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clogged-drainsThere is nothing worse when you see those tell tale bubbles coming up through the plug hole and smelling that unmistakeable stench of a blocked drain. When this happens you then have to get a multitude of chemicals, plungers and sometimes an expert out to fix it. By following the below tips you should be able to avoid a clogged sink and the hassle to get it working again.

Kitchen Sinks

  • Scrap plates before washing them as food particles can get stuck in the pipes if they go down the plug.
  • Place a strainer over the plug hole as it will catch any bits of food dirt before they are washed down the drain and get stuck.
  • Don’t ever pour grease or oil down the drain. This can stick to the inside of the pipes and clog them. The best way to get rid of any leftover oil or grease is to pour it into an old jar or milk carton before throwing in the trash.
  • Don’t pour any coffee granules or used ground coffee down the sink as can easily clog the pipes. Put used coffee filters and mulch from plungers in the trash or on a compost pile.
  • Clean the sink regularly by slowly pouring a kettle of boiling water down to help breakdown any scum that has gathered in the pipes. If odour is a problem then either pour a handful of baking soda or a cup of vinegar down first and then the boiling water.

Garbage Disposals

  • Avoid putting certain foods into the garbage disposal. Try to avoid, potato skins, banana peels, egg shells and coffee granules as they are thick and sticky so more likely to get stuck and clog pipes.
  • When using the garbage disposal run a steady stream of water at the same time. The flow of water will move the waste product quicker and easier through the pipes and prevent a back up in the system.
  • Regularly clean the garbage disposal. The best way to do this is pour of mixture of water and vinegar into an ice cube tray and freeze. Throw a couple of cubes into the garbage disposal and switch on. The vinegar acts as chemical that cleans the disposal while the ice chills and scrapes the grease off the pipes.

Dishwasher

  • The pipes that run from the dishwasher are connected to the sink so can be linked to a clogged sink. Make sure you scrape all plates before putting in the dishwasher as food waste will cause a blockage.
  • Regularly use a dishwasher cleaner on an empty cycle to have flush the pipes and clear any residue build up.

Bathroom Sinks

  • Hair and soap scum are the biggest enemies of bathroom sinks so make sure you have a hair catcher over each plughole and clean after every use.
  • Don’t flush anything other than toilet paper down the drain. Heavy paper products can get stick and clog the whole sewage system which can then come back up through the sink.
  • Clean the inside of the plug holes regularly with baking soda and vinegar to help break down any soap scum that has built up.

General Rules

  • Regular cleaning helps keep pipes running freely and smelling fresh.
  • Run hot water down the drain after each use to keeps oil and greases moving down the pipes stops it sticking the pipe walls.
  • Look for cleaning products that have Lye in them as this is the active ingredient that can dissolve any soap scum and grease quickly and effectively.
  • Never put any paint or paint thinners down the drain. Pour them into bottles and put into the trash.
  • Put drain screens over all your drains as will stop anything that is likely to contribute to a clogged sink getting down.

Most supermarkets and local DIY stores will have drain covers and strainers available to buy at very low price. Always keep baking soda and vinegar in your store cupboard as handy for many household chores but especially good as a drain cleaner, freshener and an emergency sink unblocker. These simple tips will help you get into a routine that will keep your drains and pipes fresh and clean and avoid any blockages

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