Drains are one of the marvels of modern home design. We can live so comfortably and close together because drains have overcome the need for sluiceways and connect us to the sewer line. Drains carry away bath water, toilet flushes, mop water, and kitchen waste. We rely on our drains to clear swiftly and some cleaning methods even require drain speed, like cleaning the bathtub itself.
To keep your drains running clear, anyone can learn to maintain their drains at home. Here are a few smart tips for regular drain care.
1) Place Drain Guards in Showers and Sinks
Drain guards are a small mesh cup that you can place over the top of your bathtub or sink drain and, folks, they are worth it. First, drain guards protect you from lost items. Stop saying goodbye to dropped rings, and hairclips that fall into the drain, because they’re sitting pretty in the drain guard. The shower drain guard also prevents hair from clogging the drain, which will result in long-term drain performance.
2) Be Careful What Goes Down the Kitchen Sink
Most people think of a kitchen sink and garbage disposal as a universal cleanup option. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. What goes down the garbage disposal may be finely chopped, but it’s still going into your drains. Sending semi-solid oils like bacon grease down the drain will form a waterproof seal. Coffee grounds can form the mass of a clog. When grinding fruit peels, watch out for produce stickers, which stick to things and can even gum up the garbage disposal.
3) Only Flush “Flushable” Items
Everyone flushes something non-flushable at some point, but try to avoid it. Don’t flush paper towels, sanitary products, or non-flushable baby wipes, as these can form knots of almost-fabric in the drains – not unlike stuffing a t-short down the toilet. If you are careful what gets flushed down the toilet, you can significantly reduce your number of both plungable toilet clogs and serious call-the-plumber clog situations.
4) Flush Drains Regularly with Hot Water & Vinegar
You can also help keep your drains clean and clear with regular hot-water flushes. If you have hard water that leaves white mineral residue on faucets and cups (90% of US homes do), then mix 1-2 cups of white vinegar into your largest pot of water. Heat to boiling, then pour the pot of hot water and vinegar down your slowest drain. Repeat for each drain in the house.
Both hot water and vinegar are solvents, which will help resolve and clear out anything currently building up in your drains. Vinegar also dissolves “scale”, the white chalky water residue that can build up on the inside of your pipes. A hot water and vinegar flush can solve a drain clog or keep them from happening.
5) Get Slow Drains Professionally Cleaned
Finally, have your drains cleaned every few years by a professional. Drain cleaning involves more than a hot water flush. Your drain technician will clear the entire line, ensuring there are no old clog-ready materials lingering at joints and junctions under the house and that scale buildup is not narrowing your drains.
Take good care of your drains and they will continue carrying water and other debris away from your home at a satisfactory pace. As building maintenance pros, we know all about the importance of good drain care to get the best from your property year in and year out. For more about the essentials of home upkeep or building maintenance. contact us today.