Items bad for your sink

Publish Date
Monday, 2 October 2017, 4:35PM
Photo / Getty Images

Photo / Getty Images

Throw food down at the sink at your peril, as it can easily lead to blocked pipes, expensive plumbing bills and even grotesque fatbergs in the sewers beneath your home.

And it doesn't help if you have a waste disposal unit, as experts at Good Housekeeping Institute have revealed.

They say there are certain items that should never down your sink, even if you do have a device that will macerate food waste.

From coffee grounds and any kind of oil to celery, these are the foods that should be thrown into the bin rather than left to pour down your sink. 


Celery is so fibrous that the strings will tangle around your disposal's blades, says Good Housekeeping Institute

It's the same reason that it's a bad idea to put asparagus and corn husks into your waste disposal.


It may look like coffee grounds are too small to cause your waste disposal unit much bother, but in fact, these can build up and cause a huge sludgy mess in your drain. 


Grease and oil are likely to bypass your waste disposal unit altogether and slide into your pipes.

That's how fatbergs are caused, which has famously wreaked havoc on UK sewers over the last few years. 

In 2013, Thames Water found a 10-tonne fatberg - thought to be the largest ever - made up of wet wipes and fat in a west London sewer. It cost the company £400,000 to fix the damage that the fatberg had done to the 1940s piping. 


Make sure you pick up any stray pasta pieces once you've cooked them.

If they are put down the drain or get into a waste disposal unit, they will swell in size and could cause a blockage.


These should never go down the sink, even accidentally.

These can cause a real soup-like mess in a waste disposal unit, and the same goes for beans and any other kind of starchy vegetable. 


The experts believe egg shells can stick to the sides of a waste disposal unit and cause it to break.

However, some say putting egg shells down the unit is actually good for the device as it can sharpen the blades.

It may not be worth the risk, though.


Bones are far too strong to be broken down by a waste disposal unit, and it could damage the blades.

Even if they do make it down the drain, they will likely get stuck and cause a blockage.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission.