The Best Way To Clean Your Drains
As a homeowner, maintenance is a part of our normal routine. We clean. We fix. We work hard to prevent problems before they occur.
When it comes to the drains throughout your home, it isn’t a matter of if, but rather when a potential problem will occur. Hair and soap eventually become too much in the shower and tub. Food and grease can be problematic in the kitchen. And your toilet can overflow for a variety of reasons, from too much toilet paper to your kids using it as a play toy.
What can you do to keep the potential problem at bay?
Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners
The first tip is an easy one, even though it might seem counterintuitive. If you have a clog, avoid using chemical drain cleaners and choose a plunger or a drain snake instead.
Chemical drain cleaners will only damage your pipes and your fixtures. Some react with aluminum and give off an unhealthy gas. Some will solidify in the pipes and can’t be removed. Even others will react with what is already in your drain and cause the mixture to burst out of the drain.
Liquid, foams, and gels can cause damage, and are often not strong enough to effectively handle the clog. To do any good, most would have to remain in the system for 30 minutes or longer, and because they are liquid they tend to wash away. That makes some homeowners turn to crystals, thinking they would be better at sticking to the clog. These are extremely hazardous and can damage your pipes, garbage disposal, or septic tank.
Toothpaste is one of the biggest problems in your bathroom. That paste can cause a sticky mess in your drains, especially when combined with long hair. When you use toothpaste, be sure it is fully dissolved and run warm water down the drain to ensure it completely runs free. If you have long hair, don’t flush it down the drain. Consider investing in a drain saver instead and cleaning it on a regular basis.
Be sure to flush only things that are supposed to go down the toilet. Throw away hair, cotton balls and swabs, flushable wipes, dental floss, even feminine hygiene products can cause blockages. When in doubt, throw it away instead of flushing it away.
If you think you have a grease clog, use a little Dawn dish soap and hot water to eat away the clog. This combination helps soften the clog. Follow up with a plunger to further loosen the clog. You can also try a foaming mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the pipes to provide a natural way to get rid of clogs and not damage the pipes.
If you have a garbage disposal, remember only to send small amounts of food down. If you’re in doubt, throw it away. Things like eggshells, stringy vegetables, and foods that expand can all wreak havoc on your pipes.
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