Blog Stories 7 Things You Shouldn’t Pour Down Your Drain

7 Things You Shouldn’t Pour Down Your Drain

By Melissa Dorman, February 19, 2021

Here are 7 things you should avoid dumping down your kitchen sink or into your toilet. These substances will cause a headache at best, and costly damage, at worst.


  • Coconut oil– As you can see from the photo, this substance, when cooled, turns into a small brick that clogs your plumbing! If it’s hot, it’s a clear liquid. When it cools, it solidifies and turns white.If it goes down the drain, you’ll drive yourself mad trying to find the white blockage in the middle of the white PVC piping. As me how I know! As good practice, avoid putting any grease or oils down the drain.
  • Malt-O-Meal. This may seem like something your grandma would eat, but kids love it and, if you’re sick and not feeling well, it’s tasty. This comes in a box as a coarse powder. Once rehydrated, it’s sludgy and thick enough to back-up your garbage disposal or clog your drain.
  • Coffee grounds– Although they may appear to be finely milled, they’re very densely packed and almost paste-like when you take them out of a filter. Put that down your drain and you’ll end up with a pile up of gunky sediment in your drain, increasing the likelihood of a clog.
  • Rice– If you’ve ever cooked rice before, then you know that it expands in water. So just imagine what happens when you pour extra rice down the drain and then turn on the water.
  • Medicines– When you pour medicine down the drain, it enters and pollutes the water system. There are several different options for safe disposal. Check with your local pharmacy, which may have a medical waste disposal unit or pre-addressed envelopes that let you mail in the medications for incineration. Also, twice a year, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency holds National Drug Take-Back Day.
  • Flour (and dough). Flour and water make a natural glue. Instead of washing this sticky mess down the drain, scrape it into the garbage and then rinse the utensils.
  • Chemicals and cleaning products– Be careful with these. Combining the wrong cleaning products and chemicals can be toxic and extremely dangerous! Contact your local Hazardous Household Waste center for more information on safe disposal. (This includes paint).

Melissa Dorman

Broker | OR & WA


Ten years ago, Melissa was living in a slum in Kolkata, India, helping over 200 women escape sex trafficking by providing alternative work at a social business. It was there she discovered her passion for financial education as a means of empowering people to move out of poverty. After graduating from UCLA with a Masters, Melissa spent 5 years working as a Social Worker; assisting clients facing homelessness, in jail, or at a psychiatric facility. As much as she loved the work, imagining saving for retirement on the meager salary of a social worker was becoming grim. That's when Melissa discovered "passive income." In no time, she fell in LOVE with real estate as a vehicle for wealth. Soon after, Melissa began locating off-market multi-family properties to purchase through creative financing strategies and win-win opportunities. Two years into investing, Melissa quit her day job as a Social Worker to become a full-time broker and investor. Initially, she was drawn to people in difficult circumstances, so she developed extensive experience assisting families facing foreclosure, short sales, and probate. Melissa is well versed in helping her clients overcome complex real estate challenges. Currently, Melissa is teamed up with Super Broker, Yascha Noonberg at Living Room Realty. Together they assist clients to achieve their real estate dreams, including how to strategically buy and sell a personal residence to maximize profits. Far from the slums of Kolkata, her greatest passion now is empowering other working professionals to develop passive forms of income through buying multi-family properties in Portland.
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