By Bellevue Plumbing Pro

Although it can seem easy to just dump things around the house and flush them down the toilet or down the sink, this can cause serious problems for your plumbing. Common household products can lead to major problems in your plumbing and sewer system.

These four household items should be kept out of your drains

Oil or Gas

It is illegal to pour gasoline or motor oil down the drain. These substances can easily get into ground and surface water supplies, and then contaminate drinking waters. One-gallon of motor oil can pollute up to 250,000 gallons of drinking water. Additionally, gasoline vapors left in the air after draining the oil are flammable. These items should be placed in a container that is approved by the government for hazardous materials. Then, they can be taken to your local hazardous waste disposal or recycling facility.


Lint from washing machine discharges can build up over time and cause a blockage in your laundry drain. A clogged washer drain can cause significant damage by covering the floor with water. This is preventable. Lint catcher is a metal mesh sleeve which goes over the washer discharge hose. It collects lint and other debris to ensure it doesn’t get down your drain. A nylon stocking can be used over the hose to make it more economical. You can replace the stocking or lint catcher when it becomes full.


Paint down the drain can cause damage to your plumbing and the environment. Your pipes will become clogged if you have paint in them. It can also leach into the ground and water surface, which can lead to contamination. Paint can also emit toxic and flammable gases into the environment. Donating any paint that is not used is a good idea. You can mix leftover latex paint with equal amounts of kitty litter. Let it set for at least an hour before throwing it away. You should also take the lid off the can and dispose it separately. You can also use a commercial spray paint hardener, or let the paint dry naturally if it is not too much. Oil-based paints should be disposed at your local hazardous waste disposal center.

Flushable Kitty Litter

Even though the litter bag is marked as flushable, it’s not a good idea to flush it down the toilet. Flushing flushable litter can cause clogs because of the extra solids. Flushable cat litter is more likely to block septic systems. Flushing pet waste in many states is also illegal due to the possibility of spreading bacteria or other harmful organisms.


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