Clean and Clear: Maintain Your Drain in 5 Easy Steps

Your drain is working perfectly fine, or so you think-until it experiences a clog. Now you have to spend a lot of time and money to clear the clog before you can use your sink again.

You can prevent this scenario by maintaining and caring for your drain every day. Here are a few simple steps to promote a healthy drain.

 1. Pay Attention to Water Temperature

You may prefer to wash your hands in tepid water. But did you know that very hot water can break up grease deposits that are lurking in your drain? Make sure you run hot water at least once a week.

However, there’s one time when you should run cold water, not hot: when you run your disposal. When you run your disposal with hot water, the hot water could cause the grease to melt and coat the drain. Cold water will keep the grease in a solid form so the disposal can break it down.

2. Set Grease Aside

Speaking of grease, it’s best to keep it out of the disposal as much as possible. 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.

3. Use a Drain Trap

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.

To prevent a blockage, place a drain trap over the sink opening. Non-liquid substances will sit in the drain trap rather than flowing down the drain. You can then remove the drain trap and throw the substances into the garbage.

4. Clean Your Drain

If you’re afraid your drain is about to develop a clog, you can clean it out with any of the following methods.

  • Pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the drain. Next, pour 1/4 cup white vinegar on top of the baking soda, and then 1/2 cup salt on top of both. Leave the drain for 15 minutes, and then pour boiling water into the sink.
  • For built-up grease and oil, pour about a tablespoon of dish liquid into the drain. Then slowly pour boiling water into the drain. The soap and water should dissolve and wash away the grease.
  • For bathroom drains, try pouring a tablespoon of salt in the drain. Pour 1/4 cup white vinegar on top of the salt and then leave your drain alone. An hour later, run hot water down the drain.

Remember that when you pour boiling water, you should wear gloves to protect your hands.

You can also keep your drain clear by adding bleach every so often. Pour a small amount of bleach down the drain and leave it for an hour or more before you turn on the water again.

5. Keep Certain Substances Out

You can do your part to prevent clogs by placing the following in the garbage rather than the drain:

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

Disposals have a hard time breaking down these substances, and they could cause major drain blockage.

Follow these steps to keep your drains clean and clear, and you can avoid everyday drainage problems. But sometimes clogs happen despite your best efforts.  A stubborn clog is difficult to remove without the right training and equipment.

If your drain clogs, call a plumber. An experienced plumber can remove the clog at its source so you can enjoy a clear drain again.