Warning issued over Baileys after Christmas amid claims it damages your drains

Baileys, everyone's favourite festive tipple, has prompted a stern warning from plumbing experts, who claim that it can seriously damage the pipes under your sink.

Baileys is synonymous with the festive season and, while many are fans of the Irish beverage, it is best enjoyed in moderation. With a six-month shelf life after opening, most people end up with much of the creamy Irish drink leftover when January hits with the option of pouring themselves a small glass every evening until Spring or chucking it out.

With the holiday season officially ended, it may be tempting to dispose of all the Baileys you have sitting in your cupboard down the sink, especially if you are partaking in Dry January and trying to rid yourself of any alcoholic temptations.

However, Southern Water has now issued a warning against it. Alex Saunders, head of Southern Water's wastewater network, warns: "Something like Baileys, which has a cream content could add to problems. No one likes a nasty surprise over the festive season and a blocked drain is no different."

Kevin Began, DirectorBlockbuster Drainageexplained to The Mirror that this is because "it will collate in the 'U' bend under the sink due to its thick consistency and prevent liquid from passing through to the external drainage".

It can also cause it to "set in the small bore pipework and cause blockages" similar to hot cooking fat, cream, sauces and oils. Same goes for the oily takeaways you may be tempted to order in the aftermath of the festive period.

Instead, Kevin says you should pour the cooled liquid into a "sealable container and dispose of it in your general waste bin".

Jamie Woodhall, UK Technical and Innovations Manager at Rentokil Specialist Hygiene told The Mirror: "You should only pour water based products down a sink, or those that are water soluble.

"Flushing unsuitable products down domestic or commercial drains can lead to expensive drain blockages and overflowing sinks as well as increasing the risk of contamination, since grease sludge can harbour pathogenic bacteria."

Your Christmas dinner may be partly to blame for blocking the sewage system, as Southern reports around 250 tonnes of fat enters the sewage system for every million turkeys that are cooked at Christmas.

Jamie added: "Top culprits for blocking drains in homes and commercial spaces are products that contain grease, fats and oil; expanding foods such as rice and pasta; flour; coffee grounds; and paint.

"With a severe blockage, some people turn to mechanical cleaning methods such as high pressure water jetting and rodding, but these are maybe unsuitable and even become a source of bacteria contamination if not operated with care. So you should always consult an expert to resolve a severe blockage in a safe manner."


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