Don’t Send Christmas Down the Drain

Washing Christmas dishes in sink

Christmas is fast approaching and if it’s your turn to host Christmas dinner for your family or friends, you’ve no doubt been thinking about the scale of the cooking that you’re going to have to carry out on the day. There are few better things than a full Christmas dinner, but those who do the cooking will be all too aware of the clean up operation that’s required by the time you’ve finished.

Dealing with the post-dinner plates, pans and food is an undesirable task, but there are certain steps that should be followed to avoid any drainage issues during this festive period.


Gravy, custard, bread sauce, brandy cream for the Christmas pudding… whatever sauces or condiments you utilise during the big dinner, if there’s any left by the time you and your guests have finished eating, it will need to be disposed of. No foodstuff is better off down the drain than it is in a bin. If there are any bits of food left over on tins, trays or crockery, scrape them into a bin – don’t put them down the sink. They might not drain at all, and even if they do, they only get stuck further down the pipes and cause blockages, which can lead to leaks, structural damage and expensive repair work.

What else shouldn’t I put down the sink?

Even if you’ve made the most delicious Christmas dinner of all time, it’s highly unlikely that every plate, knife, fork and tray will be spotless, so you’re going to have some remnants of food to deal with. When you’re washing up, you must be careful to not let certain items go down the plughole. Instead, scrape them into the bin beforehand. That includes peas, remnant of the mash potato, and even Christmas pudding crumbs!

Fats, oils and grease

Christmas dinner isn’t exactly the healthiest meal we could make, but this is not the time for calorie counting. A lot of fat, grease and oil is used/created during the cooking of a Christmas dinner, and once you’ve finished cooking, those oils and fats need disposing of.

Pouring them down the sink, whether as part of the washing up process or as a standalone action is inadvisable – while they may initially disappear down the drain with ease, they coagulate and eventually form the infamously dubbed ‘fatbergs’. These giant mounds of waste are a nightmare for drains, causing blockages throughout the network.

At Christmas time, an estimated 250 tonnes of grease and fat will go down the nation’s drains, which simply serves to increase the scale of the blockages. Instead of pouring fats, oils or grease down the drain, there are safer ways to dispose of them:

  • Let fats in baking trays cool and solidify before removing
  • Empty all leftovers into a bin
  • Wipe all pans and crockery down before washing them with paper towel, which can then go into the bin
  • Collect any oil in a suitable container (such as old takeaway boxes) and then dispose of it in a bin
  • Use a plug strainer (also known as a drain defender)

Going home/away for Christmas

If you’re travelling home, going to a relative’s for Christmas or perhaps taking a festive holiday, you will probably consider turning the heating off to keep your energy bills down. However, when pipes are left unused in cold or minus temperatures for too long, they freeze, which can lead to cracks, which in turn can lead to leaks.

Instead, keep your heating on while you’re away; a low temperature will be enough, to avoid any nasty icy surprises when you return home. If you’re fortunate enough to have the new smart thermostat / heating setups, you could periodically set the heating to come on and off from wherever in the world you’re spending the festivities.

Express Drainage Solutions are experts in providing drain surveys, repairs and replacement services for domestic and commercial customers alike. To find out more about what we do, feel free to get in touch with us today. We’re open throughout the year, even in emergencies!

Want more information?Contact us today on 020 3124 1785

EDS unblocked and repaired over 20,000 drains last year for the residents and businesses of London.

Do we cover your area?


Express Solutions Group

Category: Drainage


NRSWA ISO9001 ISO14001 Chas Environment Agency NADC ROSPA QMS

Contact Express Group

We’re waiting to help you today!
020 3124 1785

Contact Us »