that can help you determine what’s ok to dump down the sink is to ask yourself if you can eat the substance. Most liquids that are safe for human consumption, except for oils and medications, can be poured down the drain. If you wouldn’t drink it, you probably don’t want a chemical hanging out in your sink anyway. It could come in contact with food or cooking utensils and make you sick.
Items that are unsafe to pour down a sink shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet, dumped in a storm drain or buried in your yard, either. If they are, the dangerous substances can still make their way into the groundwater. Always contact the appropriate agency to find out how to get rid of hazardous materials.