The drains around our homes are not bins.  Sometimes I think we forget this and let things run down the drains or flush things down the toilet that we really shouldn’t.  And I am not immune from this mistake, look at the blog I wrote last year on blocked sink drains if you need a reminder of my mistake!

In this month’s blog I want to draw your attention to the common items that I see being either flushed down the toilet or let drain down a sink/basin that really shouldn’t.  Most of these items end up either seriously damaging the drainage system or require a call-out from a plumber to fix.  Prevention is better than cure in this case.  Hopefully this list will help you to think twice before you put these things down the drain.

What NOT to flush down the drain..

  1. Hair! Whether it be hair from washing pets or human hair, try not to let hair go down your pipes.  Take the time to pick-it up (especially long hair) and put it in the bin.  I know it is disgusting, but after awhile that hair can build-up and cause blockages.  Also double-check that the plug cover is sufficient that it captures most of the hair and doesn’t let most of it through.  You may just need to change the plug in order to better capture more hair and debris.
  2. Grease, fats oils – cooking fat can congeal and harden in pipes and cause blockages. Always bin these.
  3. Hygiene products – feminine hygiene products should not be flushed down the toilet. This is a message that you should relay to all females in the house.  In my experience, I have found that adults in the house might be aware that this is not recommended, teenagers may not be.
  4. Baby wipes – Even though some baby wipes are now stating they are flushable. This is not something that I would recommend flushing, regardless.  Like feminine hygiene products, they do have a tendency to get stuck in the drains and cause blockages.
  5. Food scraps – Items like breads and rices that expand and contract in water should not be washed down sinks.  Further, try not to leave them on the plate when you stack the dishwasher.   Take the time to scrap off excess food into the bin or your compost heap.
  6. Other – Without writing an exhaustive list there are lots of other things you shouldn’t put down your drains.  For example, toxic chemicals, paints, car oils, glues etc. Hopefully, the reason why you should not flush these is self-explanatory.


If ever you are not sure whether you can flush an item or put it down the drain, then a safer bet is not to!