A drain blocked by oil and fat, common household items that don't belong down drains.

Six Common Household Items That Don’t Belong Down The Drain

We visit a lot of homes to unblock drains that didn’t need to be blocked in the first place. This can be a good thing because it means there hasn’t been any damage to the pipes. But it’s important to remember that just because it can go down the drain that doesn’t mean it should.


So here are six common household items that don’t belong down the drain.

Kitty litter

It might seem flushable because it’s just like another toilet but flushing kitty litter can cost thousands of dollars.


Kitty litter sets like concrete inside your drains, and we’ve seen it happen, so dispose of it as instructed by the manufacturer.

Wet Wipes & Sanitary Items

Unlike toilet paper, items made from polyester (plastic) such as wet wipes and most sanitary products do not break down.


This can cause the drain to block and, while they won’t break drains, we do have to retrieve them with our drain equipment.

Cooking Oils & Fats

Cooking fats, oils, and heavy food build ups will block drains as oil and water famously do not mix.


After the grease has cooled down, it will congeal in the drains and become immediately recognisable by its white, lumpy appearance. You can prevent drain blockages from oils and fats by disposing of them in the bin.


Pour oils and fats into an old milk carton that you can throw into the bin when filled.

Excessive Toilet Paper

Most newer style toilet suites are designed for a minimal flush to save water. If you’ve come from an older property with a stronger flushing toilet and now you have a modern style toilet you may notice the flush is not as large.


That doesn’t mean it’s broken or defective but it does mean that you might have to change your habits when you flush.


Alternatively, just buy a plunger from your local hardware shop for in the event of a paper blockage.

Hair, Toothpaste, and Soap Scum

Hand basin, bath, and shower drains can be blocked simply by a build up of hair, toothpaste, and soap scum. 


Clearing a blocked hand basin can be done quite simply — just use a pair of pliers to remove the build up in the drain. 


Often blocked hand basin drains can be cleared easily without the need for a call out from a plumber.

Stones, Toys, and Leaves

Drain grates outside must be kept clear as stones, toys, and other foreign objects like an accumulation of leaves can block the drain. Like with hand basin drains, outdoor drains can often be cleared easily without needing to call u.s


Please ensure outside drains are kept clean and clear. The grates over these drains are there so you know if there’s a blockage that could affect the drains in the house.

Not sure if you can clear a blocked drain yourself?

Call us and let us know what you’re having trouble with. We can help, no matter the drain.


If you’re renting, don’t forget that we need to document any items we find blocking drains to your real estate agent. It’s important to remember not to put anything down the drain that doesn’t belong to you so you don’t have to pay for thousands of dollars in preventable repairs.