We have all felt the woes of a clogged drain. We frantically run for the plunger, try home remedies to unclog that backed up home artery, reach for the liquid plumber to no avail. We have to call a plumber and shell out our hard earned cash. The best way to treat a clogged drain is to prevent it from happening in the first place.
My Number One Tip for Preventing a Clogged Drain
Add cleaning your drains to your weekly cleaning routine. I start with the least used bathrooms first, ending with the kitchen disposal and drain after I finish cleaning the kitchen after supper.
1. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of Table Salt in a bowl. Pour the combination into your drain.
2. Heat 1 cup of white vinegar just to warm it up. Meanwhile, fill a tea kettle or pot, bring to a boil.
3. Pour heated vinegar down the drain. You will see that epic grade school science project happen as the acid from the vinegar meets the baking soda. Cover with the drain cap or a rag. Allow this concoction to sit for 15 minutes.
4. Flush with the boiling water from your kettle or pot. Be careful that the water doesn’t splatter on you while you are pouring it into your drains.
8 More Tips to Prevent Clogged Drains before They Happen:
I don’t have to tell you to never pour motor oil, paint, hygiene products, medications, condoms, paper towels and napkins, cotton balls, baby wipes, bones, and fruit pits down your drain, toilet or disposal right? I didn’t think so. You, dear reader, have common sense.
1. Never pour grease, lard, oil, or fat down your disposal or drain. This rule also includes yogurt, ice cream, cheese, milk, butter, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and all nut butter. Not only will your plumbing be safe, but you are helping to keep the local sewer safe too. You don’t want a clog from the middle of your street backing up into your house, trust me on that. Some grease will end up down the drain no matter how hard you try to prevent it. Rinse your pipes out with hot tap water for 30 seconds or so to wash it away.
2. Please don’t put raw meat into your drain or disposal. The meat will congeal and leave a fatty build up that like grease and fats will cause a mess you don’t want to imagine.
3. Coffee grounds can cause a build up and clog your drains like bad cholesterol clogs your arteries. If you use a mesh coffee filter, empty it in the garbage or your compost daily catch-all container, wipe it out with a paper towel, and then rinse it out to wash it. If you are a composter, you can toss that paper towel into your compost daily catch-all and add it to your compost bin or pile later.
4. Seeds and grains should never go into your disposal or down your drain. Scrape them into the trash before putting your plate in the sink.
5. Eggshells are one of those items people will argue about whether it is right or not. Some say eggshells will help keep your disposal blades sharp, and others say the membranes in the eggshells will stick to the sides or the shredder and cause a backup. Due to a clog in my disposal last fall, I am on the side of just don’t do it. The pull out was pretty gross; luckily cleaning my drains every week prevented any smell. Save the eggshells for your compost pile instead.
Did you know disposal’s don’t have blades? They have blunt impellers that crush the contents of your disposal.
6. Never put rice or pasta into your drain or disposal. Even after cooking, pasta and rice will continue to swell, creating a sticky mess of sludge in your pipes.
7. Flour, as we all know turns, into a simple paste when you add water to it. Don’t put large quantities of flour into your drains; you don’t want to glue them shut.
8. Potato peels should never go into your disposal. Save them for your compost pile, or store them in your veggie scrap bag in the freezer for your next batch of veggie stock.
Other vegetables to never put into your disposal:
Pumpkin and other squash
Orange, lemon and lime rinds. Despite many claims that these will deodorize your disposal, the pith will also cause a clog. If you want that citrus smell in your disposal, add a few squirts of citrus smelling dish soap followed by hot water instead. Rinse with cold water and turn the disposal on to give it a grind through.
Do you have any tips to prevent a clogged drain in your house? Share your tips in the comments below.