Things That Slow Down Drains and Clog Plumbing and Septic Systems

Slow drains are annoying, clogged plumbing is a problem, and a backed-up septic system is dangerous. This is why Express Septic Services recommends an annual inspection and service of your septic system. This gives us the chance to make sure everything is a-okay and you aren’t running the risk of a sewage leak or backup. If you wash the following down the drains, you’re damaging your septic system.

Baby/Wet Wipes

Even though they say they are flushable, baby wipes and wet wipes can clog your toilet’s plumbing and your septic system. It’s better to toss these things in the trash. They do not biodegrade as septic-safe toilet paper does.

Cat Litter

The same is true with cat litter. Many of today’s brands boast that you can flush the cat litter down the toilet, but this is not a good idea if you have a septic system. Litter, especially clumping litter, can clog your pipes and drain field.

Coffee Grounds

It might seem convenient to wash your coffee grounds down the drain, especially the side with the garbage disposal, but they can also clog your plumbing and septic system. Dispose of your coffee grounds in the trash or use them as fertilizer for your yard.


It used to be that people believed eggshells sharpened your garbage disposal’s blades, but this isn’t true. Rather, eggshells will clog your plumbing and your septic system and, because of their light weight, they may make their way into your drain field.

Excess Toilet Paper

The more toilet paper you use, the greater the chances you have of clogging your septic system. Always make sure that you use septic-safe toilet paper and use as little as possible. If you have a large family that goes through rolls daily, plan to have your septic tank pumped more frequently.

Facial Tissue

Facial tissue can clog the toilet. It is not meant to be flushed down the toilet. Flushing facial tissue into the septic system can cause severe problems including backed-up sewage. Make sure to toss the facial tissue in the trash.


Even though you have a garbage disposal, food really should not be washed down the drains. It not only clogs your pipes and slows the drains down, but also introduces foreign objects into the septic system that should normally not be there.


This is especially true with grease or oil. If you wash grease or oil down the drain, it will not only build up against the walls and trap other objects, but it will also cause serious damage to your septic system. Dispose of the oil in the trash and wipe out the oily pans with paper towels.


If your shower drain is slow, it’s most likely hair. When you wash your hair, you naturally lose some of it, and the only place it has to go is down the drain unless you use drain screens. Over time, the hair will build up because it is caught in the curved portion of the plumbing.

Shaving Cream and Whiskers

Shaving cream and whiskers can create a paste that slows down your bathroom drains. When you shave your legs, this, too, can slow down your bathtub drains. Again, drain screens are the best solution for this problem to prevent hair and shaving cream from going down the drain.

Septic Clog

Finally, a sign that your septic tank needs to be pumped is slow drains. If you have not had your septic tank pumped in three years and your drains are slowing down, it’s important to call for an inspection and service.

Express Septic Services is located in Greenville, SC. Call us for an appointment today.

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