Plumber-Approved Tips For Cleaning Your DrainsReading Time: 3 minutes
When to Clean Your Drains Yourself and When to Call a Plumber
It’s no secret that shower, bathroom, and kitchen sink drains can become a breeding ground for bacteria when they don’t get cleaned out frequently.
Along with foul smells and bacteria growth, failing to clean your drains can lead to clogs that create more serious plumbing issues over time.
In this article, we will explain why it is so important to clean out the drains in your home and how frequently it should be done, while also providing some of the best ways you can clean your drains yourself without damaging them.
Why You Need to Clean the Drains in Your Home
The most obvious reason you should be cleaning your drains is to prevent clogs. When not cleaned regularly, clogs can form in your drain due to a buildup of:
- Food waste
- Soap and other bathroom products
- Nail clippings
- Fabric lint
- Fats and oil
- And more
While it can take some time for a clog to form, once it does, it can cause serious damage to your plumbing system and even your health if it’s not dealt with properly.
Some examples of issues that can result from a clogged drain include:
- Sewer backup
- Health issues from bacteria exposure
- Burst pipes
- Flooding and water damage
How Frequently Should I Clean My Drains?
Anytime you notice that water isn’t draining properly or there is an unusual foul smell coming from your shower or sink, you should clean out your drains to clear them of any hair, food residue, and anything else that could be clogging them.
You should also be thoroughly cleaning your drains at least once a year, even if you don’t notice any signs of a clog.
This helps to keep your drains clean and prevent any clogs from getting bigger and causing a more serious plumbing issue.
How to Clean Your Drains
There are a few different methods you can use to clean your drain, depending on how much grime and residue you are dealing with.
We’ve listed a few options below:
Use White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Hot Water
This is a great natural option that is also highly effective. Not only will the vinegar and baking soda eliminate foul odours from bacteria buildup, but they will also break down any residue buildup that could eventually create a blockage.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by measuring ½ of a cup (118 ml) of baking soda and pour it down your drain.
- Then measure and pour ½ a cup (118 ml) of white vinegar down your drain and immediately cover or plug the drain.
- Let this sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the mixture has had time to sit, boil some water and pour it down the drain.
Use an Aerosol or Water-Powered Cleaner
Aerosol drain cleaners use pressurized air to help loosen clogs and clean out drains. There are also cleaners that use water pressure instead of air that have the same effect. These are both great options for cleaning out small clogs along with grime and buildup.
Use a Plunger or Drain Snake to Loosen Clogs
If nothing else has worked, you may need to be a bit more aggressive. Try using a plunger to help suction out any buildup. If this doesn’t work, use a drain snake to try and loosen the debris.
Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners
Chemical drain cleaners are marketed as miracle products that dissolve stubborn clogs, but they can actually be extremely damaging to your pipes and react with other chemicals in your drain, causing a dangerous reaction.
For this reason, we do not recommend ever using these types of products to clean your drains.
When to Call a Plumber
Have a stubborn clog or smelly drain that you can’t seem to resolve?
If none of our tips have worked for you, you likely have a significant blockage in your drain that will need to be looked at by a plumber.
At My Plumber Kelowna, we have a team of licensed, trained, and highly experienced plumbers who can help you clean out your drains, dislodge large, hard-to-remove clogs, and resolve any other plumbing issues you may be experiencing.
Call us today at 250-601-0000 or fill out a form on our website and we will be in touch ASAP.