People Need To Stop Draining Pasta Over The Sink, And 19 Other Common Kitchen Sink Mistakes

People Need To Stop Draining Pasta Over The Sink, And 19 Other Common Kitchen Sink Mistakes

For a household appliance many folks use daily, the kitchen sink isn’t something we usually worry about. It helps us keep things clean, and that’s about it. However, when sinks clog or need repairs, they cause unimaginable frustration — especially when the repairs were our fault, and we didn’t know we were doing anything wrong! Avoid clogs and exhausting repairs by never putting these foods down the drain — and if it’s already a habit, stop now!

1. High-fiber Foods

Celery, asparagus, and corn might be good for your digestive system, but they can’t be forced down the drain — especially if you have a garbage disposal. The stringy, fibrous materials clog pipes and get wrapped around garbage disposal blades. At the very best, you’ll have to remove a food hairball from the drain. At worst, you’ll break your disposal.

Photo by © Wally McNamee/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

2. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds may be messy, but don’t pour them in the sink. The dense grounds won’t easily float away with draining water, and they can build up and block your pipes. Instead, use them as a natural pest deterrent in your garden, or mixed in with your compost.

ehowathomechannel, YouTube

3. Produce Stickers

They’re a royal pain in the butt, and it’s tempting to wash them down the drain if they fall into the sink, but produce stickers don’t belong in your plumbing. They can’t dissolve in water, and they’ll stick to your pipes. Either stick them somewhere, or throw them away.

YouTube / GeoBeats Science

4. Flour

When baking, be careful to keep that messy flour away from the sink. As stray flour mixes with water, it forms a gooey paste that will easily plug your pipes. It can also jam your garbage disposal. Save yourself a future plumbing nightmare by only mixing in the mixing bowl!

Jesse, YouTube

5. Eggshells

Another great composting ingredient is eggshells, and composting is the best use for them. If you’ve heard that the eggshells sharpen your garbage disposal’s blades, we hate to tell ya, but that’s an old wives’ tale. If you aren’t a composter, dispose shells in the trashcan.

YouTube / Simplify Gardening

6. Bones

Remember, your garbage disposal isn’t a V8 engine, and it can’t handle chopping up poultry, pork, and beef bones. They’re too difficult for the blades to mince, so you’ll have to use the trashcan to get rid of them. Smaller bones, like fish bones, can safely be thrown down the disposal, however.

Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF

7. Uncooked Meat

Throwing uncooked meat and trimmings in the drain isn’t just a waste, it’s a clog waiting to happen. Fats and oils from the meat coat the pipes, making a difficult build-up for water to be forced through. If you need to dispose of raw meat, use the trash, or compost it below-ground.

Inside Edition, YouTube

8. Potato Peels

Resist the temptation to peel potatoes over the sink. Potatoes are filled with starch, which clumps into a large mass that affixes itself deep inside of your plumbing. It only takes a few potatoes or stray peels for them to congeal into something gross and deadly for your pipes.

Home Grown Veg, YouTube

9. Pumpkin

When you’re carving pumpkins for Halloween, no part of your gourd should end up in the sink. The rind and other goopy parts of the pumpkin filling are too stringy to slide down the drain, and like fibrous celery, they can create a “hairball” in the pipe. Save the seeds and strings to roast in the oven for a healthy snack.

10. Pits, Seeds, and Kernels

Like bones, pits from mangoes and peaches are too rock-hard for your garbage disposal to break up. Cherry pits, apple cores, and other kinds of smaller seeds may fit down the drain…but once they start absorbing water, they expand in size, ruining your sink. No seeds, please.

Pallava Bagla/Corbis via Getty Images

11. Pasta and Rice

Like potatoes, pasta and rice are also high in starch, and they easily absorb water, which makes them balloon in size. If a noodle falls down the drain on accident, you’ll probably be all right, but too many and you’re in for a major clog!


12. Grease

Never pour bacon fat down the drain! Pour it into something disposable, like a tin can. It’s the same principle as uncooked meat scraps: when the fatty liquid cools, it hardens into a congealed mixture that blocks your pipes. Only get rid of your grease in a garbage can.

YouTube / Guardian Food

13. Dairy

Pouring milk in the drain won’t clog it, but it harms the environment. Breaking down dairy uses a ton of oxygen, and removing all that oxygen from an ecosystem can kill local aquatic life. When your dairy gets chunky, just dispose of it in the trash!

Mint Mobile / YouTube

14. Pasta Water

After you’re done with your pasta, don’t dump the water. It isn’t so bad for your sink, but there is starch in it. Plus, pasta water is an emulsifier, and adding it to your sauces will make them rich and creamy. The sauce also stays on the noodles more easily, soaking them in delicious flavor. The biggest threat to your pipes’ longevity, however, lies in a common problem that most people overlook…

YouTube / Catherine Mayhew/TheSouthInMyMouth

15. Low Water Pressure

Cooking tips aside, all those clogging matters are much worse if you have low water pressure. If too many appliances are using the plumbing, low water pressure will make it harder to push any clogs clear of the pipe. Avoid running the dishwasher if you’re trying to clean out the pipes! And if you’re a person that likes to store unused junk under the sink, there’s something else you need to be aware of.

Easy Steps, YouTube

16. Crowded Pipes

For stubborn clogs, you may need to disassemble the sink pipes, which can be frustrating if you have too much stuff crammed under your sink. Keep the space below your sink organized and uncrowded to make fixes much easier.

ehowathomechannel, YouTube

17. Be Careful With Faucets

If your repairs go really wonky and you break a faucet, don’t use too much pressure trying to force it to turn off. The handles can snap — then you’ll have a bigger problem on your hands! Instead, turn off the water main to your house, and look for the root cause to truly fix the leak.

Facebook / Hawthorne Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

18. Take Pictures

Never get started on DIY repair before taking pictures of what you’re about to fix —especially when you’re new to plumbing. This helps with the all-important task of putting everything back together once it’s fixed. Re-assembly is tricky, and those reference photos might save your sanity.

YouTube / South China Morning Post

19. Turn Off the Water

One of the easiest mistakes is forgetting to turn off the water before starting any plumbing work. Leaving it on means dealing with a mess…and you may also wind up drenched! The valve should be located near your water meter. For those looking to get creative with home renovations, this next tip is an absolute game changer.

Roto-Rooter, YouTube

20. Unclog spray cans with gasoline

Don’t you just hate it when spray cans refuse to push out that last little bit at the bottom? It drives us nuts! If you’ve got some gasoline to hand, though, pour a little bit into a container and then submerge the can’s nozzle. After that, leave the nozzle to sit in place for roughly a quarter of an hour. Apparently, that’ll get rid of any residing gunk. Best not try this tip with anything too flammable, mind.

21. Fix wooden furniture with coffee grounds

Outside of the sink, there are other easy household fixes. Wooden furniture, for instance, can build up plenty of wear and tear – not great if you have a family heirloom in your house. But those old chairs and tables can be easily restored to their former glory if you’ve got some coffee grounds to hand. They’ll plug up any blemishes and add a tasteful brownish sheen to the surface. Who needs paint?!

22. Unclog your shower head with vinegar

Shower heads can accumulate a lot of gunk over time. But instead of just cursing the meager waterflow every time you step in for a scrub, try this tip. Famed home improvement expert Bob Vila’s website recommends pouring some vinegar into a small plastic bag, tying it to the head and leaving it there overnight. Then, once you’ve taken the bag off, give the head a quick wash. Problem solved!

23. Fix squeaky floors with baby powder

Squeaky floorboards are infuriating, right? Now everyone in the house knows you love a midnight snack. But that tell-tale noise can be eradicated super-simply. All you need is some baby powder, a plastic bottle and a brush from a makeup bag. Just sprinkle the powder into the gaps between the floorboards, then press it down with the brush. And there you have it. Happy snacking!

24. Find hidden wires with a microphone

The next time you need to drill into a wall at home, try this tip to avoid destroying any wires hiding on the other side. Just grab a microphone and a recorder, as the device will apparently emit a droning sound if you’re close to any electrical connections. Even better, it should help keep you safe.

25. Clean crayoned walls with WD-40

Young kids may love crayons, but they have a tendency to scrawl with them everywhere. Those nice white walls? Well, they’ve now got some messy artwork on them. Luckily, those crayon marks can be removed from glossy paint if you’ve got some WD-40 handy. Simply spray and then wipe the surface to get it looking as clean as a whistle again.

26. Don’t Bend the Pipes

Pipes seem durable, but they can be bent if you use the wrong tools. Also, check that your tools are properly assembled and in good shape, so they don’t accidentally damage your materials. Too many errors means you may have to buy more pipes!

Maris Builds a House, YouTube

27. Loosen up drawers with soap

Stiff drawers can test the patience of even the most mild-mannered person. But don’t fret, as the issue can be solved with some quick thinking. By applying soap to the sliders, you should be able to simply and easily loosen up the problematic drawer. Dish and bar varieties of soap should both work, too.

28. Fix drains with a homemade mixture

Struggling to clear out your drains? Well, you can actually create a mixture that’ll fix them right up – and no harmful substances are involved! To begin with, The Delite recommends pouring some boiling water down the plughole. Follow that up with half a cup of baking soda and the same measurement of white vinegar. Then leave the mixture for roughly ten minutes. That should purge any bothersome blockages.

29. Prevent rust circles with nail polish

Just like anything else made from metal, spray cans can become rusty. And it’s a particular problem if you keep, say, your shaving cream in the bathroom, as the heat and condensation you create by washing may speed up the oxidizing process. You can avoid any pesky rust circles on your surfaces, though, by covering the bases of your spray cans in nail polish.

30. Use bubble wrap to winterize windows

It’s not always easy to keep your house warm during the winter months – even if the heating is on full blast. And if the problem is your windows, you could be looking at shelling out a whole load of cash for a fix. But there’s a cheap and easy solution that’ll save you money on bills. First, get your window a little damp, then grab a layer of bubble wrap and place it over the glass. This should help insulate your place, although it looks a little odd.

31. Remove screws with rubber bands

Rubber bands can help you in a number of unexpected ways, so don’t throw them out! If you’re struggling to get hold of a secured screw with your screwdriver, for instance, slip an elastic band in the middle to add some traction. Hopefully, you can then get straight to work.

32. Clear old wallpaper with water and vinegar

Stripping off old wallpaper is a task that most of us dread. No matter what you do, some annoying sections just won’t budge. But a very simple mixture can be the answer to your prayers. Just combine equal quantities of vinegar and warm water, and you’ve got the perfect tool to battle the stubborn paper.

33. Get sparkling grout with toilet bowl cleaner

Grout is one of the toughest things to clean at home, as it’s difficult to scour tight spaces. Mind you, a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner could make the job easier. The Delite claims that the liquid will lift up any dirt if you leave it to soak for around 15 minutes. Then, once you wipe down, the grout should look as good as new.

34. Pour cat litter over an oil stain

Let’s be blunt here: driveway oil stains are absolutely horrible. They’re nigh-on impossible to get rid of, too. But if you own a cat, the solution could be sitting in one of your cupboards. Yes, we’re referring to kitty litter. Just scatter the litter over the stain, leave it for a quarter of an hour and then squash it down, Bob Vila’s website recommends. The oil should then be soaked up, and the mark should disappear with a little more elbow grease.

33. Silence squeaky bed frames with candle wax

Got a candle in your house? Well, its wax can actually solve an annoying issue in your bedroom. No, not that… We’re talking about squeaky bed frames, as wax can help snuff out the noise. You just need to smear the stuff across the part of the frame that’s proving a problem. Who knew, right?

36. Clear furniture scratches with toothpaste

It goes without saying that toothpaste is an everyday essential. But did you know that it can help you out in other ways besides the obvious? Apparently, a small dash of the stuff can get rid of scrapes from your wooden furniture after you scrub it into the surface. Yes, really!

37. Identify toilet leaks with Kool-Aid

No matter how good your eyes are, it’s not always easy to identify a toilet leak. But there’s a creative way – not to mention colorful! – way to solve the issue. Grab a Kool-Aid pack from your kitchen and then empty it into the cistern. And if your latrine is leaking, the bowl should show the shade of the drink within half an hour. Just don’t be tempted to fill your cup up and take a swig…

38. Fix nail holes with crayons

If you’re stuck with an unsightly hole after removing a nail from a wall, then a crayon could be just what you need. Yes, you read that right. Scribble over the affected area, and you’ll essentially fill the gap – returning the surface to its original state. Make sure you pick a crayon color that looks like the shade on the wall, though.

39. Silence squeaky doors with mayonnaise

Are squeaky doors leaving you at your wits’ end? Well, Bob Vila’s website has offered up a truly bizarre solution. Once you’ve lifted the pin that holds the hinges together on your door, smother it in mayonnaise. We’re not joking. Then put the pin back in place, and move the door from side to side. You should be greeted with silence. Weird, but it works.

40. Use pencils to fix stuck locks

Sometimes a lock can do its job a little too well – leaving you in a tricky predicament. But instead of getting stressed outside your house, you can solve the problem with a simple trick. According to Daily Army, pencil lead is an excellent lubricant for keys. Scrawl inside the lock with a pencil, then, and you’ll hopefully get that irksome door open at last.