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Summer Food to Keep Out of Your Drain

Family enjoying a barbecue outdoors

Summertime comes with a lot of opportunities for get-togethers and parties with family and friends, which means fun food menus that include everything from barbecue and mac and cheese to seasonal summer fruit. Unfortunately, each party is followed by the dreaded clean up that includes disposing of food waste and half-eaten leftovers. Before you start shoveling food off plates and into the sink, take a look at some food items that should never go down your drain.

Greasy, Oily or Fatty Foods, Butter Can Clog Your Drain

On their own, cooking oils, grease, fat and butter can mix with other substances in your drain and create a nasty sludge that leads to significant clogging. Grease and butter might seem to go down the drain easily when they are heated or melted, but once cooled, they congeal, making perfect conditions for a clog. It’s also important to remember that food containing these substances, such as greasy or fatty meat, can lead to the same problems if sent down the drain.

Organic Waste Can Cause Multiple Issues in Your Sink

Fruits and vegetables are great for our bodies, but sending them down the drain can lead to a few problems. First, stringy vegetables like asparagus and celery can come apart and become tangled in the blades of your garbage disposal, creating a system jam. Additionally, fruit and vegetables that sit in your pipes will cause a foul smell and attract flies as they rot. Lastly, pits or cores from fruits like peaches, mangos and apples should never go into the garbage disposal because they are often times too hard, leading to disposal blade damage.

Foods That Expand When Wet Can Create Clogs

Any food that expands once water is added should also be kept out of your drain pipes. This includes pasta, rice and chia seeds. If enough of these items are tossed down the drain, they will cause a clog over time. This is the case for flour as well. In fact, a 2017 Food & Wine article detailed the massive drain clogs and pipe problems a Mississippi town faced after a local cookie manufacturer rinsed its leftover dough down the drain.

Additionally, other food items like eggshells, coffee grounds and produce stickers should never be placed in the garbage disposal or down the drain. Bones are also a major item to avoid placing down the drain, and since they can also pose a choking hazard to pets, bones are best put deep in a trash can or in an outside garbage can, out of Rover’s reach.

Leftover Food and Food Waste Solutions

For many people, the alternative to sending food down the drain is to toss it in the trash can, and for some items like grease and oils, this is the best solution. But a lot of everyday food, like fruits, veggies, coffee grounds, bread, grains and more can be composted, and that compost can then be used in your garden or other projects in need of nutrient-rich soil. If years of leftovers have finally caught up with your garbage disposal or drains, call Hedrick’s Service Now at (214) 509-6029 for an appointment. We’ll get your kitchen sink, garbage disposal and drain back on track so you can enjoy the rest of your summer!

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