Thanksgiving is meant to be a time to come together and celebrate things we’re grateful for—family, friends, and health. A Thanksgiving Day plumbing disaster is not on the list. With the bulk of the holiday being spent cooking, cleaning, and surrounded by loved ones, you shouldn’t have to put time and energy into resolving a clogged drain. Follow these five tips to ensure hosting your family and friends for Thanksgiving is as smooth as possible.

Avoid Throwing Food in the Sink

After working all day to cook the perfect meal, it can be tempting to throw the scraps in the kitchen sink to ease some of the cleaning. Yet this is something that should be avoided if you’re trying to save your plumbing. Large amounts of food can get stuck in kitchen pipes and lead to a clogged drain. The more food that makes it into people’s bellies or in the trash, the better.

It’s best to throw the food left on people’s plates into a compost bin or garbage can. It’s especially important to make sure that waste such as pits, skin, and bones don’t make their way into the sink as the garbage disposal can’t handle those items. If you do dispose of scraps into the sink, make sure to run the garbage disposal often to ensure it doesn’t get overwhelmed. If you wait until it is completely full, you risk clogging the sink.

Ensure Proper Grease Disposal

After a large Thanksgiving meal, everyone gets a little sleepy which leads to careless cooking clean up. Many elements that are traditionally part of a Thanksgiving meal create a lot of grease. While this makes the food taste amazing, especially the gravy, it can be terrible for your sink. It will solidify, leading to a plumbing nightmare!

All leftover cooking oil or grease needs to be disposed of properly instead of poured down the drain. Grease can be wiped off of pots and pans with a paper towel and thrown into the trash or can be poured into a leftover metal or glass container once cooled. When the can is full, toss it into the trash. Taking this extra step to dispose of grease properly before you take your Thanksgiving day nap will prevent a plumbing emergency and save you in the long run.

Only Flush Toilet Paper

Hosting the entire family for a meal means the bathroom becomes more popular than usual. To ensure your toilets are running smoothly, make sure toilet paper is the only thing being flushed. People sometimes throw other products in the toilet such as wipes, feminine hygiene products, or paper towels which can all lead to a clogged toilet and a large mess.

Adding a small waste bin to the bathroom is a great way to encourage guests to keep other products out of the toilet. This quick and easy fix will save you time and money, while also making sure your guests can still use the bathroom when they need to!

Press Pause on the Dishwasher

When you get into the cleaning groove, it’s easy to toss plates and silverware into the dishwasher and let it do the rest. While this is a perfect option on a normal day, it should be avoided on Thanksgiving. The garbage disposal and dishwasher share a drain, so using both at the same time could lead to food waste on your clean dishes.

To avoid this kind of disaster, wait to run the dishwasher until all of the plates have been cleared and the garbage disposal has finished its job (more than once as we mentioned above). This will keep your kitchen drains running smoothly and protect your dishes, allowing them to come out squeaky clean.

Problem Prevention

Hosting a holiday meal can be a source of stress, so doing what you can to avoid plumbing troubles is your best bet. By following the steps above, you should be able to have a Thanksgiving meal that is both delicious and stress free. If you are worried about your plumbing, it’s best to be proactive to prevent future issues. Scheduling a professional inspection before you host for the holidays can be the difference between a perfect dinner and a plumbing nightmare.

If you’re looking to make sure your plumbing is ready to handle the holiday season, call Justin Dorsey Plumbing. We’re ready to check out your plumbing before Thanksgiving so you don’t have to worry about it the day of. Contact us at to schedule your pre-holiday inspection today!