As with almost every household utility, your sinks and showers need some tender loving care from time to time. There are many ways to clean a drain, but sink drains and shower drains have slightly different needs.
A Clog In The Kitchen
Before you rush out to find a specialized product for your kitchen drain, consider this three-ingredient drain hack. Check your cupboards for two ingredients and fire up the kettle for your third. The simple chemical reaction of vinegar and baking soda can play a huge part in eliminating odors and grease buildup.
Start by pouring boiling water into the offending drain. Follow up with half a cup of baking soda and chase it with equal parts vinegar. Plug the drain — don’t let your sink turn into a model volcano! — and after about 15 minutes, unplug and pour in more boiling water to rinse the mixture away.
How Does It Work?
The carbon dioxide bubbles created with a baking-soda-and-vinegar reaction help break apart the mass that may be causing the clog. Because drainage pipes work aren’t pressurized, boiling water and gravity can flush the broken-up mass down the drain. Rinsing out your drains like this on a regular basis helps prevent buildup.
Hairy Shower Drains
Most drains in your home (and therefore most plumbing problems) are likely to be found in the bathroom. With every post-workout shower or evening bath, you’re sending dozens of your own hairs down the drain, and those hairs add up. Soap scum and the particles you wash off when bathing can also contribute to a frightening stinky mass.
To tackle a tub or shake up your shower, it’s advised that you remove the stopper and strainer as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Use a drain stick to fish out the hair. Once as much as possible has been removed, you can apply a drain-cleaning product or use baking soda and vinegar like before. Flush the area with hot water after it’s been cleaned to get that out of sight, out of mind.
Please note that there are also ways you should not clean your drains. Do not under any circumstances mix household cleaners as the chemicals can release toxic fumes. Make sure to read the instructions and identify the safety labels on every chemical before handling it.
Hopefully these tips will help you out of a jam, or at least out of jammed-up pipes. In all other cases, DrainTech Plumbing is available 24/7 for sewage-related emergencies.