What You Need to Know and Prepare Before Drain Cleaning

Drain Cleaning

Having functional drains is one of the key factors for efficiently keeping your home clean. This way, you can maintain hygiene in your kitchen, regularly wash your dishes and discard numerous food leftovers, which would otherwise attract pests. 

The problem is that since drains have such high leftover traffic and such heavy use (on a regular basis), they are likely to get clogged fairly regularly. On top of this, you should add the fact that the majority of people don’t know how to maintain their drains and that they have no idea which types of leftovers are safe to discard this way. With that in mind and without further ado, here are a couple of tips to help you out.

Also, here are several things you need to know and prepare before drain cleaning.

Homemade solutions

There are multiple ways to unclog your drains that you can mix up in your own home. The majority of these solutions are made from household ingredients and poured down the drain. These same ingredients can often be used for homemade cleaning mixtures, as well. It is especially important that you try this out first for several reasons. This is the simplest, cheapest, and quickest solution to your problem. The only two possible outcomes here are:

  • You try it out and it works – great!
  • You try it out and it doesn’t work – you try something else.

The truth is that you can’t make things worse and by sacrificing some baking soda and vinegar, you really won’t put a dent in your budget.

The recipe for this is fairly simple – you get 1/3rd of a cup of baking soda and the same amount of vinegar into a measuring cup. As soon as it fizzes (which should happen immediately) you just pour it down the drain. This mixture should sit for at least one hour. Ideally (if you’re not in too much of a rush), you might want to try to keep it there overnight. In the aftermath, just flush it all with hot water.

Other than this, you can try to pour boiling water down the drain. This method is the simplest way to unclog the drains. While it is not 100% reliable, it literally costs you nothing to try it out.

Hire professionals

The truth is that there’s only one method that is known to give results 100% of the time – hiring drain cleaning professionals. From your perspective, this is the quickest and most reliable solution seeing as how:

  • It will take the least amount of time
  • You know that the problem will be fixed
  • You don’t risk damaging anything else in the process

Keep in mind that these professionals have their own tools and methods, but they also understand the anatomy of the drain. This is what makes them so effective. Sure, their services are more expensive than your DIY attempts but handling this on your own may be difficult and messy. Some people will gladly pay just so that they can avoid this.

Even if you intend to handle it on your own, you should at least consider hiring professional services.

Plumbing solutions

If none of the homemade cleaners or simpler cleaning solutions help unclog your drains, it might be the time to take out the big guns. We’re talking about tools that commercial plumbing tools. Some of these tools are:

  • Pipe cameral
  • Plungers
  • Manual drain snake
  • Motorized drain snake
  • Hair snake
  • Drain auger
  • Hydro-jet

The problem with these tools lies in the fact that they’re not a standard issue or customary to have in your inventory. In order for a tool to be worth owning, it’s possible for you to use it at least 60% of the time. Seeing as how drain cleaning isn’t something you do every day, getting all of these items is not a great idea.

At the very least, you should own a plunger, a manual drain snake and a drain auger. With these three tools alone, you can do a surprisingly large amount of work around your drains.

Other than just owning these tools, you also need to learn how to properly use them. Sure, they’re designed not to damage your drains but you can never be too careful. Also, using them safely is not the only thing you need to worry about. There’s also the issue of using them effectively. For this, YouTube is always the simplest source of information.

An improvised tool

What happens if this is your first time and you have never before had to use a tool in order to unclog your drains? This probably means that you don’t have such a tool in your arsenal, to begin with. One of the ways you can improvise is to take a wire coat hanger and turn it into a temporary tool.

The process is insanely simple – you take a wire coat hanger and straighten out everything but the hook. From this point on, you’ll use the hook as a handle. The opposite end needs to be turned into a hook, as well (a tiny one). Then you should push the wire down the drain until you encounter the clog and literally fish it out. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds.

There are two more things you need to keep in mind here. These are:

  • You need to fish the gunk out, not push it further down.
  • Keep a bag or some gloves nearby since what you’re about to dig out might be particularly nasty.

You will be surprised how quickly you will get a hang of it (no pun intended).

Prevention

Once you’ve finally unclogged the drains, it’s essential that you learn how to prevent these clogs from forming in the first place. After all, manufacturers are making these drains for this exact purpose, which is why it shouldn’t be too hard to prevent clogs from happening, right? There are a couple of tips you have to follow in order to get there.

First of all, you need to figure out the potentially problematic texture of food that you should definitely keep away from the drains. Food parts, coffee grounds and grease shouldn’t find their way down the drain. 

While grease doesn’t seem problematic due to its semi-liquid texture, it wouldn’t take much for it to solidify, thus causing a serious clog. A similar thing happens with hair. Sure, a single strain isn’t problematic but what if there’s something solid, deeper down the drain, something that it can wrap itself around and increase in concentrated mass? Wouldn’t this be a serious problem?

One of the ways to seriously enhance your prevention efforts would be to start composting. There are so many solid food leftovers that could be used to enhance the fertility of the soil in your backyard. This type of natural fertilizer benefits you double-fold.

Also, pouring some boiling water (preventively) down the drain, every now and then should help.

In conclusion

You have so many things to try before calling a professional but even making this your first move is not a mistake. If anything, it’s the safest choice you can possibly make under these circumstances. Still, try pouring some hot water, baking soda and vinegar or even picking the clog with the use of a special (or homemade) tool. With so many potential solutions at hand, you just can’t fail.

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