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5 ways to prevent drain clogs

Filed Under: fix-it, cleaning

bathroom sinkSlow drains are annoying, but they are also a sign of a bigger problem. If you have something clogging your drain it will only build up and become a bigger problem over time. Here are 5 ways to avoid clogging your drains:
  1. Use a drain screen
    Hair and soap scum are major culprits in clogging bath and shower drains. Use a drain screen to catch the debris and clean the screen regularly.
  2. Don't pour grease down the drain
    When you finish cooking, let the grease harden and scoop out as much as you can into the garbage. If you pour grease down the drain it will harden in your pipes.
  3. Don't pour anything else down the drain
    Avoid putting any other chemicals down the drain. Even in a laundry room sink, you'll clog the pipes. Chemical drain cleaners can even erode pipes, so use them sparingly.
  4. Clean your sink stoppers
    Pop-up stoppers can accumulate build-up and should be cleaned regularly.
  5. Pour boiling water down the drain
    Pour boiling water down your drains once a week. Make this a regular part of your cleaning routine to clear the pipes of any scum and build-up.
If your drain does get clogged, try Heather's vinegar solution. If that doesn't work, you may have to go in to find the offender and tackle it with a plunger.


  • AS

    >>let the grease harden and scoop out as much as you can into the garbage.

    FYI - In some parts of the country that may be illegal. Where I am, grease is considered a household waste that should be separated from the trash. We pour the grease into a larger empty jar (e.g., mayo), and when full, drop it off at the hazardous household waste site, along with used batteries, burnt out CFLs, old TVs, etc.

  • kewlme

    pour liquid enzymes down the drain once a month at bedtime.

  • PR

    A plumber once advised me to never, ever let rice or pasta go down the kitchen drain. It swells up and clogs the drain.

  • Richard

    And for those of you with septic systems, you must be even more careful, check with your plumber for what can and cannot go down the drain into the system. I have a neighbor who put wipes down the drain, clogging the system it cost $7000 for a new septic system.

    I feel so DRAINED by all the conversation. I shall go FLUSH now.

  • tonybndc

    If O.J. Simpson gets off this crime, you can call him. "Your new plumber"

  • Bob Bush

    One side of a double sink became very slow to drain. I took a shop vac and put a rag around the end. Inserted it into the drain and it pulled all the hair etc up. I had to use a bent wire to get most of it past the opening. Water runs out faster then I can add it to the sink now. It could work in other sinks or tubs also. Clean out your shop vac afterwards.

  • JimB

    Bleach down the drain once a month helps too. Been doing it for the last 20-years and not stopage ..... Letting water run for about 5-minutes once a week does it too.

  • Bruce

    The enzymes mentioned by Kewlme is the best idea... You can get them in liquid or powder form at any Home or hardware store, and you use them at bedtime once a month... Over time they will actually continue to digest all the organic crud and grease in the pipes, making them wider and more opened as they "eat". Boiling water down the drains (a week or so later) also can help a great deal, but above all, don't put anything into your drain except soapy water. Using the garbage disposal for anything but tiny pieces of whatever is asking for trouble. USE YOUR TRASH CAN, IT'S ONLY A FOOT AWAY FROM YOUR SINK!

  • Fred Green Tomatoes

    If clogged, don't call a republican, they ignore any "built up" messes. A sudden "surge" is not always the answer. Sometimes it takes a woman to do the job right. Hillary '08. She'll clean up the mess and unclog the congress.

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