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Kitchen Catastrophe: 3 Foods To Avoid For Healthy Pipes

Some people think of their kitchen drains and pipes as being glorified garbage cans. They routinely rinse food off plates and down the drain and think nothing of letting vegetable peelings, grease from the bottom of a frying pan or apple cores head into the pipes. It can be easy to think that the water will carry nearly any food safely away as long as it is in small enough chunks. However, it is equally easy to forget how many twists and turns those same pipes pass through before they arrive into the sewer system. Homeowners should avoid putting the following three foods down their kitchen pipes at all costs whether they have a garbage disposal or not.

Oil And Grease

While oil and grease may appear to be liquid shortly after they have been heated, many are actually solids at cooler temperatures. Therefore, flushing them down the pipes and following it with cold water can quickly create a hardened backup of waste. In large amounts, oil and grease can actually create huge backups in the major sewage systems of houses and cities, causing potential floods of sewage for homeowners.


Pasta seems like an innocuous food to go down drains and is not often mentioned as being dangerous. However, as pasta softens, hardens and softens again through constant water supply and drying, it can become quite gooey and can stick to the pipes and to the waste disposal system. This is due to the high starch content in this type of food. Rice, potatoes and even potato peels can cause similar problems and should be thrown in the trash can rather than down the drain. A drain-grate can keep small pieces of pasta and rice from heading down the drain when rinsing plates.

Fibrous Foods

Fibrous foods are particularly dangerous for waste disposal units because they can break apart into strings, which can then wrap around the blades of the disposal unit. This can then dull the blades, making them no longer chop up other foods or even cause the entire unit to stall, leading to pipe backups. Should this happen, a professional, like those at, can clean and unclog the drain.

Not all foods are the same and this is certainly the case for foods one is trying to trash. Kitchen pipes are simply not a proper trash receptacle for many foods because these pipes can clog easily and lead to expensive damage. Even those who have garbage disposals must be sure never to put certain foods, such as those found above along with very hard foods, down the drain. Should pipes slow down or back up, be sure to contact a plumber who will be able to diagnose and repair the problem before it becomes any worse.

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