Knowing how to unclog a drain is an important life skill. Clogs have a tendency to appear at the worst time possible. They are frustrating to deal with and often result in you calling a costly plumber to alleviate the issue. However, there are a few simple ways that you can help keep your drain clog-free.
Avoid Using Chemical Drain Cleaners
Many chemical drain cleaners can do more harm than good. In fact, drain cleaners can exacerbate the issue, damage your drain line, and be hazardous to your health.
So, how do drain cleaners work, exactly?
Not all drain cleaners are the same. However, they are all fairly similar. They contain a blend of different ingredients that create a chemical reaction that is intended to break down the clog’s debris to the point that it cannot adhere to the drain. Unfortunately, chemical drain cleaners often loosen clogs rather than completely eliminating them. When they do, the clog simply travels farther down the line, where it’s even harder to reach and clear.
While drain cleaner may be effective at disintegrating smaller clogs, they may cause long-term harm. The harsh chemicals used are caustic; they are corrosive and may eat away at your pipes. While your drain may be cleared, these cleaners may be the culprit of a future leak or pipe burst.
If you are lucky enough to have drain cleaner effectively remove a clog without damaging you drain line, you are still endangering your household. As previously mentioned, the blend of chemicals are extremely harsh. The mixture can burn your skin and result in many long-term effects, such as: asthma, poisoning, blindness, or worse.
Stop Using Your Drain as a Trash Can
You might have a garbage disposal, but that doesn’t mean you should dump all of your food scraps and discarded leftovers down the drain. Your garbage disposal it only intended to help with those items that may slip past your kitchen sink drain stopper. If you do have to use your garbage disposal, be sure to:
- Remove grease from pans with paper towels, then toss.
- Flush existing waste with cold water for 15 seconds before using the garbage disposal.
- Periodically run the disposal instead of waiting until it accumulates a lot of scraps.
Don’t Put Grease Down the Drain
Keep an old pasta sauce jar, coffee can, or some other container nearby. Dispose of any excess cooking grease into it before washing the pot or pan, instead of just letting it go down the drain.