Your drains are the hardest working system in your house, you know? They handle everything that you throw at them, so taking good care of them is important for your home. One of the easiest ways to do this is knowing how to prevent your drains from getting clogged in the first place, and that is what we’re going to talk about today. We’ve put together a list of some of the best techniques to keep your drains clear. Let’s get going!
- Keep food out of the disposal: While yes, your disposal is able to handle stuff going in it you really should limit what goes in. Avoid putting scraps down the disposal, toss them in the trash instead. Nothing larger than a dime and nothing sticky or greasy, and NEVER any meat as it takes so long to break down. Speaking of disposals, always run a steady stream of water when you are running the disposal to help the materials flow down properly.
- No grease or oil in the drains: This is the number one rule of drains, really. Grease and oil will cool and build up causing clogs throughout your pipes. Instead, you need to either pour it into a reusable container like a mug to cool and then toss it or pour it into a sealable container like a bag and toss immediately.
- Keep expandables out of the drain: Avoid letting things like coffee grounds, grains, etc. go into your drain. These items expand when they take on water, which will cause the pipe to clog.
- Keep hair out of the way: Hair is the number one drain clogger in bathrooms. It balls up and gets tangled together, blocking water flow and catching other gunk. You should make sure to brush your hair before hopping in the shower to limit fallout, install a catcher of some sort for your bathroom drains, and if you need to bathe a pet in the tub then you should place a washcloth down to catch the fur.
- Don’t flush non-flushables: Your toilet is not a catch-all for stuff that you want to toss. Those pipes are meant to handle human waste and toilet paper. Flushing anything stringy, dense, or bulky will create a clog. Even when using things like flushable wipes in excess can cause a problem. Don’t flush hair, feminine products, paper towels, floss, etc. unless you want to pay the price of a possible flood and an expensive plumber visit!
- Clean drains regularly: Give your drains a good clean once a week. Try to remove the pop-up drain plugs in your sinks and tubs and clean out any debris that you can reach. Drain snakes are very helpful in this step to help pull out any gunky hairballs. Rinse the pop-up stoppers before replacing them. After that, you can flush the drains. Fill the sink/tub with hot water, then release the drain and let the water run down.
- Look into making bacteria the good guy: Bacterial drain cleaner is something to try and use once a month on your drains. This type of drain cleaner is non-corrosive (so it’s safer to use) and is biodegradable. The bacteria will munch away on the hair and other scum sitting in the drain and help minimize the chances of a clog. You can find this type of drain cleaner pretty easily in most hardware or home center stores, and it can be found in liquid and granular forms.
Bonus notes: Don’t pour things down your drains that are corrosive. Never pour paint or paint thinner down the drain. Deep clean your tub drain once a month. Don’t pour cement mix or sand in your drains. Use common sense. Know when to call a professional in to fix the problem.
We hope these tips will be helpful for you in the journey that is caring for your home’s drains! It’s sometimes a dirty job, but with the amount of work they do for you and your family they deserve the extra TLC from time to time. A lot of this is common sense, we know, but sometimes hearing someone else say it makes it feel more official. Now get out there and keep those pipes flowing free!