If you’re working through your spring and summer cleaning checklist, make sure to add drain cleaning to your list. We don’t usually think about drains until there’s a problem, but regular cleaning and maintenance can keep you from a clog or plumbing problems later on.
Our kitchen drains work hard all year long, especially if they are connected to a garbage disposal. But, contrary to popular belief, you can’t put just anything down the disposal. Food remains, peels, cooking oil and grease can all wreak havoc on kitchen drains, leading to clogs.
Hair and soap are the main culprits of bathroom drain clogs. It helps to install screen baskets to your bath and shower drains, especially if you have hard water (which requires more soap) or someone in the household with long hair.
How to clean drains
Plunger – If a drain has debris that needs to be cleared, a plunger is your first choice. A standard cup plunger with a red bell is most commonly used for sinks or tubs, but it needs a flat surface to form a proper seal.
Liquid cleaner – Some think a chemical drain cleaner is the answer, but most popular drain cleaners you buy contain lye. While lye can dissolve soap scum and hair very quickly, be careful not to use too much. These chemical cleaners can also be harmful to the delicate plumbing found in many older homes, even in small amounts. Instead, there’s a safe, organic way to clean your drains as a maintenance measure.
- Pour a half cup of salt and half cup of baking soda into your drain
- Follow with half cup of vinegar and let it foam for about 60 seconds
- Rinse down with at least a half-gallon of boiling water
Ice – A good maintenance cleaner for your garbage disposal is to freeze a special tray of ice cubes that are half vinegar and half water. Vinegar is acidic and cleans bacteria in the disposal and drain, while the ice works to scrape the grease away.
Keeping the lines clear of hair, grease, or other matter is the best way to keep your drains clean. If dirty drains ever become problematic clogs, it’s best to call us here at Parker and Sons. Schedule your next appointment today!