Whether you’re an art teacher at a school or university, you offer pottery classes at your own studio, or you just work out of your home for fun, there’s one issue every ceramic artist has to contend with — clay-clogged pipes! There’s no doubt keeping leftover clay from going down the drain and clogging up your pipes can be a challenge. Today we’re discussing clay disposal and sharing some of the top ways to prevent draining issues!
Can you put clay down the drain?
Clay should definitely not go down the drain. It can harden and cause major clogs damage to your pipes over time. It’s best to dispose of the clay separately or reuse it when you can.
How to dispose of clay and clay water:
Well everyone seems to find their own system for disposing of clay water, there are a few common ways ceramic artists tend to handle disposing of clay and dirty clay water.
1. Create a DIY system with buckets.
A lot of potters and ceramic artists simply buy buckets, spouts, and strainers to create their own DIY system for cleaning. This method works, but it isn’t 100% effective. Plus, this DIY way is often messy and cumbersome, especially when dealing with younger art students or large class sizes, and clay. This is a common solution for pottery studios without running water.
2. Use a clay sink trap.
This is probably the most common and widely used clay disposal method. Clay sink traps — also known simply as clay traps or sink traps — are found in many pottery studios. They attach to your pipes and collect clay chunks and particles in a closed container to prevent clogs and damage to your pipes.
While this definitely works, clay traps have to be emptied frequently and people oftentimes end up wasting a lot of clay in the process. For this reason, many potters still end up using buckets for rinsing before utilizing the sink with the trap, which is messy and inconvenient.
3. Invest in THE CINK.
Many potters, from beginners to professionals, have discovered the miracle of THE CINK — our portable filtering and recycling system. THE CINK is a full pottery studio sink uses a filter and recirculates the water to collect all the clay. No lugging buckets of water, no clogged pipes, and minimal mess! Plus, you’ll waste less clay and save money over time.
What makes this extra cool is that it’s portable and doesn’t require plumbing access. That means it’s perfect for all types of spaces — from large classrooms and professional pottery studios to small home set-ups in your basement or garage! Once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to live without it.
Tips for clay disposal
Whether you get THE CINK or utilize one of the more primitive methods for clay recycling and preventing clay-clogged pipes, keep these handy tips in mind.
Educate students and beginners.
While it may seem like common sense, people who are new to pottery-making or young students who are just learning about ceramics may not know clay can’t go down the drain. Be sure you explain and show them the proper clean-up process to avoid any mishaps and emergency plumbing issues.
Keeping a close eye on things is one of the best ways to prevent clay clogged drains and other issues. Help youngsters to clean their tools (to avoid accidental spills and messes) and be on the lookout for leaks and any sign that your sink might not be draining properly. Don’t wait! Catching plumbing issues before they get worse may save you time and money. (Since THE CINK doesn’t connect to your plumbing system, you don’t have to worry about plumbing-related issues, though it never hurts to keep an eye on beginners or students who are using it for the first time.)
Make cleaning a priority.
No matter what type of space you’re working in, proper cleaning is essential. Cleaning your pottery wheel and ceramic tools quickly after use will help prevent the clay from hardening down and keep the tools for rusting or corroding, thus extending the life of the tool.
Beyond just your tools and other supplies, keeping your overall workspace clean is also important. Working with ceramics is naturally dirty and produces a lot of dust and debris. Regularly cleaning will help reduce tripping hazards, prevent long-term health issues (such as silicosis), and overall make the area a more pleasant place to be creative! Overall, having a cleaning checklist is a great way to make sure that everything is clean and ready to go next time before you officially finish up for the day.
Got more questions about THE CINK, preventing clay clogged pipes, or other ceramic-related topics? We’d love to hear from you! Just leave a comment below or contact us!