5 Tips To Keep Your Drains Clean in San Francisco
In day-to-day life, it’s so easy to be on autopilot with our routines and habits. In one way, this is great because our brain can be devoted to the important things in life. Once in a while, though, it pays to take a moment to reflect on the seemingly mundane tasks. One might be surprised that tweaks to our habits can make quite a difference in the long run or help us find instant relief in the short term. As this relates to household functionality, the kitchen and the bathrooms are a couple of main hotspots. Today, we will focus specifically on drain cleaning. With all that toothpaste, hair, and oil, there’s a lot to unclog! The key is prevention, so before you google search plumbers near me, here are a few easy tips and tricks to unclog drainage and become an empowered plumber yourself!
Surprisingly simple right? Some things in life are. If you can remember once a week to make this your practice, it will save you a lot of unnecessary unclogging in the future. Just plug and fill up your most active household sinks with boiling water (a few quarts should do it). Next, release the plug from your drain and let all that water suck down into the pipe. As simple as it sounds, the hot water and pressure combined help break stuff down the gunk in your pipes. Warning – if you have PVC pipes, be sure the water is hot but not boiling, so you don’t damage them.
Baking Soda & Vinegar
If you feel like the build-up is a little more severe or want a monthly maintenance trick, this is the method for you! Pour ½ cup of baking soda down your drain, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. Immediately plug up the drain and leave it covered for at least one hour. The combined baking soda and vinegar create a chemical reaction that breaks down and unclogs any material built up in your pipes. Finish the process by pouring some hot water down the drain.
Hair ye, Hair ye!
One major clog maker is hair! Bathroom sinks and showers suffer from this the most. A cheap and easy preventative is to buy a hair catcher for the bathroom shower drain. This product is also great if you are a pet owner and have more than just your hair to consider. Be sure to match the product to the right-size drain or check if it has a universal adapter. Also, try to get a metal one, preventing mold growth down the road.
Another idea is to get a cheap plastic drain snake for when a big clump gets wedged in the upper part of the pipe. Then you can go in there and scoop it up and out to unclog the bathroom sink in a pinch.
Here are some items that should be on your drain’s naughty list:
Everything from so-called flushable wipes, cat litter, F.O.G. (fats, oils & grease) to eggshells, onion peels, coffee grounds, and pasta are detrimental to your system. Even if you have a garbage disposal, don’t think you can get away with treating it as you would a trash can in your sink. Clean everything off your plate into the garbage and only use the kitchen sink for cleaning the minutia off your plate.
Last but certainly not least, what might you try if you have a toilet or sink which is all backed up? A handy dandy plunger! The plunger is a classic household item, but did you know there are different types for different purposes? The main thing you want is a proper seal between your plunger and the sink or toilet surface. There is a lot to say on this subject, so do your research, but for today there are two types that we will highlight.
- Toilet or flange plunger – the part that makes this work for toilets so well is the flange. It is the piece (usually rubber, sometimes plastic) that folds in and out from the bottom of the cup, kind of like an accordion. Place this extension into the drain of your toilet. It provides a much better fit and creates extra pressure while plunging.
Regarding the actual plunging, be sure to push firmly down/up, down/up, down/up. Repeat this action up to 10-20 times or up to 20 seconds.
- Sink/cup plunger – this plunger is smaller and has a flat cup (no flange). It works best for flat surfaces such as kitchen sinks or shower drains. It will not work well in a toilet because it creates an improper seal. Make sure the sink is full of water before beginning, and be sure to plunge as mentioned above.
Sinks – smear the bottom perimeter of the plunger cup with petroleum jelly for a tight seal.
Toilets – to clean the plunger, make sure once everything is unclogged and clean again, to pour in about three cap-fulls of chlorine bleach into the bowl. Swirl the plunger around several times and let it sit for a minute or two. Then without removing the plunger, flush the toilet and let all that incoming clean water rinse off the plunger. After, allow it to dry and walla!