Holiday meals can be stressful. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter, cooking for visiting family and friends means you’re preparing a greater quantity of food at one time than you may be accustomed to. This can tempt some tired cooks to cut corners when it comes to cleanup by simply scraping uneaten food into the sink. Don’t! If you aren’t careful, the remains of your feast could lead to drain issues down the road.
Here are some of the top food-related items to avoid sending down the drain…unless you want to risk clogged pipes.

1. Grease. If you have leftover cooking grease, save it in a jar for future use or put it in an enclosed container and dispose of it in the trash. Whatever you do, DON’T pour it down the drain. If grease enters the pipes of your sink, it can congeal, causing other food debris to cling to the grease, and quickly lead to blocked pipes.

2. Butter or margarine. These are also fats, and much like grease, can quickly congeal in pipes, leading to blockages.

3. Cooking oil. Another fat, cooking oils such as olive oil or vegetable oil can build up and cause food to stick to the insides of your pipes, and water to stop flowing down the drain. The same goes for salad dressing and mayonnaise.

4. Pasta. You know how dry pasta expands once you add it to boiling water? It will continue to do so when exposed to any additional water, like the water found in your pipes. Not only will swollen pasta expand and block water from flowing out to the sewer line, the flour used in pasta can form a glue-like substance once mixed with the water in your pipes, leading to more trapped food.

5. Rice. Just like pasta, rice will continue to expand as it is exposed to water. So, if you prefer to celebrate the holidays with Chinese takeout, make sure any uneaten food doesn’t find its way into the kitchen drain.

6. Coffee grounds. A good cup of coffee pairs nicely with dessert. However, make sure the coffee grounds end up in the trash or compost heap, not the drain. Because grounds are not completely water-soluble, they can stick to the sides of pipes, particularly if they encounter grease or oil.

If you or a guest assisting with cleanup does dump these or other problematic food items down the drain, you could soon find yourself with a clogged drain. Should that occur, try to avoid chemical drain cleaners, since they can damage pipes. Instead, use a drain snake to loosen up and / or remove food debris. If that doesn’t work, give the experienced team of plumbing and drain experts at EcoClean a call. We can professionally clean your pipes and make sure the leftovers from Thanksgiving or Christmas don’t cause plumbing issues in the new year.