7 Things You Put Down The Kitchen Sink That Are Causing Clogs

When it comes to the kitchen sink, many homeowners take an “out of sight, out of mind” stance to it. Once it goes down the drain or gets ground up in the garbage disposal, it is gone forever – or at least you hope it is. However, the issue is that a lot of things we put down the kitchen sink come back to bite us eventually. Some might make it to the sewer system, but other might build up over time into some seriously frustrating clogs.

If your kitchen sink is prone to clogs, first you will want to have them professional cleaned, and second you will want to make sure you limit putting these items down the kitchen sink drain.


This will always be at the top of every list of items you shouldn’t put down the drain. However, not everyone is completely sure why they shouldn’t do it, which of course leads people to do it anyway. The issue with grease, even if it is just a little bit pooled from your bacon pan, is that it easily coats and coagulates in your pipes. If you have been dumping grease down the drains for years, there is likely layers and layers of grease sludge down there that makes clogging much easier. If you think a little dish soap will help it go down smoother, think again. Dish soap only helps if you can scrub, but you can’t scrub it down your pipes.


Many people think it might be okay to wash paint down the drain, but it can cause big problems. Dumping paint into the sewer system not only bad for the environment, but it will ravage your drains. It is okay to wash off painting brushes in your kitchen sink if you are using a latex-type paint that is water soluble, but dumping undiluted latex paint down a drain will cause a clog. For other paints, like oil paints, the effect will be worse since oil paints need a solvent – not water – to dissolve.

Coffee Grounds

The grounds from your morning cup of Joe seem small enough to go down your drain in a harmless manner, but that is only true if you have clean drains. If your kitchen sink already has sludge built up in the pipes, your coffee grounds have the unfortunate ability to clump easily and form tough clogs.


There is a widespread wives’ tale about how eggshells will clean and sharpen the blades of your garbage disposal. It is false, of course. What those shells are really doing is separating and causing the tough membrane of the shell to hamper your garbage disposal blade, clog the filter, and the shell fragments are clumping up to create clogs.


While a few loose noodles that flipped out of your strainer are okay if you remember to turn on the disposal afterwards, a general rule is to avoid starches down the drain. Think about how foods like rice and pasta expand when exposed to water, the same thing will happen in your drain. However, a more pressing issue is that starches can act like a sort of glue. Leave oatmeal or mashed potatoes in a bowl long enough and they will harden and be very difficult to clean. Even when wet, they attract other particles. You don’t want glue down your kitchen sink.

Peels and Rinds

Want to get rid of those potato peels quickly? Think orange peels will freshen up the garbage disposal? It is best to place peels in the trash where they belong. While a garbage disposal can handle them, and yes, orange peels do leave a pleasant citrus scent, the grinded rinds will get caught in drains and cause clogs.

Furthermore, peels such as potato and apple peels that are flat or difficult to grind up are particularly dangerous. Not only can they cause clogs in the drain, but their flat nature will cover filters as well.


Similar to starches, you want to avoid excess flour down the drain when cleaning flour-based substances, like cake batter. The flour should be heavily dissolved in water before cleaning it away. You definitely don’t want flour, and then water, to make a gloopy cake batter in your drains.

Clogged Sink? Let Us Help

Have you made the mistake of putting any of these things down your drain? To be honest, doing it once or twice probably isn’t going to hurt, but build up over time is an issue. If you have a clogged kitchen sink because of any of the above or even an issue you can’t identify, contact us and let SOS Drain & Sewer help.