When you're cooking, it can be easy to rinse food residue off your bowls, pans, utensils and other cooking accessories and watch it disappear down the drain. While the water from your sink might carry these products away, you don't really know how far they're actually traveling. In many cases, a variety of common cooking ingredients will only travel partway through the drain and then can start to contribute to a blockage. You might not notice signs of a blockage right away, but eventually you'll be forced to call a plumber – all for an entirely preventable reason. Here are some foods that should always go in the garbage, not down your sink.
Whether there's a bit of a flour mixture left in a bowl after baking or you have flour and other ingredients in a pan after breading some chicken, the correct place for your flour is always the garbage. Although the flour might seem light when it's dry, it will quickly become gummy upon contact with water. This can mean that if the flour sits in your pipes, it can thicken and form a partial blockage that leads to a plumbing problem.
Rice expands and gets gummier upon contact with any liquid, so don't make the mistake of washing it down your sink. Whether you're cleaning a pot or a plate, it's best to scrape the individual grains into your kitchen garbage. This extra step that you take now will save you trouble in the long run.
If you've been pan frying some food in butter, it can be tempting to wash the buttery residue down the sink. The concern with this idea is the greasiness of the butter. While some of it might get washed away, some of it will likely end up coating the pipes below your sink. If you repeat this disposal method, the coating can end up thick enough to impede the flow of water and lead to a blockage. Instead, wipe the butter out of the pan with a paper towel and place it in the garbage.
Like flour, coffee grounds can contribute to a sludgy mess in your sink drain, even if you only add a small amount of grounds per day. The best way to dispose of this everyday product is to keep it in the filter and toss the whole thing in the garbage or in your composting bin when you're through.
If you've been putting these things down your sink and you now have a plumbing problem, call a professional from a company like Rooter Pro Plumbing to come fix the issue for you.