Let’s say, you are in a shower enjoying the water that is flowing through the shower head towards your hair and body but then you realize that you are standing in water that is up to your ankles. Or perhaps you are cleaning your kitchen after a satisfying dinner, only to find out that your kitchen sink is filling up with water instead of draining. Have you ever thought about what you would do in this kind of situation?
The drain is your home’s unsung hero. It is one of the most important things in your home yet often disregarded since most people don’t involve themselves in regular drain cleaning.
If you start noticing issues with your drain and leave it unattended, it might end up worse; starts to smell bad, produce germs and bacteria, and in many cases, might end up having an obnoxious visual.
Having a clogged drain can be really disturbing, not to mention, it can also be pricey if you have to call in a plumber. To avoid clogs, first, you have to prevent food particles, oil, and hair from going down the drain. Using a sink strainer or a small piece of wire mesh can be an effective way to catch food particles and hair from clogging the drain. Just make sure to clean the items regularly, as they can get messy as well.
Chemical drain cleaners are unsafe to use, extremely dangerous, and so acidic that they can cause skin burns. Even worse, they are not always effective. On the other hand, a homemade drain cleaner can be perfectly safe, not to mention perfectly inexpensive.
You don’t always need to use a chemical drain cleaner. A slow drain often can be cleared with boiling water and a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. Unclogging drains by combining baking soda and vinegar, is easier than you think, doesn’t involve toxic chemicals, and it is way less expensive.
DIY DRAIN MAINTENANCE
If your drains seem to be a little slow or you want to clean out your drains each month to ensure specks of dirt doesn’t build up a long pipe wall, there are two simple, and inexpensive solutions that could work. But, before trying any of these, be sure to first remove your drain screen or wire mesh and wipe out any visible blockages with a paper towel.
Hot water. Pour a large pot of very hot (but not boiling) water at a steady pace down the drain and follow it up with cold water to rinse out the clogs that you just melted away.
Baking soda and vinegar. Pour a half cup of baking soda down to your drain and follow it with a half cup of vinegar. Close the sink and let it sit overnight. In the morning, flush it with hot water and it will surely work and smell like brand new! We recommend doing this once per month.
Baking Soda + Lemon Juice. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda, followed by 1/2 cup lemon juice down the drain. Close the drain and let it sit for one hour. Finish it with flushing pot of boiling water.
Baking Soda + Salt. Mix 1/2 cup table salt and 1/2 cup baking soda together, and pour down the drain. Let it sit for about 30 minutes (or overnight if it’s a tough clog), and flush it with a pot of boiling water.
Baking Soda + Salt + Cream of Tartar. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of salt, and 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar in a sealed jar. Close the jar, and shake it to combine the ingredients. Pour the half jar’s contents down the drain, and save the other half for later. Follow the solution with a pot of boiling water. Let the drain sit for one hour. Then, run the tap water to rinse any remaining solution down.
Salt + Borax + Vinegar. Pour 1/4 cup of salt, followed by 1/4 cup of Borax down the drain. Then, pour 1/2 cup of vinegar down. Finish it up by flushing it with a pot of boiling water. Let it sit for one hour or until it clears; then, run hot tap water to rinse any remaining solution down.
AVOID DRAIN CLOGS: WHAT NOT TO PUT DOWN THE DRAIN
The best way to avoid a slowing or clogging your drain is to use it properly. Here are lists of the most common things homeowners put down the drain that can cause major problems over time:
- Grease, fats, or oil
- Pasta, rice, and potatoes (starchy things)
- Stringy or fibrous foods
- Coffee grounds
- Feminine products (sanitary napkins, etc.)
- Tissues and paper towels
- “Flushable” wipes
CALL THE EXPERTS WHEN DIY DRAIN CLEANING DOESN’T WORK
Always have the number of a reliable, experienced plumbing company on hand for those times when easy DIY solutions just won’t cut it. At Caccia Plumbing we deliver prompt, same day service with a local team, and respectful plumbers. You can read more about our drain cleaning services here.
If you need help clearing a drain in the Atherton, San Mateo County, San Bruno County, Hillsborough, Belmont, San Carlos, Woodside, Millbrae, Redwood City, Foster City, Menlo Park, and Palo Alto. State of California areas, don’t hesitate to give Caccia Plumbing a call at (650) 376-6800 or contact us online today!