Household drain problems have a way of surfacing at the most inconvenient times. Thanksgiving day, for example, the feast is about to be served and the sink backs up. Or maybe you’re leaving your house and you notice the shower hasn’t completely emptied. There are some very simple maintenance steps you can take to keep your drains draining and avoid an inopportune clog. We’re not pointing any fingers, but most drain blockages occur because someone put something into the drain that did not belong there. Usually, it started out as a liquid but solidified once it reaches the trap. Tip number one is set it aside, let it harden and dispose of it in the trash.
Never pour grease down your drains. Try to keep hair and other debris out, too.
To prevent soap residue from building up, once a month:
- Run hot water through your drains.
- Add three tablespoons of baking soda.
- Add a little hot water.
- Let it stand for 15 minutes.
- Flush it by running hot water.
Drain odors can be eliminated by pouring a mixture of a handful of baking soda and hot water down the drain every week or so. Another proven remedy is to pour a cup of vinegar down your drains, let it stand for 30 minutes and rinse thoroughly with hot water. Odor can be kept at bay by keeping grease, hair and vegetable matter out of your drains and by running very hot water after each use.
While we’re on the subject of drains, here are some tips for maintaining your garbage disposal:
- Never use commercial drain products.
- Use cold water when operating disposal.
- To clean, grind up ice cubes.
- To freshen, grind up lemon peels.
- Read your maintenance manual.