Drain Maintenance: How to Keep Drains from Clogging

Bathtub Drain

The Best Way to Keep Drain Pipes Clean

Owning a home comes with the need for routine maintenance to keep problems from piling up. Keeping drains clean is just one homeowner chore. Regularly cleaning your home’s pipes helps prevent serious clogs and keeps backups in your plumbing to a minimum.

Kansas City Home Plumbing Maintenance: How to Keep Drains from Clogging

The best way to routinely prevent clogs in your sink, shower, or tub is to keep the drains as clean as possible. Here are six of the best ways to clear out your home drains:

  1. Flush out buildup. Mix your own clog-buster at home. Just pour about half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of white vinegar down the drain, plug, and let stand for 15 minutes. When time’s up, pour several cups of boiling water down the drain to flush out odors and the buildup that can cause clogging.
  2. Reach for an enzymatic or bacterial drain cleaner. These non-toxic drain cleaner varieties help clear buildup while being less harsh on your plumbing and the environment than other chemical cleaners.
  3. Scour your garbage disposal. Looking for a quick way to clear bacterial odor from your kitchen sink? Toss a few cups of ice cubes, a handful of coarse salt, and some lemon or orange peels down the drain to clear out both smell and organic debris.
  4. Learn how to keep hair from clogging the shower drain. If you don’t clear it out routinely, long hair down the shower drain can cause serious problems. Manually remove hair caught in the drain cover after showers and fish out clogs from the top of the drain once a month. Invest in a drain screen to keep most hair out of the pipes.
  5. Never pour grease down the drain. Grease is a big culprit of kitchen sink clogs. If you need to dispose of grease, mop it up with paper towels or pour it into an old can and toss it in the trash after it solidifies. You can also freeze used oils which remain liquid at room temperature before throwing them in the garbage.
  6. Clean on a regular schedule. Make drain cleaning a part of your routine. It’s a good idea to clean your bathroom drains about once a month to avoid severe issues. Pour a few cups of boiling water down the kitchen sink weekly to prevent minor buildup.

How to Clear a Clogged Drain Pipe

Even with the best preventive maintenance, clogs can still happen. Here’s what to do when you find things draining slowly or backing up:

  1. Take a plunger to the drain. Toilets aren’t the only drains you can use a plunger to unclog. Remove or dislodge potential blockages with a bell-shaped plunger (make sure to have a separate one for your sink/tub and your toilet). Press your plunger against the drain and fill the sink/tub/shower with enough water to cover the drain before pumping.
  2. Pull out the biological cleaners again. In addition to treating buildup, biological cleaners are a relatively environmentally safe way to get rid of clogs.
  3. Fish out blockages with a barbed drain cleaning tool. If your clog is particularly stubborn, you can use a specialized barbed tool to catch and pull up hair and other debris near the drain opening.
  4. Use air or water pressure. Aerosolized or water bladder drain cleaners blast the clog out of the way with air or water. Make sure air-pressure devices will fit over your drain and seal properly, or that you have the right adapter to do so.

Find Professional Drain Cleaning in Kansas City, MO

When all else fails, it’s time to call in the professionals. We’ll tell you where your problem’s coming from and offer the services to fix it, so you can get back to using your sinks, showers, and tubs as usual. Call us at (913) 347-5425 to set up a free, no-obligation estimate.