The best way to deal with a clogged drain is to keep if from getting clogged in the first place. To paraphrase Smokey the Bear, “Remember, only you can prevent clogged drains.” Several simple practices can greatly reduce how often you go hunting for that wrench.
Steps to Preventing a Clogged Drain
- Check sink and tub stoppers every 3 months or so for hair and soap scum (biofilm) buildup and give them a quick “de-gooping.”
- Once a week, fill each sink and tub in your home to the brim and then pull up the stopper. The volume and weight of the water will fill the drainpipe completely with water. It will do a good job of flushing the drain line.
- If your drain is running slowly, pour a pot of boiling water down it. That will clear a lot of problem clogs, especially in your kitchen drain, where oils are likely to collect and solidify.
- Another simple slow-drain fix is to pour a quarter cup of baking soda in the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Wait ten minutes for that to do its thing, then flush it with boiling water.
- Collect waste cooking oil and grease in portable containers with lids. Empty pet-food cans are perfect for the job. Send them off to the dump with the rest of your trash. Grease is good for the landfill, but not for your pipes!
- Don’t pour oil or grease down any drain. And wipe greasy pans (plates, countertops) with a paper towel before you wash them. Toss the greasy paper towel into your trash.
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