You Should Never Pour Oatmeal Down Your Drain. Here's Why

Having a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink is incredibly handy when it comes to cleaning up after cooking a big feast, or even your daily breakfast. But it turns out that you can't just toss whatever you want down the drain. In fact, there are several items that should never go down your drain, and oatmeal is one of them.

You already know that oatmeal expands when it gets wet. It has a tendency to "get gummy when wet" and becoming "like cement, blocking your pipes and resulting in a plumbing emergency" (via Professor Amos). Even if it doesn't cause a clog directly, oatmeal will clump and stick to everything else it comes into contact with inside your pipes, forming a clog that you will not be able to remove with normal household drain cleaners (via AMLI Residential). Which means you will have to call a plumber for a potentially expensive fix. For a simple drain cleaning, you're looking at $125 to $350 (via HomeGuide). Yikes!

What to with your excess oatmeal

So what should you do if you find yourself with an excess of oatmeal, either cooked or uncooked? First, see if you can just save it for another day. Cooked oatmeal lasts 3 to 5 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer, while uncooked oatmeal can last 1 to 2 years normally and up to 30 years in the right containers (via Simply Oatmeal). When storing cooked oatmeal in the fridge, wait for it to cool first, but keep don't let it sit out for more than 2 hours (via Does It Go Bad?).

There are also a number of recipes where you can use cooked oatmeal instead of oats and liquid, such as in muffins, breads, cookies, bars, and pies (via Organic Authority). Food52 offers some savory options for leftover oatmeal, including in burgers, meatballs, meatloaf, risotto, and soups, if you're tired of the sweet stuff. Plus, there are some simple tricks to make oatmeal taste better. So, having too much oatmeal should no longer be an issue. And if you do, just remember to use the trash can or compost instead.