How Bad Is It To Dump Produce Stickers Down The Drain?

Before washing your fruit or vegetables in the kitchen sink, it's imperative that you remove any produce stickers and throw them into the garbage can. This is because, if they end up down your drain, they could cause a clog. The adhesive backing could get stuck to the sides of your pipes or any other debris that's also causing the blockage, and these things may be difficult to remove. Further, since produce stickers are made out of inorganic materials like plastic and vinyl, they won't dissolve in water or even in most chemicals.

Another negative consequence of dumping your produce stickers down the drain is that, if they don't get stuck in your pipes, they'll then end up at the water treatment plant, where they could clog filters. And, if they continue further, they could even be released into a body of water. Therefore, to protect both your home's plumbing and also the environment, peel off any stickers and place them in the trash.

Remembering to remove produce stickers

There are two main reasons why your produce stickers are ending up down the drain: either they're coming off when you wash your fruit and you don't notice or care, or you're removing them by hand but still putting them down the drain or disposal, perhaps out of habit. Both of these scenarios should be avoided at all costs.

In order to remember to remove the stickers and place them in the garbage, it's important to be mindful. Routines could be the best way to do this, like always peeling the stickers off as soon as you arrive home from the grocery store. This would also make your fruit basket look more appealing, as your produce won't be covered in pieces of plastic. Another option is to make it routine to peel and throw away the stickers before washing your produce. You can either place the produce stickers right into the trash can or collect them on the counter and then transfer them to the garbage.

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

If you've been placing your produce stickers down the drain for some time now and now the pipes are clogged, you can attempt to unclog it yourself. The first thing to try is a manual drain cleaner, which you can purchase from various local stores or online; or you can fashion one by bending a metal coat hanger to create a small hook that'll help loosen debris. Hot water can also soften pipe clogs and may help flush everything out. You can also pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain and let it sit overnight, or try a commercial cleaner.

If you've tried these methods and your pipes are still clogged with produce stickers and other refuse, it's time to call a plumber. Their services to unclog a kitchen sink typically cost anywhere from $125 to $225 on average, with the more difficult jobs costing upward of $500. Plumbers often charge a flat rate upfront but could bill you more if the issue is more serious than they thought or if they need to replace any parts.