5 Items to Never Put Down Your Apartment Sink Drain

Five common household items that should never be disposed of in your apartment sink drain.
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Your apartment sink drain is not a catch-all for household waste. To avoid costly plumbing issues and potential damages, it’s crucial to know what items should never go down your sink drain. This article explores five common items that can cause clogs, damage pipes, and harm the environment if disposed of improperly.

1. Grease and Cooking Oils

After a delicious meal, it might seem harmless to pour leftover grease or cooking oils down the sink. However, these substances can solidify and build up in your pipes over time, leading to stubborn clogs and unpleasant odors. To dispose of grease and oils properly, wait for them to cool and solidify, then scrape them into a container and throw them in the trash. This simple habit can dramatically decrease the likelihood of plumbing issues in your apartment.

2. Coffee Grounds

Many people are unaware that coffee grounds can significantly contribute to drain blockages. Despite their small size, coffee grounds clump together and create a sludge-like consistency when combined with water, which can obstruct your pipes. Instead of rinsing coffee grounds down the sink, consider adding them to a compost pile or disposing of them in the trash. This small change can prevent unnecessary plumbing problems and promote eco-friendly waste management.

3. Eggshells

While eggshells may seem harmless, their sharp edges can catch other waste and create blockages in your pipes. Additionally, the membrane inside the eggshells can contribute to buildup and exacerbate clogs. To properly dispose of eggshells, crush them and add them to your compost or throw them away in your garbage bin. This ensures that your sink remains free of unnecessary debris that can lead to costly repairs.

Essential tips on what not to throw down your sink drain in an apartment.

4. Pasta and Rice

Pasta and rice are notorious for their ability to expand when they come into contact with water. If these food items are washed down the drain, they can swell and create obstructions that impede water flow. Moreover, the sticky nature of cooked pasta and rice can catch other debris, further aggravating clogging issues. The best practice is to scrape leftover pasta and rice into the trash before rinsing dishes, thus preventing any swelling and blockages in your plumbing system.

5. Medications

Flushing medications down the sink or toilet might seem like a quick disposal method, but it poses serious environmental risks. Pharmaceuticals can contaminate water supplies and harm aquatic life. Instead of discarding medications down the drain, participate in local medication take-back programs or consult a pharmacist for proper disposal methods. This responsible action helps protect our water sources and maintain a healthier ecosystem.


Being mindful of what goes down your apartment sink drain is essential for maintaining a functioning and efficient plumbing system. By avoiding the disposal of grease and cooking oils, coffee grounds, eggshells, pasta and rice, and medications down the sink, you can prevent clogs, reduce maintenance costs, and contribute to environmental preservation. Adopt these simple habits to safeguard your apartment’s plumbing and promote a more sustainable household.


1. Why is pouring grease down the drain harmful?

Grease solidifies in the pipes over time, causing clogs that can restrict water flow and result in expensive plumbing repairs. It also produces unpleasant odors and attracts other debris, exacerbating the problem.

2. Can coffee grounds really cause plumbing problems?

Yes, coffee grounds can form a sludge-like consistency when combined with water, leading to pipe blockages. Properly disposing of them in compost or trash helps prevent these issues.

3. What’s the best way to dispose of eggshells if I can’t use the sink?

Crush the eggshells and add them to your compost heap or dispose of them in your trash bin. This will prevent sharp edges and membranes from causing pipe buildup or clogs.

4. How should I dispose of leftover medications safely?

Utilize local medication take-back programs or consult your pharmacist for proper disposal options. This helps protect water sources and aquatic life from pharmaceutical contamination.

5. Are there any food items other than pasta and rice that can cause clogs?

Yes, fibrous vegetables like celery and potato peels can also cause clogs due to their stringy and starchy nature. It’s best to dispose of these items in the trash or compost bin.

By Nora