Clogged drains are nasty and create nasty consequences.  Nobody likes standing in dirty water because the shower drain is slow.  A blocked kitchen sink means dirty dishes.  If the bathroom sink is blocked, you have to brush your teeth or shave somewhere else.

A good plumber can come and drain your sink, but not without draining your wallet too.  There are five steps to take if you want to save your drains and your household budget.  You can prevent clogged drains by following these five easy steps.

  1. Purchase Sink Traps.

Go to the hardware store and purchase sink traps for all your sinks, tubs, and showers.  They come in various shapes and sizes and you will find the right ones for your drains.  Clean the sink traps once a week by removing the gunk and rinsing them in hot water.  Apply a grease-cutting dish detergent when necessary.  Maintaining these traps is the best form of clog prevention.

  1. Do Maintenance Cleaning.

After cleaning the traps, clean the drains by using a solution of ½ cup of baking soda, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar.  Let the mixture foam for an hour, then flush the drain with one or two quarts of hot water.  This should keep your pipes clog free.  It’s a good idea to clean all the drains every other week.

White vinegar and baking soda are much safer than over-the-counter drain cleaners.  Commercial cleaners are made of harsh chemicals that may damage drain pipes, causing further problems.  Besides, such cleaners are highly toxic.  They are harmful to your skin and eyes, and dangerous to the environment.  Keep your sinks clean, and use natural cleaners.  They are safer and more economical.

  1. Love your Sink.

It’s your sink, not a garbage disposal.  Never pour the following items down a drain: grease, paper, coffee grounds, motor oil, solvents, paint, paint thinner, nail polish, or medications.  Most municipalities have websites which tell people how to correctly dispose of these substances.  Follow the rules, and you can avoid serious drain blockages.  As for the garbage disposal, you can clean it every week with ice cubes and a tablespoon of salt.  Let it grind up the ice and salt mixture to get rid of grease.

  1. Remember the Washing Machine.

Don’t forget to put a sink trap on the washing machine drain.  Lint, paper, hair and pet hair can make for nasty clogs in the washer drain.  Depending upon your washer configuration, those clogs can block the line and cause a back up into the washing machine, or cause a flood in your laundry room.  Just one small sink trap can save a world of trouble and money.  Just treat the washer drain like the other household drains.  Follow the same routine, and you won’t have much trouble.

  1. Use a Cable Auger to Clear Clogs.

If you feel comfortable cleaning a minor clog, go out and purchase a cable augur (aka snake) from the hardware store.  After removing the drain cover with a screwdriver, follow the instructions for the proper use of the auger for reaching the clog and clearing it.  If you fail to remove the clog, call the professionals at Biard & Crockett.  We handle clogs all day long, and have the tools and experience needed to clear your drain, no matter what the cause is.