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Thanksgiving is nearly here, and if you’re planning on hosting festivities for your friends and family then you’re probably in the process of preparing your home and making sure everything is just about perfect. However, it’s extremely easy to skip over one of your most important aspects of your home during this lengthy process—your plumbing. The overwhelming majority of people aren’t actually aware of how the food they’re putting down the drain could contribute to a frustrating and annoying clog that drags their kitchen to a halt.

If you want to avoid a pesky drain clog this holiday season, taking some extra care and precaution to avoid putting certain types of foods down the drain will go a long way. Here are five foods you shouldn’t put down the drain along with explanations why so you can figure out other foods that you should also avoid.

Corn Husks

Corn husks are an entirely organic material, so naturally they’d be pretty easy for your garbage disposal to grind up and get rid of. However, their major problem is with their texture. Corn husks are extremely fibrous, which means they have stringy qualities. Much like celery and asparagus, these foods often shred into thin strings. This not only makes them extremely like to build up or get stuck in your garbage disposal, but also makes them a huge contributor to drain clogs. Stringy foods can act sort of like a net that catches other food debris as it falls down the drain, building up a clog even faster.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes or any type of potatoes for that matter are a type of starch, and starch foods share a quality that makes them a serious concern for your garbage disposal: they expand when wet. Starches act like a sponge of sorts, capturing moisture and expanding when they absorb liquids. Liquids can include water, liquid fat from butter or gravy, and plenty more. While it may seem like your drain can quickly and easily handle food like mashed potatoes, the truth is the problem lies beneath your disposal where the potatoes contribute to a clog that’s extremely difficult to remove.

Turkey or Roast Fat

You know not to put bacon grease down the drain, but it’s always surprising how many people don’t consider the fat and drippings from their Thanksgiving turkey or roast to be the same thing. Fats solidify when they cool, and conditions in your drain lines are often cold. Even hot water from your tap cools off quickly in your drain line that’s made of metal, causing the fat to quickly solidify and become sticky. Built-up fat is a major cause of drain clogs that could quickly ruin your holiday. Do yourself a favor and keep a jar or disposable can available and drain the fat into this container. Then throw the container in your normal trash.


Deviled eggs are a popular appetizer for Thanksgiving festivities. They’re generally simple to make, delicious, and easy to carry around. However, they also require boiling and peeling a number of eggs, and that means you’re going to have a lot of shells. There’s a popular myth that floats around, saying that eggshells are actually good for your disposal, but this is entirely false. Eggshells don’t sharpen the blades in your disposal—they simply travel through and then get stuck to the walls or building clogs in your line. Eggshells are major contributors to clogs, so you should avoid putting them down the drain at all costs.

Leftover Bread

Much like mashed potatoes, bread also has a spongy tendency that makes it prone to absorbing moisture and expanding. However, unlike mashed potatoes, bread is generally much tougher to break down, and thus the bread scraps that get through your disposal are more likely to stick to your drain line and clog it up. As with mashed potatoes, you’re far better off throwing any remaining bread in the regular trash.

From our family to yours, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving from all of us here at Carter Services! Give us a call at (310) 872-1898 if you have a problem with your disposal or a clogged drain this holiday season.

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