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The drains in your home are only designed to handle things like water, human waste and toilet tissue. If you put anything else down them, they can easily get clogged.

Related: Is It Time to Call a Plumber? Be Aware of These Signs

You may not notice an issue right away, but foreign items can start to build up, which will keep your pipes from flowing as they should. Here are four things that are commonly dumped down drains, which will create bad clogs:


It can be tempting to just pour grease down your sink drain while you’re doing the dishes. Unfortunately, it can turn into sludge that gets bigger and bigger once out of sight. Before you know it, grease buildup can cause a large clog. You might find that your water won’t drain no matter what you do, from trying to plunge it to putting chemicals down the drain. Instead of disposing of grease down your drain, you should place it in a container once it has cooled down and put a lid on it before you dispose of it in the trash can. This will also keep it from leaking.

Kitty Litter

Clumping kitty litter can keep your cat’s litter box from smelling terrible; however, it’s imperative that you dispose of it properly. Don’t put litter in your toilet, as it will expand in your pipes when it is flushed. This can cause a large clog, and you’ll need to call a plumber to remove it. If you don’t want to dispose of kitty litter directly into your trash can, consider putting it in a plastic bag and throwing it into your outside trash can to avoid the smell from wafting through your home.


It’s very easy to dispose of hair in the toilet or down the shower or sink drain. This isn’t a good idea as it can get tangled and stuck in your pipes on the way down, slowly causing a buildup of more hair and other debris while keeping your toilet or drains from working properly. You’ll know there’s a problem if your toilet stops flushing correctly or if you have standing water in your bathtub or sink.


You should only throw used wipes away in the trash. Even if they’re advertised as flushable, they might not break down completely, and they can cause a huge clog. It can be difficult to remove these wipes from your pipes, and you may find yourself with an expensive plumbing problem that could have easily been avoided.

Your pipes can easily get clogged if you put the wrong things down them. Never dispose of the items mentioned above in your toilets, sinks or bathtubs. Doing so can create a costly issue that is likely to turn into a major inconvenience for you and your family.

Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. If your drains are clogged and won’t drain, she recommends contacting a residential plumber. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.