Experts warn not to throw pancake batter down the sink

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It’s Shrove Tuesday, which means, like the rest of the UK, you’ll probably be knocking up some pancakes this evening.

But if your batter goes wrong, don’t be tempted to pour it down the plughole before starting again…

Experts have warned that tipping pancake mix down the sink can actually lead to blockages and even hefty fines.

can you pour pancake batter down the sink?

Pancake batter can clog up your sink (Credit: Alamy)

READ MORE: Try Twisted’s Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

Why you shouldn’t pour pancake batter down the sink

A spokesperson from Rated People, who are a network of tradespeople, advised that the flour, fat and oil found in pancakes can actually harden pipes if it is tipped into the sink, which can cost anything from £150-£300 job to fix.

“Pancake batter contains flour, fat and oil and this is a recipe for disaster when it comes to drains as it can quickly harden in pipes and lead to blockages and burst pipes which can be costly to repair,” Rated People said in a statement.


There’s also risk of farbergs forming in sewers as a result of too much pancake mix lining the drains.

In case you weren’t aware what a fatberg was, it’s basically when fat and grease cling onto items like wet wipes and cotton buds and congeal. Delightful, huh?

Fatbergs stop water from flowing through drains as it should, so it can cause a real problem not only for you but for your neighbours, too.

In fact, South West Water said they shell out £4.5 million every single year clearing clogged up drains.

can you pour pancake batter down the sink?

You don’t want a clogged drain! (Credit: Alamy)

“Leaking or fully burst pipes caused by increased pressure from blockages can cause damage to your property and possessions, which means fixing the broken pipework could only be part of the repair cost,” said Rated People.

“Whether it’s a plastic or copper pipe, the solution will likely involve replacing the section of the pipe that’s damaged. Fixing a burst water pipe that’s easy to access will cost around £150, but with no visible access, the job is trickier and that can set you back by around £300 on average.

So, what should you do with leftover pancake batter?

can you pour pancake batter down the sink?

Leftover pancakes batter? Not on my watch (Credit: Unsplash)

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There are several alternative methods of disposing of pancake batter, or keeping leftovers fresh.

  1. Freeze your pancake batter: Freezing pancake batter isn’t only a great tip to avoid zero waste, but it also stops you tipping any down the sink. Batter keeps for up to three months, so even if you only have a small amount left, it’ll keep in an airtight container and make a good breakfast to enjoy in the future. You’ll need to completely defrost your batter before you unfreeze it, but then you’re good to go.
  2. Turn it into Yorkshire puddings: You can make a Yorkshire pudding out of the same batter you made your pancakes with. Yes, really. Keep your batter fresh in the freezer (as above) and then whack it out on Sunday and impress your family with homemade Yorkies.
  3. Fakeaways: You can also use your batter when deep frying. Fancy making your own fish and chips? This will do the trip nicely, and ensure your ingredients get used up.
  4. Dispose in food waste bin: If you messed up your batter or you definitely won’t use it you can leave it to cool and then put it in your food waste bin. Binning food is never encouraged but if it’s between that and the sink then we’d strongly advise the former.
  5. Make another pancake: The simplest answer. Perhaps that leftover batter is a hint to eat some more? We’ll take it.