Have you noticed weird smells coming from your home? You should always check your drains first. They may be due for a good drain cleaning.
Dirty, clogged drains are a fast-track way to spread not only foul odors through your home but dangerous bacteria too. Here’s how you can clean them like the pros and keep them clear for years ahead.
A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean Your Drains
Organic buildup, clogs, and odors are most commonly found in bathroom and kitchen drains. These drains transport the greatest amount of waste and water flow. That is why they need a regular drain clearing.
A slow draining sink or shower is a real nuisance. While a slowly filling toilet can strike fear into any person, we all know that feeling too well. So how are you to avoid it? Here’s the best way to clean and maintain the drains throughout your home.
Remove Potential Drain Clogs
A slow draining shower, sink, or toilet is generally caused by buildup or a blockage. You need to take care of any clogs before cleaning the drain.
There are many ways to remove a clog from your toilet. One way is with the help of a plunger, which you can find at most supermarkets and hardware stores. Plungers can be used on bathtubs and sinks, not just toilets.
The simplest way to clear a clogged drain and perform a fast drain cleaning is with the plunger. Fill your sink or tub until it’s an inch deep, then press firmly on the water just over any obstruction in the pipe below. Once there’s enough pressure from above and you’ve created a seal, add more water so as not to create air pockets around your object of concern – this will make it easier for them to float up into view (which isn’t always easy). Use quick pumps alternated with longer pushes down at different angles while pulling back periodically when necessary: these forces should dislodge whatever may be blocking things like food particles or hair that have entered through cracks along pipes running out of sight below ground level.
If you have a double-bowl sink, it is important to close the other drain in order to create an airtight seal.
Other Drain Cleaning Methods
If you need to remove clogs near the drain opening, there are a few tools that might help get the job done. The Zip-It Bath and Sink Snare both work well for this task.
These powerful yet gentle cleaning tools have been designed by plumbers for use on residential pipes. They feature two sets of tines: one is angled perpendicular towards you at full length while another set features shorter, more pointed prongs so they can get deep down inside without causing damage as well as remove small objects such as strands of hair which could otherwise cause a blockage.
For those more stubborn clogs, a gas or water-powered cleaner can be used to blow them out. These cleaners come in the form of aerosol drain cleaners and pressurized bladders that use water.
You can also treat drain clogs and buildup in a biological way. For the best results, an enzymatic or bacterial drain cleaner is recommended for dissolving organic material that builds up in your pipes over time. The chemical should be poured down one of the drains and left to work overnight before being flushed with water from other sources in order to remove any remaining residue which will help reduce odors as well.
Chemical cleaners are often fast-acting and can remove dirt and grime quickly, but they’re also hazardous to your health. Biological cleaners take a more natural approach. They work at a slower pace but are safer for you and your plumbing.
Banish Foul Odors
Once the drain has been cleared, it is time to clean it. There are a few simple methods you may choose.
Use a Mixture of Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Hot Water
This concoction is an easy and inexpensive way to fight odors, grease buildup, bacteria, and other organic residues. This mixture can also help prevent future drain clogs by cleaning out the pipes as well as your sink’s trap.
Pour a half-cup of baking soda down your drain, followed by a quarter cup of white vinegar. Let it sit for 15 minutes before pouring boiling water to flush the mixture out.
A mixture of baking soda and vinegar is a natural way to clean your sink. It also gets rid of bacteria that can grow in the drain hole, as well as other mineral deposits on faucets.
Use A Biological Cleaner
Adding a biological cleaner to your drain is an effective way of keeping bacteria and mold at bay. With one simple step, you can keep your drains clean without using harsh chemicals that may produce foul odors in the long run.
If you’re looking for a safe and environmentally conscious way to get rid of clogs in your drains, then Zep or Citra-Drain are the perfect products. These biological cleaners will work best if you live on a septic system as they won’t harm pipes with a chemical residue like other toxic chemicals would do.
Clean Your Garbage Disposal with Ice, Salt, and Lemon
Your home’s garbage disposal is also a drain that has all the potential to be forgotten about and neglected. It can cause odors throughout your house.
If your garbage disposal still runs well but smells terrible, a good way to clean out organic buildup is by adding ice cubes, salt and lemon peels.
All you need for this trick is a handful of coarse salt, the peel of a lemon, and a few cups of ice. Fill up your disposal with these ingredients before turning it on. Grind the mixture up for a bit, then rinse with water. The ice will not damage the disposal.
Prevent Future Drain Clogs
Here are proven methods to keep your drains clear and buildup-free well into the future:
Use Drain Screens
These devices are quick and easy to install. They allow water and other small particles through but block out hair, large food particles, or scum in your sink drain from the kitchen basin to bathtub showers.
Never Pour Grease Down Your Drain
Grease can clog sink drains and cause sewer back-ups. To avoid this, use hot water with detergent on greasy dishes before you rinse them to loosen the grease from your plates.
Perform Regular Maintenance On Drains and Stoppers
To keep your drains clean and clear, pour a few gallons of boiling water down the drain every week. Keep sink stoppers free from grime by cleaning them on a regular basis too.
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