Sure, it’s not always necessary to call a plumber whenever you deal with a clogged drain. You can generally fix the issue yourself with time and effort.
But what if you could prevent your drains from clogging in the first place? It’s time to learn how to prevent clogged drains so you can preserve your peace of mind while washing the dishes or enjoying a relaxing shower.
1. Use drain strainers on all your drain openings
Unless you have a garbage disposal, it’s never a good idea to let food scraps go down your kitchen sink drain. It’s also risky to let hair flow down your bathroom sink and bathtub drain, as hair can combine with soap scum to form clogs.
A simple solution is to use a drain strainer on all your drain openings. A drain strainer will catch anything that falls in your sinks or tub before it has a chance to go down the drain, therefore preventing most clogs.
Just remember to clean your filters once in a while so the water can flow through them.
2. Be careful what you pour down the drain
Sink filters do a great job at preventing clogged drains. But even with filters, there are things you should just never pour down the drain.
Cooking grease and oil are good examples. Instead of pouring them down the drain, where they will cool and form clogs by combining with other bits of food scraps, simply pour them into a jar or a plastic container. When it’s full, throw it in the trash.
You should also keep fibrous food scraps, coffee grounds, paint, paint thinner, and personal care products away from your drains, including the toilet drain.
3. Brush your hair before getting in the shower
If you don’t have a drain strainer, you should think of brushing your hair before getting in the shower. This way, loose hair will be tangled in your hairbrush bristles instead of down the drain.
A few strands of hair going down the drain might not seem like such a big deal, but over time, these strands of hair will combine with soap scum and gunk to clog your drain. It’s best to prevent this problem by brushing your hair than having to use a drain snake to get rid of a nasty clog.
4. Use your garbage disposal properly
Garbage disposal is convenient, but just because you have one doesn’t mean you can forget caution and throw anything down the drain. Some types of food should never be put in a garbage disposal, including coffee grounds, banana peels, potato skins, eggshells, grease, rice, pasta, lettuce, celery, and corn husks.
You should also remember to always run a stream of cold water when you use your garbage disposal, to make it easier for the waste to go down the drain without forming clogs.
Using your garbage disposal properly is a good way to prevent clogs.
5. Clean your drain areas regularly
You should also clean the areas around your drains regularly to help prevent build-ups that could turn into clogs. A plumber offers drain cleaning services that you can hire regularly. These experts will clean your drains and restore them to pristine conditions.
If you have drain stoppers in your bathroom sink and tub, you can be sure that they collect plenty of hair, soap scum and debris. Take a few minutes to clean them regularly, or else they will eventually start to slow down the drainage until a clog has formed. Remember to clean any drain strainers or drain screens you are using.
6. Prevent clogs with hot water once a week
You never know when a clog might be slowly forming inside one of your drains despite your precautions. Flush out your drains with hot water to prevent a serious clog once a week.
For your bathtub or shower stall, simply let hot water run down the drain for a few minutes to clear any soap scum and gunk. For your kitchen sink, where some oil or grease might be hiding, slowly pour a kettle of hot water down the drain to help dissolve any buildup.
7. Prevent clogs with a bacterial drain cleaner
If your drains tend to clog very easily, you should use a bacterial drain cleaner to help you prevent future clogs. This type of drain cleaner is better for the environment than cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, and they are also better for your plumbing pipes.
To use bacterial drain cleaner, simply add it to your drains before going to bed, so it will have enough time to work its magic before being flushed down by the water in the morning.
The bacteria will break down organic matter such as grease, hair, or food scraps and help your drains stay free of clogs.