How To Clean Your Drains and Keep Them from Clogging

Spring cleaning involves a lot of decluttering. Pulling the broken sleds out of the garage, got rid of the extra boxes of old clothes from the attic, and cleaned the winter debris from the crawl space under the porch. We clean out the things we don’t take a lot of time to look at, but one thing we often forget is our drains.

A slow-draining sink or toilet is an annoyance, but so often they go ignored. If we can just turn the light off and let the bathroom sink slowly drain while we get back to watching TV, it’s not so bad. The thing is a clog isn’t going to go away on its own. In fact, over time it will just stop draining altogether.

So to avoid clogged drains and the nastiness that goes along with them, let’s talk about tips for cleaning your drains and keeping your drains clean this spring!

  1. Clean Your Stopper!
    We tend to think of the problem of smelly or clogged drains existing solely in the pipes, but we’re forgetting something! Food, hair, and anything else that goes down the drain will get itself caught and stuck to the stopper in your sink. So, before you go breaking out the drain auger, take a look at that stopper.

    For kitchen sink stoppers that you can easily take in and out of the drain, it’s no problem to clean them. If you’re unsure of how to take out your bathroom sink stopper, check out this helpful video.

  2. Deodorize Your Drain
    Whether it’s food or hair, the things stuck in your drain don’t smell good. If your drains do not spark joy, there’s only one thing we can do! Well, we can’t throw out our drains, but what we can do is deodorize them to get rid of the smell.

    While the heavy-duty drain cleaners might unclog your drain, it doesn’t make them smell any better. The real trick is to use vinegar!

    Here’s what you will do:
    • Flush your sink with hot water, but never boil as that can damage your pipes.
    • Pour a half cup of very hot vinegar down your drain (boiling it is smelly, but fun fact, did you know boiling vinegar helps rid your home of floating odors?)
    • Rinse with cold water, this will help solidify any grease that may be causing small blockages and allow them to be carried away
    • Pour another half cup of very hot vinegar into the drain again to wash away blockages and leave your drain smelling fresh!
  3. Smelly Kitchen Sink? Use Citrus!
    Harsh chemical drain cleaners usually get the job done, but they can be more trouble than they’re worth when it comes to cleaning your drains. Using a snake or drain auger is usually the most effective way to undo a serious clog, and you don’t have to worry about your kids ingesting it. Not to mention it will stain your clothes or cause serious damage to your skin or eyes if it gets on you.

    So what do you do? Well, if you’ve got a citrus fruit in your fridge, you’re already halfway there! Running your garbage disposal with citrus rinds in it can help to de-grease and freshen your drain. The citric acid naturally cuts through built-up grease and food residue, leaving you with a fresh and pleasantly clean drain!

  4. Avoid Chemical Pipe Cleaners, Use an Enzymatic Cleaner

    Chemical drain cleaners can be harmful, as previously mentioned. So what can we use to keep our drains clean and steer clear of big clogs? Enzymatic cleaners use natural enzymes and bacteria to help eat away at the things that will cause your drain to clog. The enzymes then convert the oils, fats, and other biological compounds into different elements like oxygen and hydrogen.

    Enzymatic cleaners tend to be a little pricier than chemical drain cleaners. But you can sleep easy knowing you don’t have to worry about your kids being harmed by chemicals floating through the air. Not to mention the potentially harmful impact they can have on the environment.

  5. When All Else Fails, Call a Professional!

    If you’ve let the drain cleaning duties get away from you, don’t worry about it! It happens to the best of us. There’s no reason to cry over spilled milk when you can receive professional help from a NJ plumber you can trust.

The Joys of Cleaning Your Drains

While we can’t have Mari Kondo come and show us the joys of cleaning everything in our life, we can channel her spirit this season to help keep our drains clean. Take a moment to think of the drains in your home. If they don’t spark joy, remember these tips for cleaning your drains. Don’t forget, when all else fails, you can call a Laury Heating Cooling & Plumbing professional for some extra help.

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