Slow Drains? Avoid These 7 Items for Optimal Plumbing

Homeowners know that a slow drain is one of the most frustrating household issues. 

If you use your kitchen sink or garbage disposal as an easy way to dispose of food scraps and other substances used in the kitchen, you might think that you can put almost anything down the drain. 

But the truth is there are several types of food and substances that you want to dispose of in the trash. If you don’t, you risk a clogged drain or, even worse, damaged pipes or a malfunctioning garbage disposal. 

What Might Be Causing Your Slow Drains?

Slow drains in your kitchen or other areas of the home are a sure sign of a clog. If left untreated, the clog steadily gets worse. Soon, your sink is filling with dirty water instead of draining. Or, perhaps the clog is in your tub or shower. There’s plenty that can clog these drains as well.

Often, slow drains can be a simple fix. But it’s far better to avoid slow drains entirely by keeping these common drain cloggers away from the sink or tub.

7 Common Things That Cause Clogs and Slow Drains

Cooking Oil and Other Fats

After frying foods, many people simply pour the oil down the drain because it’s easier than disposing of it properly. But oil creates a thick sludge in your plumbing and often results in a clog, especially over time.

Avoid dumping any of these other oils and fats down the drain:

  • Butter and margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings
  • Many thick, oil-based sauces
  • Other fats and grease, like bacon fat

Coffee Grinds

Pouring coffee grinds down your drain isn’t necessarily a problem–until they get mixed with any remnants of butter, grease, or oil already coating the insides of your plumbing. The combination of coffee grinds and other fats is the perfect recipe for slow drains and clogs. So, it’s best to throw coffee grinds in the garbage. 

Pasta and Rice

A garbage disposal can work wonders for people who love to cook, and it leads to a false sense of security that almost any scrap can be tossed down the drain. But even when ground up by the garbage disposal, the small remnants of pasta and rice will continue to expand as they absorb water. It won’t be long before the pipes are completely blocked up.  


Another item often sent down the garbage disposal is eggshells. But these can do even more harm than pasta and rice. Over time, if you continue to send eggshells down the garbage disposal, they damage the blades. And the wet, sticky shells can stick to the inside of the pipes, slowly creating a growing blockage.


It is common practice to wash off paintbrushes and rollers in the sink. Even worse, some homeowners pour leftover paint down the drain! More often than not, the plumbing cannot completely flush it from the system, and when it dries, it clogs the pipes.


When baking, there is often excess flour on a rolling pin or cutting board. It’s easy enough to wash this flower down the drain, right? Unfortunately, flour is another big drain disaster, as it forms a sticky paste when mixed with water.

Need Help With a Slow Drain?

If you are experiencing slow drains, it is time to call a plumber before the clog gets worse. For more information on preventing and fixing your drains, call Cornel’s Plumbing today.

Expert Plumbing & HVAC Services

Expert Plumbing & HVAC Services

Call: ‭(503) 558-2045

Servicing Portland Metro Since 1982