Your plumbing system is more sensitive than you might imagine. By putting the wrong foods down your drain, you put yourself at risk for serious clogs in your pipes. Avoid putting these seven foods/food groups down your drain and you can preserve your plumbing and prevent costly repairs.

1. Eggshells
Your garbage disposal leads to your drains, so you should be cautious about what goes into your disposal. Eggshells have sharp edges that often get stuck in garbage disposal motors.

They also are made of protein. Unfortunately, protein does not dissolve in water and is likely to become trapped in your pipes. Oil and grease build-ups will collect eggshells and compound the problem. Take the extra time to throw eggshells in your garbage, or place them in a compost bin.

2. Oil, Grease and Butter
While this may seem like an obvious tip, too many people make the mistake of pouring oily or greasy foods down their kitchen sink. According to Business Insider, almost half of all sewer overflows in the United States are caused by solidified grease or fat in drains.

As grease or oil goes down your drain, it begins to cool, harden and congeal. Unfortunately, this fills your pipes and eventually keeps water from draining. Instead of pouring greasy and fatty foods down your drain, let it congeal in a container and throw it in the garbage.

3. Coffee Grinds
Another issue comes in the form of coffee grinds. When wet, they cling together and form a cement-like substance. As you might imagine, this spells disaster for your plumbing system. Instead of tossing them down the sink, place them in the garbage pail. If you like gardening, sprinkle the grinds on your plants for some added nourishment.

4. Pasta and Rice
Certain foods, like pasta and rice, expand when they get wet. If placed down your drain, they will be exposed to water and will become large and sticky. Then, they will cling to your pipes and form a clog.

5. Flour, Cornstarch and Oatmeal
Similar to pasta and rice, flour, cornstarch and oatmeal tend to get gummy when wet. They become like cement, blocking your pipes and resulting in a plumbing emergency.

6. Fibrous Vegetables
Although fibrous vegetables are good for you, they’re not good for your plumbing system. The fibers in asparagus, celery, corn and even potato peels get stuck in garbage disposals. They also cling to your pipes and cause hard-to-remove clogs.

7. Jelly and Pudding
Who doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly? Well, your pipes don’t. Anything with gelatin is off limits for your drain. So either eat it or toss it in the trash.

What Should You Do If You Develop a Clog?
As hard as you may try to keep foods from destroying your drain, you can only do so much to stop a clog. At one point or another, you’re likely to experience a clogged drain.

If you do have a clog in your pipes, you don’t need to rush to call the plumber. With an effective drain cleaner, like Professor Amos’ SuperFast Drain Cleaner, you might be able to salvage your pipes. SuperFast works on the toughest of clogs in as little as 15 minutes. SuperFast eats away oil and grease buildups so you can eliminate the clog before it becomes a significant plumbing problem. We also sell products that help maintain healthy clean pipes.