Don’t Let Clogged Drains Slow You Down

The DIY Guide To Cleaning Your Own Drains.

Happily functioning drains make life so much better. Few things are more frustrating than slow or stopped up drains. However, no matter how careful you are, debris can still accumulate over time, reducing the flow or clogging your pipes entirely.

Even if your drain doesn’t clog, the buildup of particles over time may lead to unwanted odors, insect infestations, and other unpleasant effects. Don’t wait for the water flow to stop completely. If you notice that your drainage has slowed, or you smell something a little off, it’s time to clean your drain!

We’ve put together some helpful tips to maintain clear drains and reduce the possibility of flooding or other drain pipe problems.

Avoid harsh chemicals if possible

While there are plenty of clog-busting chemical compounds available in the cleaning section of your local supermarket, these should be at the bottom of your list. Not only are they hazardous to your health, but according to Consumer Reports, they really don’t work all that well.

Most professionals will agree that using a plunger or a snake is the best way to break up a clog and get your drain working properly again. Following these simple tips on a regular basis should prevent your drains from getting clogged in the first place.

The Best Way to Avoid Clogged Drain Pipes is to Keep Things Out That Cause Clogs

Bathroom Sinks & Bathtubs

Try to keep excess toothpaste and hair from going down these drains. These are the top culprits for causing clogs in bathrooms drains.


Don’t put any hygiene products in your toilet. Also avoid allowing things like cotton swabs, nail clippings, and floss to fall into your toilet. Any of these can get snagged in the s-shaped toilet drain and cause a clog, which will lead quickly to unpleasant results.

Kitchen Sinks

In particular, avoid eggshells, stringy vegetables, and grease in your kitchen sink drains. Use a mesh strainer over your drain to help keep unwanted debris out of your pipes during meal prep.

How to Keep Your Drains Clean and Working Properly

Rinse with Hot Water

Regularly flushing your drain pipes with very hot water can break up any grease and debris that are beginning to form. Start by filling your sink or bathtub with hot water, then allow it to drain before it’s cool. If your water doesn’t get very hot, you may want to boil a pan of water and pour it down your drain. One note – if you have plastic pipes, allow the boiling water to cool for a few minutes first.

Use Grease-Cutting Dish Soap

Adding dish soap to the hot water will help cut through any accumulated grease in your pipes. If the hot water by itself isn’t enough, add a few tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap to the water before pouring it into your drain. Allow to set for several minutes, then run more hot water to rinse.

Get Rid of Odors with Baking Soda

Are your drains producing disagreeable odors? Start with the hot water rinse to break up any grease, then place half of a cup of baking soda in your drain. Let it set for a little while, coating the sides of your pipes. The baking soda works to absorb smells and begins the cleansing process.

Next, add one cup of white vinegar to one cup of boiling water and pour the mixture down the drain (again, if you have plastic pipes, be sure to allow the boiling water to cool slightly before pouring). A bubbly, fizzing reaction will occur between the baking soda and vinegar, adding a little extra cleaning power. Rinse with more hot water.

Toilet Drains

Toilet drains are a little more difficult to clean because of their unique shape. Use a plunger first, and if that doesn’t work, try a snake. If your toilet is still clogged, you will probably need to call a plumber. Due to the s-shaped drains and to human waste, a bad toilet clog is usually difficult to solve alone.

Call in the Professionals

If none of these tips work, you may need to call in a professional to come help you unclog your drains. Home Angels’ plumbers are always ready to tackle those extra difficult plumbing problems. You may call any time for additional advice if you have any concerns about your drains.