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You can keep your drain from clogging by being alert about what you send down the drain, but sometimes, your drains will need more attention than that. A regular cleaning can keep your drains from slowing down or getting clogged up, not to mention they can keep nasty smells at bay. Here then are some tips on drain maintenance that addresses both smart disposal practices and regular drain cleaning.

Drain-Friendly Tips & Disposal Habits

What are the top offenders when it comes to clogged drains?

  • Coffee grounds
  • Cooking grease
  • Hair
  • Soap scum

When it comes to coffee grounds, deposit these in your trash can or on a mulch pile. As for cooking grease, you can store this in an old container, such as a coffee can or milk container. When the container is full, it can go into the garbage. You may also want to install a screen or grate over the drain to keep out hair and soap scum. You can find the right screen at a plumbing supply store. You can take a picture of the drain opening and fixture to make it easier to describe what you are looking for.

Ways to Clean Your Drain

Method #1: Turn the hot water on after you dump something into the sink. This can force oils down the drain and prevent them from accumulating and hardening.

Method #2: Add a handful of baking soda to that hot water. Baking soda not only takes out bad smells, but it can also do a fantastic cleaning job.

Method #3: Or pour vinegar down the drain with hot water. You can empty 1 cup of vinegar over the drain, wait 30 minutes, and then run very hot water. The acetic acid in the vinegar is perfect for targeting gunk that accumulates in your pipes.

Method #4: If you need to clean a sink with a garbage disposal, then you could sent ice cubes made of a vinegar-water solution down the drain. Fill an ice tray halfway with vinegar, then fill it with water. Label the tray very well, or a relative could get a nasty surprise. Once you have your ice cubes, turn your disposal on, and dump the ice cubes, which will freeze and scrape off greasy substances. (If you do not like the smell of vinegar, then you can also send a lemon slice down. It might be a good idea to do anyway since your kitchen should end up smelling wonderful.)

Method #5: Use drain cleaner, but with some precautions. Lye will usually be the active ingredient, which can do its job very well, too well sometimes. You need to follow the instructions exactly, else you could end up pouring far too much, which is unsafe.

Dealing with Frequent Clogs

If you get clogs on a regular basis, you may need to step up your methods, whether you are dealing with a sink, shower, or tub drain. You can take baking soda, salt, and vinegar (a 1/2 cup of each), and at least two quarts of boiling water. Then right before you go to sleep (so as to allow the solution to do its work overnight):

  1. Send the salt and baking soda down the drain.
  2. Pour vinegar, and watch the foaming action for a minute.
  3. Empty the container of boiling water.

Call A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc.

If nothing you do seems to work, you may need to call in the experts to diagnose the problem and provide a permanent fix. No problem is too small or too great for our team of Kansas City plumbers to handle. If you face an emergency plumbing problem, we will not charge you extra for service, and we are available on weekends and after regular business hours as well. Learn more and get a no-obligation quote when you contact A-1 Sewer & Septic Service, Inc. today!

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