How to Prevent and Clear a Clogged Drain

When you stop to think about it, we depend on plumbing for a lot of things: bathing, going to the washroom, washing dishes, and so much more.  Normally, water flows easily through plumbing and for the most part, everything works just fine. Every now and then, however, your pipes will get plugged.

Clogs are a fairly normal part of everyday life in the home. While they can be annoying, the good news is they are very preventable and easily treatable. In this post, we are going to look at some ways you can clear drain clogs and prevent them from happening again. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

How Did This Happen?

There are some stories out there of some outlandish things found in drains, like alligators that came from the sewer and other silly things like that. The cause for blockage in your drain is often a lot more innocuous than that.

No matter how long your hair is, unless you are completely bald, hair will accumulate in the drain one way or another. This is most common in bathroom sink drains and bath and shower drains as well.

Soap is also a very common culprit when it comes to clogs in any drain in your house. Because most common soaps have some form of fat, grease, or other lubricant in them, the fat or grease stays in the drain and can pull minerals from the water and other debris, which eventually forms a clog.

Food is also responsible for a number of clogs in the kitchen sink and dishwasher. While one should do their best to get rid of any food off of plates and pans before it reaches the sink or the dishwasher, there are still some particles that can get through, accumulate, and eventually cause clogs in the pipes.

While there are other causes to drain clogs, these are usually your most common culprits.

How To Fix Clogs in Your Drain

Fixing clogs in the drain can be a fairly simple process and there are a number of different ways you can clear your drain using some supplies that you can find around the house.

Do you have a wire hanger around the house? Bend the wire hanger out into a straight line. This can act as a drain snake in a pinch. Bend one end into a smaller hook pushed it into the train and fish around. Eventually, you will come to the source of the trouble and be able to pull a pretty good amount of the clog free. then you can use a paper towel to clean the end of the hook and dispose of the clock properly. once this is done, run some hot water down the drain to clear out the rest of the debris and your drain should be just fine after that.

Baking soda and vinegar is a tried-and-true method to clear any drain. It’s cheap, it’s easy to use, and it’s fairly friendly to your plumbing. Combine a 50/50 mix of baking soda and vinegar and pour it down the drain. If you remember the old science experiments from when you were a kid oh, you’ll know that this will fizz up immediately. The fizzing well help pull just about any mess away from sides of your pipes. the key is to let the mixture sit for as long as you can. An hour or so will work just fine, but ideally, if you can leave it overnight, it may do a more thorough job. Once this is done, you can flush the pipes with hot water to rinse away any remaining debris.

Another very simple tip to unclog your drain is to use a full kettle of  boiling water. pour the water slowly down the drain in two to three stages. Please allow several seconds between pours to allow the water to work its way down the drain. It’s as simple as that!

There are a number of other ways that you can unclog your drain, including using a drain snake, using dish detergent, a quality drain cleaner, a plunger, and so on. This just gives you some of the basics you could try.

Preventing Drain Clogs

While it is easy to get rid of drain clogs for the most part, it’s better in the long run to learn some preventive maintenance in order to protect your drains from future clogs. If you keep up on preventive maintenance, you can save yourself not only the time it takes to unclog your drain the old-fashioned way, but you could potentially be saving yourself from heavy plumbing costs.

A good preventive measure is to monitor what you’re putting down the drain. It can be easy to just toss something like coffee grounds or smaller food debris down the drain without a second thought. However, being aware that this could eventually accumulate and cause a potentially big problem is half the battle. Instead of letting it all fall down the drain, consider installing guards for your plugs. Most of these are pretty cheap and are made of wire or plastic and do a good job of catching debris before it makes its way through your pipes.

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About once a month, clean the drains using the bent wire solution talked about above or by using a regular drain brush. After that, run some sort of cleaning solution down the drain, whether it be boiling water on its own, vinegar and baking soda or a mild drain cleaner. This will help keep big clogs from forming and will help keep your drain clean.

To cut down on drain odor, you can also flush the drain with cold water mixed with lemon juice or lime juice. To better sanitize your drains, look for a drain cleaner that is labeled as bacterial or bacteriological. Not only does this clean the drains, but the milder solution is biodegradable and non-corrosive, which will save you wear and tear on your plumbing.