What Can and Can’t Go Down the Kitchen Drain

While pouring things down the drain can seem like the easiest method for cleaning up, it can actually be quite detrimental to your pipes and even your septic system! Keep reading to find out how to avoid damage and costly repairs.

Cooking Oil & Fats

When pouring oil, fats, and grease down the drain and through pipes, they will eventually harden after cooling, causing clogs as well as unpleasant odors over time. Instead of potentially blocking pipes and causing further damage, pour the oils and fat into a glass jar or container to throw out later. Oils that don’t harden when cooled like olive oils can coat your home’s pipes if they’re poured down the drain. You can use paper towels to soak up some of the oil in the pan once it has cooled. Another option is to create a little cup with aluminum foil to hold the oil. Once it cools and hardens, you can ball it up and toss it in the trash can.

Coffee Grounds

While washing the little grounds down the sink can seem super convenient, don’t do it! Toss the filter holding the grounds in the trash. If you have a washable filter, empty the contents in the trash before washing. An alternative use for coffee grounds is for your garden! Sprinkle the grounds around your plants. This can attract worms for your garden, soak up contaminating metals, and provide key minerals for plant growth. Additionally, you can use it in your compost to create garden fertilizer.


Whether it’s cooked or uncooked, it doesn’t belong down the drain. Rice absorbs water and expands and it eventually becomes thick and sticky. Imagine that substance in your drains! Perhaps you have some extra cooked rice. There are a variety of delicious recipes online for leftover rice. Starchy foods and vegetables in general should not go down pipes, even in the form of small potato peels.


If you find yourself with a little excess flour after preparing a meal, don’t wash it off the plate or bowl into the sink. Flour plus water equals a super sticky substance that you definitely don’t want sitting in your pipes. Try to dump any extra flour in the garbage first, or put it in your compost if you have one!


Don’t make the mistake of washing paint brushes or paint rollers in the kitchen sink! Maybe you’ve done this before and noticed it took quite a while to get the brushes and rollers clean. Paint brushes soak up paint, and you are putting more paint down the drain than you may even realize. 

Well goodness gracious, what CAN go down your kitchen sink?

Generally, anything you can drink can be poured down the kitchen sink. Perhaps you have a sink garbage disposal. While the garbage disposal can handle certain items, that doesn’t mean your pipes can! Be mindful of what you allow down the drain. If you’re dealing with clogged pipes or slow draining sinks, check out these easy remedies. If you aren’t having any luck clearing the clog on your own, give Miller’s Services a call.

Scroll to Top