There are a lot of rules you have to follow if you want to keep the plumbing in your home in good shape year after year. Not only do you need to make sure you're keeping up with small maintenance tasks, you also need to make sure you're not doing anything to damage your plumbing. Unfortunately, drain cleaning services get calls every day about clogged drains that are often caused by putting the wrong things down them. Check out these 10 things you should never put down your drain to help you avoid having to pay for an expensive cleaning.

1. Flushable Wipes

While the wet wipes you buy at the store may be marketed as flushable, that doesn't mean they actually are. These pipes don't break down in your pipes the same way that toilet paper does, which means they'll eventually build up and cause a clog in your pipes. The truth of the matter, there's no such thing as a wipe that's completely flushable.

2. Makeup Products

There are a number of reasons why you shouldn't flush makeup products down your toilet. For starters, these products don't break down very well in your pipes and tend to cause clogs. However, you also have to think about what's in the makeup you're flushing. While makeup is designed to be safe to put on your skin, most of it isn't fit for consumption by anything.

3. Cotton Swabs

Most people use cotton swabs to clean their ears after a shower. Because of this, a lot of people tend to throw those cotton swabs in the drain. You should only do this if you want to pay for a drain cleaning service. Cotton is already bad enough to flush down your toilet; when you add a plastic rod to the equation, you're almost guaranteeing a clog in your toilet drain.

4. Greases, Fats and Oils

Most Sugar Land, TX, homes these days have a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink. These disposals are designed to grind up any food that you can't get in the garbage so it doesn't clog up your drains. However, oils, greases and fats can't be broken down by your garbage disposal, so they should never go down your sink. Clogs due to fats and oils are some of the most common drain cleaning service calls.

5. Egg Shells

Putting egg shells down your garbage disposal might not seem like such a bad idea since the shells are so fragile, but that's not what causes problems. The problem happens when those eggshells stick to your pipes and create a place for other food waste to stick to. Over time, these pieces of egg shell will eventually collect all sorts of other food that will clog up your drain. This is why egg shells should always go in the garbage.

6. Coffee Grounds

There are some foods that sort of break down in water over time, but coffee grounds aren't one of those foods. As a matter of fact, coffee grounds tend to clump up together in your drains, which is a common cause for drain cleaning service calls. If you use a drip coffee maker, you should dump the filter in the garbage. French presses and other coffee makers can be completely drained of liquid so you can dump the dry coffee grounds into the garbage to avoid making a mess.

7. Produce Stickers

One surprising thing is that drain cleaning services see a lot of produce stickers. It should go without saying that you shouldn't put produce stickers down the drain, but it happens for all sorts of reasons. Sometimes it's an accident while other times it's the result of a child who simply doesn't know better. Whenever you're slicing up an apple or cutting onions for dinner, make sure you remove the sticker and put it in the garbage before you get started.

8. Paper Towels

Just because you can flush toilet paper down the toilet doesn't mean you can put any paper product down there. Drain cleaning services have to deal with clogs caused by paper towels all the time. No matter what kind of paper towel you're using or what you're using it for, you should never dispose of it in the toilet. Make sure you have a garbage can in your bathroom where you can throw away paper towels and other non-flushable items if you need to.

9. Household Fluids

You might think it's fine to pour fluids down your drain or flush them down the toilet, but it really depends on the fluid. If you put the wrong thing down your drain for too long, you could end up needing more than a drain cleaning service. Certain chemicals like bleach can react with things in your pipes (or the pipes themselves, depending on the material they're made of) and cause serious drain problems.

10. Paint

You might not know it, but a lot of cities have rules about how you're allowed to dispose of paint. Paint is one of the worst offenders when it comes to clogs that require drain cleaning services. Not only should you not be getting paint in your drain pipes, there are also toxic chemicals in a lot of paint that you don't want to get in the water supply.

Just In Case

As long as you're not putting anything bad down your drains, you probably won't have to call a drain cleaning service. The key is staying disciplined about putting as much waste in the garbage as possible.

At the end of the day, you never know what could clog one of your drains. If you do have a clogged drain in your Sugar Land, TX, home that you need help with, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing of Houston can help. Give us a call at (713) 903-286 to get your drains cleared out today.