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Great Ways to Keep your Drains Clog-Free

Unless you know how to prevent them in the first place, clogged drains are the scourge of most homeowners. They are disgusting, inconvenient and seem impervious to any attempt to clear them until the morning you come into the kitchen or bathroom, and the clog has mysteriously vanished. Other blockages are so persistent that the only thing for it is to call our plumbers at Universal Home Experts. But there are things you can do to cut down on the risk of clogs. Here are some:

Some Maintenance Tips

Pouring a kettle full of boiling water down the drain every week is often enough to clear any blockages. A cap full of white vinegar poured down the drain every month also helps to clear it, too.

Another great tip is to use a paper towel to clean away bits of food from pots, pans, and dishes before washing them. This will help eliminate a clog from forming and will keep your drain smelling fresh, since food particles won’t be clinging to the walls of the pipe.

Things Not to Put Down the Drain

Some substances should never be put down the drain, as they can lead to clogs. They include:

  • Grease
  • Fat
  • Bits of food
  • Hair

While these substances can be burned away with lye-based drain cleaners, we don't recommend it — because¬†there are much gentler, safer ways to clear them if they still manage to clog your pipes. First, you will need to gather simple ingredients. They are:

  • White Vinegar
  • Cream of tartar
  • Bleach
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda

Sprinkle about 3-to-4 ounces of baking soda down the drain and follow it with at least a cup of boiling water. Some people also add a teaspoon of cream of tartar along with the baking soda. Sometimes this is all that needs to be done.

If the clog persists, pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar after the baking soda. After it froths up, allow it to sit for about five minutes. This gives the baking soda and vinegar time to break down the fats in the drain. Follow it with a kettle full of boiling water.

Using a Plunger

If there’s at least an inch of water in the sink, use a plunger. Press it down firmly then pump a few times until the clog loosens and can be washed away. If the sink has an overflow hole, make sure it is plugged up. If it’s a double sink, plug up one drain while the other is worked on.

After the clog has cleared, rinse the sink with tap water and a bit of bleach. If the sink is made of porcelain, use warm, soapy water to wash it instead of bleach.

Dissolving Grease

If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals, another way to dissolve any grease in the drain is to use soda crystals. Pour two cups of the crystals into the drain then slowly empty a kettle of boiling water over them.

Enzymes and bacteria can also be used to clear a clog. As they do in the body, enzymes break down fats and grease and allow them to be washed away. Bacteria, on the other hand, simply eat them and leave carbon dioxide and water behind.

Pull Out the Stopper

Often, what looks like a terminal clog goes no further down than the stopper. All you need to do is pull out the stopper, clean it, and you’ll be good to go!

If Nothing Else Works, Call Us

Do you think your drain is in need of some professional assistance? For plumbing services that are out of this world, call your Houston plumbing specialists at Universal Home Experts today at (713) 364-0226, or click here for more information.