How To Keep Your Drains Clog-Free

by Rachel Laurendeau on December 30, 2012

If you want to keep your drains in good working order and avoid costly plumbing bills, here are some helpful DIY home improvement tips to follow.

Disposing of kitchen grease and oil
Many of the tastiest foods that we love to prepare and eat are high in fats or oils. Just think of a few like meat, cooking oil, frying oil, butter, mayo, salad dressings and dips. As we rinse and wash our pots, pans and dishes, we’re sending that greasy, oily mess down the drain pipes and any plumber will tell you that that could potentially cause clogged drains and backups.

Instead of sending grease and oil down the drain, try this:
• If you have really greasy pots and pans, wipe them down with paper towel before rinsing them. Less grease down the pipes and easier washing up, too.
• If you have thin oil that needs to be disposed of, mix it with something that will thicken it enough so you can throw it in the garbage. You can add it to coffee grinds, used paper towel, stale bread, or anything else you have around; just use your imagination.
• If you have too much oil to mix with another substance, pour it into a can or jar, put the lid on and throw it in the garbage or take it to a local recycling/composting depot.

Around the house
Outside of the kitchen, the drains in our bathrooms and utility sink see plenty of unwanted substances that can cause clogs and other damage as well. Soap scum, hair, and grit from the mop bucket are just a few of the offenders.

• First things first, be careful about what goes into the drains. Drain screens are inexpensive and available in many different sizes. They work well, as long as you clean them out regularly.
• If you don’t have a drain screen and are dumping the mop bucket water into the utility sink or shower, cover the drain with paper towel so that it catches the grit.
• Never dump chemicals down the drain, even the tempting ones like paint or paint thinner.
• As part of your weekly cleaning routine, pour extremely hot water down your drains.

A little preventative maintenance goes a long way to keeping your drains and pipes running clearly. However, in an emergency, don’t hesitate to call in your local professional plumbers who can assess the situation and solve your plumbing problems quickly.

Resource: Drain Works and Popular Mechanics

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