You’ve been very naughty. Amongst the millions of other things you’ve been doing, you’ve forgotten to clean your drains since you moved in and the filthy scoundrels have clogged up on you. The dirty water just won’t go down, no matter how emphatically you beg.
Most of us at this point would call an emergency plumber, but if you’d prefer to avoid this scenario altogether, here are some tips to keep your drains maintained so you don’t end up in this predicament ever again.
Before you get started with drain cleaning you’ll need:
- rubber gloves and glasses if you have them
- a kettle
- baking soda and white vinegar
- Soda crystals
- A bucket or container for collecting fat/debris
1. Boiling water
One of the easiest ways to practise good drain maintenance is to simply pour boiling water down your drains regularly. Some hot water straight from the kettle every week can help to reduce the buildup of fats, grease and oil that can build up.
2. Baking soda and cleaning vinegar
If you think your drains need something a little stronger that will cut through grease pour a small amount of baking soda down your drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. This will loosen more stubborn deposits and fats without the need for harsh chemicals.
You can buy baking soda and vinegar in the cleaning and/or cooking section of most supermarkets. Baking soda (or bicarbonate soda) is always a handy addition to anyone’s cleaning arsenal as it has a multitude of uses around the house.
3. Adding some soda crystals
If you don’t have those products on hand, you can dissolve a cup of soda crystals in boiling water and carefully pour the solution down the plughole. Be sure to wear gloves to ensure you don’t burn yourself from the splashback of the mixture. This mixture should help to clear up any fats, oils, grease and soap residues down your drain.
4. Follow these with hot water
You may be able to see or hear fizzing as the vinegar and baking soda react together, this is the mixture breaking down the debris.
Leave the mixture in the drain for about ten minutes to do its thing.
After ten or so minutes rinse it through with some hot water from the kettle. This will flush down the grime you’ve just released.
5. Keep the grease out of your drains
It’s a good idea to repeat these drain cleaning methods every few months to keep your plumbing running smoothly, especially if you’re original plumbing is quite old.
The most important thing to keep up good drain maintenance, is to just be careful about what you put down there in the first place.
Make sure food deposits are scraped off plates before being washed. When you’ve finished cooking, don’t pour grease from the pan into your sink – collect it in a container, and put the container straight in the bin. Hopefully, these simple tips can help you keep your drains in the best possible condition.
Like many things in life a clogged drain will always occur when you least expect, and when you really don’t need it. Keep on top of it and remember to give them a little TLC to avoid unexpected incidents. The smell, grime and inconvenience of a big blockage can be so easily avoided with a couple of household items and a tiny bit of maintenance.
Knowing how to fix a blockage is one thing, but knowing how to prevent a drain clog in the first place will ensure you never have to deal with rising waters again.