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What Can’t I Pour Down My Drain?

What Can't I Pour Down My Drain the local plumber melbourne

It’s extremely common to think of our sinks as a convenient disposal option – let’s be honest we all have accidentally made this mistake once or twice before! However, certain items can severely damage your plumbing system and can cause environmental damage if done repetitively over time. Based on our professional daily experiences, our blocked drain plumbers here at The Local Plumber Melbourne have compiled the following guide on the top items you should avoid pouring down your drains.

Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG)

Fats, oils, and grease (commonly known as FOG) are perhaps the most notorious culprits when it comes to drain mismanagement and blocked kitchen sinks. When poured down the drain, these substances over time can solidify within your plumbing, creating blockages that restrict water flow and potentially cause backups and overflows.

  • Examples: Butter, cooking oil, meat fats, olive oil and sauces (e.g oyster sauce, fish sauce)
  • Consequences: Can solidify and accumulate in the sewer, leading to clogs and the dreaded ‘fatbergs’ that can block entire sewer systems.
  • Proper Disposal: Allow grease to cool and solidify, then scrape it into a compost bin or trash.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are deceptive; they may seem fine and harmless, but they can accumulate over time in your pipes and cause blockages.

  • Consequences: Coffee grounds don’t break down easily and can mix with other substances to form a sludge that blocks pipes.
  • Proper Disposal: Add them to your compost heap or use them as fertilizer for your garden, as they are rich in nitrogen.


While some people argue that grinding eggshells in the garbage disposal can sharpen the blades, in reality, the granular waste can combine with other wastes to create blockages. Try to avoid peeling your eggs in the sink. A simple alternative is to use a bowl to then transfer the shells into your bin

  • Consequences: The membrane linings can stick to the walls of your pipes, contributing to clogs.
  • Proper Disposal: Toss them in your compost bin or garbage.

Medications + Tablets

Pouring unused or expired medications down the drain can lead to water pollution, as our water treatment plants are not fully equipped to filter out all pharmaceuticals.

  • Consequences: Can contaminate water supplies and potentially harm local wildfleife
  • Proper Disposal: You can dispose of medications in your bin. Furthermore there is also the option of pharmacy take-back programs

Produce Stickers

Those little stickers on fruits and vegetables might seem insignificant, but they can get stuck in pipes and join other debris to create clogs.

  • Consequences: Not biodegradable and can contribute to sewer blockages.
  • Proper Disposal: Always remove and throw them in the trash before washing produce.


Whether it’s water-based or oil-based, paint should never be poured down the drain as it contains chemicals that can be harmful to the environment and may damage your home’s plumbing.

  • Consequences: Can contain hazardous chemicals that pollute waterways and harm wildlife.
  • Proper Disposal: Donate unused paint, or dispose of it through local hazardous waste collection programs.

Rice, Noodles & Pasta

These foods expand when they come into contact with water, even after they are fully cooked. They are an unseemingly culprit for blocked drains.

  • Consequences: Can swell and create a paste-like substance in your pipes, leading to blockages.
  • Proper Disposal: Throw excess cooked pasta or rice in the trash or add to your compost bin.


When mixed with water, flour turns into a sticky, glue-like substance that can easily clog your pipes.

  • Consequences: Acts like cement in your drainage system.
  • Proper Disposal: Compost if possible, or dispose of it in the garbage in sealed bags.

How To Unblock My Drain

For minor blockages, you may be able to naturally apply a DIY fix such as boiling hot water and baking soda and vinegar. However, if you find yourself facing a more stubborn blocked drain, contacting your local plumber is a sure way to get this issue resolved. We can help clear your block drain by applying the following techniques

  • Drain Snakes + Augers: These powerful tools can cut through and clear out deep clogs in your pipes.
  • Jet Blasting: This method uses high-pressure water streams to break apart and wash away blockages.
  • CCTV Drain Inspection Services: Advanced cameras are used to inspect pipes and identify the exact location and composition of the blockage.

Melbourne’s Leading Blocked Drain Plumbers

Being mindful of what you pour down your drains is not only good for maintaining your home’s plumbing but is also beneficial for the environment.  If you’re experiencing issues with your plumbing due to improper disposal practices, don’t hesitate to contact our emergency plumbers here at The Local Plumber for professional advice and assistance. Proper maintenance and care can save you from costly repairs and significant inconvenience. Try and avoid pouring these items down your drain and you potentially will be saving $1000s in plumbing issues in the future (trust us you’ll be thanking us in years to come!)

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