Things you should never put down your plumbing pipes

Can you flush paper towels down your toilet? What is and isn’t okay to put down my garbage disposal? Home plumbing comes with many questions and uncertainties by homeowners everywhere. Learning about your home plumbing helps solve this inconclusiveness. 

A common mistake that homeowners make is putting things down their plumbing pipes that are harmful to their plumbing system. There are items that are okay to flush or pour down, while there are others that are a no go. Here are some things you should NEVER put down your home plumbing pipes. 

Food you should never put down your garbage disposal 


Many people already know this, but you should never put grease or oils down your drains. Not only can these oils cause serious damage to your garbage disposal, but could block the water’s route and cause back ups in your pipes as well. 

Potato peels 

Another food that is commonly thrown into garbage disposals are potato peels. Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal, potato peels are full of starch that can negatively impact your garbage disposal. The hardness of the peels can cause serious pressure and build up over time. The same goes for other very starchy vegetables and beans. 


You probably wouldn’t think of it, but celery is not ideal for your garbage disposal. Since celery is a fibrous food that is really stringy, it can cause issues and could prevent your garbage disposal motor from running properly. 


Pasta is a food that expands when it’s exposed to water, even after it has been fully cooked. With that being said, you should never dump it down your drain. Doing so can fill your disposal trap, cause your drain to clog, or even lead to bigger problems. The same goes for rice. 

Egg Shells

There’s a little debate on whether it’s okay to put egg shells down your drains. Some say the shells actually help sharpen your disposal blades, while others say that they shells stick to the sides of the disposal and can cause potential blockage to your drain. All in all, it’s a safe bet to just throw your egg shells away in the trash!

Things you should never flush down your toilet

Paper Towels 

So back to the question, can you flush paper towels down your toilet? Everyone’s had a time where they have run out of toilet paper, and paper towels seem like a decent substitute. However, paper towels are not meant to be flushed down your toilet. They do not dissolve the same way as toilet paper does, and can cause serious blockage in your plumbing pipes. 

Dental Floss

Another common bathroom item that should never enter your home’s toilet is dental floss. Although floss doesn’t seem like a big deal, floss can clog your pipes, and even cause environmental damage.  

Kitty Litter

Whether is says it’s flushable or not, kitty litter was not made to be flushed down your toilet. Your toilets are made for water soluble waste and material, and will have a tough time moving the litter along properly in your pipes. 

Baby Wipes 

Another big no no when it comes to flushing things down your toilet is baby wipes. Even if the packaging says they are flushable, it’s smart to throw your wipes in the trash as they are frequently the cause of pipe clogs

Cotton Ball / Q-Tips

Lastly, cotton balls, pads and Q-tips are not safe to flush. These do not break down, and usually just clump together in your plumbing pipes. 

Keeping your home’s plumbing safe and running is a top priority as a homeowner. Knowing what and what not to put down your drains will not only compliment an efficient plumbing system, but will help save you hassle and money as well. 

When it comes to home plumbing, ServiceOne is here to help. Call us with any of your home plumbing needs! 

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