The Green Revolution in Plumbing: Environmentally Friendly Plumbing

5 Kitchen Habits to Prevent Blocked Drains

Blocked drains are a problem that many homeowners dread. They lead to slow-draining sinks, bad smells, and big repair bills if you have to call out a plumber to deal with them. You probably already take care to avoid flushing objects down the toilet or letting hair clog the drain in your shower, but did you know that how you act in the kitchen can also lead to blockages in your home's plumbing? Adopt these five kitchen habits to reduce your risk of having to call out a plumber to handle a blocked drain.

1. Collect and Throw Out Cooking Grease

Fat accumulates in pipes and can cause clogs. Instead of pouring excess cooking oil down the sink, pour it into a container and throw it out with your regular trash once it has cooled. This simple step can prevent grease from congealing in your plumbing system, which can lead to a serious blockage.

2. Try Low-Fat Recipes

One good way to reduce the amount of grease that ends up in your pipes is to use less fat in cooking in the first place. Even if you pour out cooking oil and throw it away, some will remain on the pan and end up in going down the drain when you wash the pan. An easy way to cook with less fat is to switch from using cooking oil, butter, or lard to using a cooking spray, which coats the pan with just enough fat to prevent food from sticking. You can also experiment with methods of cooking that don't require fat, such as boiling and steaming.

3. Compost Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds should never go down the drain. Their gritty, sludgy texture allows them to mix with other substances in the pipes to create a disgusting black clog. Instead of throwing coffee grounds in the sink, throw them out with your solid waste. Alternatively, you can save them to add to your compost pile.

4. Use a Plug Hole Cover

Small items, such as scraps of food or even small pieces of jewelry, can slip down the plughole while you're doing the dishes. Save your plumbing system by placing a cover over the hole to catch solid items while letting water escape. You can purchase plug hole covers from most hardware and homeware stores.

5. Rinse the Pipes

After you wash the dishes, run hot water down the drain while you wipe down the sink and work surfaces. The water will ensure that any fats, oils, or particles of food will run quickly through your pipes, rather than congealing into clogs. Hot water works better than cold, which can encourage fats to solidify.