7 Drain Cleaning Tips For The New Year

Tips To Keep Your Plumbing Free Of Buildup And Unclog Your Drain

As we usher in the new year, it’s an opportune time to prioritize home maintenance and start with a clean slate, quite literally. One aspect often overlooked but crucial for a smoothly functioning household is drain maintenance. Clogged drains can lead to a myriad of issues, from unpleasant odours to potential water damage. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore seven drain cleaning tips to help you kickstart the new year with a plumbing system that flows effortlessly.

Be Mindful Of What Goes Down The Drain

The first and foremost tip for maintaining clear drains is to be mindful of what goes down them. Avoid pouring grease, coffee grounds, and large food particles down the kitchen sink. In the bathroom, prevent hair, soap scum, and dental floss from accumulating in the drains. Installing drain screens can help catch debris before it becomes a problem. By being conscious of what enters your drains, you can significantly reduce the risk of clogs.

Additionally, consider implementing a kitchen scrap collection system to dispose of food waste properly. A compost bin or designated trash container for food scraps can prevent solid materials from finding their way into your drains.

Regular Hot Water Flushing And Baking Soda

Incorporate a monthly routine of hot water flushing to keep your drains clear. Boil a kettle of water and carefully pour it down the drains, ensuring it reaches every section of the pipes. The hot water helps dissolve and flush away accumulated grease, soap residue, and other debris. This simple yet effective practice can prevent the gradual buildup that leads to stubborn clogs.

For kitchen drains, consider adding a small amount of dish soap to the hot water. The soap helps break down grease and allows it to be flushed away more efficiently. In bathrooms, a cup of baking soda followed by hot water can be particularly effective in preventing soap scum and hair clogs.

DIY Natural Drain Cleaners

Skip the harsh chemicals and opt for natural drain cleaners that are not only eco-friendly but also gentle on your pipes. A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can work wonders for clearing minor clogs. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before flushing it away with hot water. This natural remedy helps break down organic matter and keeps your drains smelling fresh.

Another natural option is a combination of lemon and salt. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt down the drain, followed by squeezing fresh lemon juice. Allow the mixture to sit for a while before rinsing with hot water. The acidic properties of the lemon, combined with the abrasive action of salt, can help break down residue and prevent clogs.

Use A Plunger

A plunger is not just for toilets; it’s a handy tool for clearing simple drain clogs too. Whether it’s a kitchen sink or a shower drain, a plunger can create the necessary suction to dislodge minor blockages. Ensure there’s enough water in the sink or tub to cover the rubber end of the plunger, then give it a few vigorous pumps. This method is particularly effective for dislodging food particles, hair, and soap scum.

When using a plunger, create a tight seal over the drain opening and push and pull in a rhythmic motion. This action helps create pressure changes that can dislodge clogs. For double-bowl kitchen sinks, block the second drain opening to ensure effective suction. If the clog is stubborn, consider applying petroleum jelly to the rim of the plunger for a better seal.

Invest In A Drain Snake

For more stubborn clogs that a plunger can’t handle, consider investing in a drain snake. Also known as a drain auger, this tool allows you to reach deeper into the pipes and break apart or pull out tougher blockages. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, and use the drain snake as needed to maintain free-flowing drains. Regular use of a drain snake can prevent the accumulation of debris that leads to persistent clogs.

When using a drain snake, insert it into the drain and turn the handle clockwise as you feed it into the pipe. If you encounter resistance, you may have reached the clog. Continue turning the handle to break through the clog or hook onto it for extraction. Once you feel the resistance diminish, slowly withdraw the drain snake while continuing to turn the handle.

Monthly Cleaning Maintenance With Enzyme Chemical Drain Cleaners

Enzyme-based drain cleaners are a proactive and preventative measure to keep your drains clear. These cleaners contain natural enzymes that break down organic matter, such as soap, grease, and hair. Using enzyme cleaners monthly can help maintain a healthy balance in your pipes, preventing the gradual buildup that leads to clogs. Pour the recommended amount of the cleaner down each drain and let it work its magic overnight before flushing with hot water.

Enzyme cleaners are particularly effective in bathroom drains where hair and soap scum are common culprits. The enzymes target the organic materials, breaking them into smaller particles that can be easily flushed away. Regular use of enzyme cleaners can also help mitigate foul odours emanating from drains, keeping your plumbing system smelling fresh. When choosing an enzyme cleaner, opt for a product labelled as suitable for regular maintenance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and dosage to ensure optimal results without causing any harm to your plumbing. 

Schedule Professional Drain Inspections

While regular maintenance is essential, scheduling a professional drain inspection at least once a year is a prudent step. Professional plumbers have specialized equipment, such as cameras, to inspect the interior of your pipes and identify any potential issues. Early detection of problems like tree root intrusion, pipe damage, or severe clogs can save you from costly repairs in the long run. Consider making drain inspections a part of your annual home maintenance routine for peace of mind and a hassle-free plumbing system.

During a professional drain inspection, plumbers can identify issues that may not be visible during routine maintenance. Tree roots, for example, can infiltrate pipes, causing blockages and potential damage. Plumbers can also detect any deterioration or corrosion within the pipes that may lead to leaks or reduced water flow. By addressing these issues promptly, you can prevent more extensive damage to your plumbing system.

Looking To Unclog A Kitchen Drain Or Garbage Disposal?

As you embark on a new year, incorporating these seven drain cleaning tips into your routine can significantly contribute to a smoothly running plumbing system. From being mindful of what goes down the drain to investing in natural cleaners, plungers, and drain snakes, there are numerous proactive measures you can take to prevent clogs and maintain clear drains. Remember, a little regular maintenance goes a long way in ensuring a healthy and efficient plumbing system throughout the year.

Taking the time to implement these tips not only ensures the proper functioning of your drains but also contributes to the overall well-being of your plumbing system. By adopting these practices, you’re investing in the longevity of your pipes and minimizing the risk of unexpected and costly plumbing issues. Make these drain cleaning tips a part of your new year’s home maintenance resolutions, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a hassle-free plumbing system in the months to come. Here’s to a year of smooth-flowing drains and worry-free plumbing! Remember, contact us, rain or shine, for any plumbing problems you may have! A qualified plumber is only a phone call away.