4 Simple Steps to Clean and Prevent Drain Clogs

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Why is my drain clogged? Blocked drains are one of the main reasons people have to call a plumber. There are few things more frustrating than a clogged drain. Clogs always seem to happen at the worst possible times and are frustrating to deal with – especially if you can’t resolve it without a calling a plumber. Depending on the extent of the clog and the damage that may have occurred from a prolonged backup, a clogged drain can quickly become an expensive repair.
You can prevent this scenario by maintaining and caring for your drain every day.

Here are a few simple steps on how to keep drains from clogging, your pipes clean and what to do when sink is clogged.

How to keep drain pipes clean

Use a Mesh Drain Strainer

There are certain substances, such as soap scum, crumbs, and hair, which struggle to flow down the drain. These substances often get trapped in shower drains, but they can also get trapped in kitchen and bathroom drains.
An easy and inexpensive way to prevent clogs is to use a mesh drain strainer or basket. Non-liquids will sit in the trap rather than flowing down the drain. You then simply remove the trap and toss the solids in your rubbish bin. Drain traps are simple, inexpensive and easy to find in any hardware or department store.

drain strainer
fats and grease

Keep Fats, Oils and Grease Away from the Drain

Never pour cooking oils or other types of grease into your kitchen drains. Oil and grease can bond with each other and with other solids to create giant clogs. Instead of pouring oil and grease down the kitchen drain, you should pour it into an old can or container and then throw it away.

Don’t Flush Food Scraps Down Your Kitchen Sink

One of the best ways on how to prevent kitchen sink clogs is to simply limit what goes down them. You can avoid many kitchen clogs by thoroughly scraping food scraps into your trash can before rinsing dishes. In fact, here are some other things to put in the rubbish rather than down the drain:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Household cleaning products
  • Medications
  • Paper towels
  • Produce stickers
  • Napkins
  • Fruit peels

Rinse Kitchen Drains with Hot Water

After each use, run some hot (not tepid) water down the drain to help any small food particles run down the drain and prevent clogs from forming. If you experience frequent clogs, at least once a week pour very hot water down the drain to help prevent buildup in pipes.

Other ways to unclog your drain without using chemicals

  1. Snake, Wire Hanger or Plunge: These are the simplest, most obvious methods most people use to unclog a drain.

  2. Dish Soap & Hot Water: If the clog is caused by grease, this method will work very well. Pour some dish soap directly into the drain and follow with boiling water.

  3. Baking Soda and Vinegar: Baking soda is a base, while white vinegar is an acid. When these two substances mix together, a chemical reaction occurs that will bubble up and eat through clogs.
    • Remove any visible debris from the drain opening
    • Pour ¾ cup dry baking soda down the drain
    • Pour ½ cup vinegar down the drain and cover immediately with a rag or plug
    • Leave it in there for 30 minutes, and prepare boiling water
    • Remove the plug and slowly pour the hot water down the drain

  4. Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix a cup of hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of baking soda. Pour this mixture down your drain and let it foam.

Remember: when pouring hot water down the drain, keep your face back to avoid steam burns, and it’s advisable to also use gloves to protect your hands.

If all else fails, call a Professional Plumber

Following these tips will help to you learn how to prevent blocked drains. However, despite your best efforts, a clogged drain can persist and be quite stubborn if you don’t have the right training and equipment. If you are having trouble keeping your kitchen drain clear, it’s time to call a professional plumber.

Frequent or persistent clogs can sometimes be a sign of bigger plumbing problems developing deep inside your system. If you are experiencing frequent clogs or other plumbing issues, it may be time to consider having your plumbing system inspected by a trained technician. Using a camera probe, they can quickly locate clogs, leaks, and damage inside your home’s pipes or sewer lines and recommend what to do when sink is clogged.

Timely attention to a clogged kitchen sink or slow-moving drain is important. If you are dealing with a stubborn or recurring kitchen clog, call Fawcett Plumbing to schedule an appointment.