On Thanksgiving a few years ago, our kitchen sink drain became clogged, and we ended up having to wash all those greasy dishes in the bathtub. This made for a good story the following Thanksgiving, but it definitely was inconvenient at the time.
There is never a convenient time for a kitchen (or bathroom) drain to clog, and these simple steps can help you prevent clogs from happening.
Safeguarding the kitchen sink:
The kitchen sink drain is the most used in your house, and therefore gets clogged the most. Liquid fats, dissolved by warm dishwashing water, pass into the pipes where the water cools. The fats then solidify and attach to the sides of the pipes. Small food particles such as coffee grounds get stuck to the solidified fats. As the process is repeated, the pipes become clogged. To avoid this,
- Never pour any liquid grease down the sink. Instead, pour it into a can and throw it out with the rest of the garbage.
- When using the garbage disposal, run plenty of cold water. This will carry food particles past the small drain pipes and into the larger pipes.
- Scoop a full tablespoon of baking soda into your kitchen drain once each week. Then slowly pour in one-quarter cup of lemon juice or white vinegar (this mixture will bubble!). Let this stand for half an hour, then run hot water down the drain. (This mixture can also be used on a clogged drain, but be sure to remove any standing water first.)
General drain cleaning and preventive maintenance:
- Two or three times a week, run very hot tap water through all of your drains.
- Bathtub and shower drains get clogged with hair and soap residue. Remove these clogs once a week by reaching into the drain with your fingers or a pair of tweezers.
- If you purchase a commercial drain cleaning product, read the label first–some products may melt plastic pipes or damage garbage disposals. Carefully follow the directions and always wear protective gloves.
- You should also have a plunger easily available.
Clogs you can’t fix yourself need the help of a licensed plumbing contractor such as your Home Comfort Experts Plumbers. They will be happy to answer your drain cleaning questions.
Home Comfort services the Mishawaka/South Bend areas of Indiana. To get started, check out our website or see our special offers.