When it comes to saving money, I think we can all agree that we’d rather make a little effort now to prevent having to spend a lot more effort (and money) later on. We service our cars regularly to guard against expensive problems later down the line. So, why don’t we take the same approach when it comes to our drains? After all, a blocked drain can have costly implications for your home.
Blocked drains aren’t just an annoyance. Sure, you can dislodge most monitor blockages with a drain auger or a plunger. But for those more serious blockages, you could be faced with issues such as hygiene hazards, leaks or even flooding.
Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can add to your cleaning routine that will help clean and maintain your drains, protecting against blockages and avoiding costly repairs or replacements.
Think About What Goes In Your Drains
The most important thing to do is to actually stop and think what’s going into your drains. Are you putting things down there that you shouldn’t? For example, people commonly put things like sanitary products, baby wipes and food grease down their drains without a second thought, not realising that these are some of the most common causes of drain blockages. In fact, the 2017 ‘fatberg’ found blocking London’s sewer system that weighed an enormous 130 tonnes was made up partly of grease, fat, baby wipes and tampons.
If in doubt, avoid putting the following down your drains:
- Baby wipes
- Kitchen roll
- Sanitary wear
- Food grease
- Food waste
Watch what you’re putting down your drains and you’re halfway towards preventing a blockage.
Top tip: We’d recommend getting a container (an old milk bottle is fine) to pour fat and food grease into, rather than pouring it down the sink. Once it’s full, you can just throw it away.
Flush Your Drains Regularly
The next best thing you can do is to add flushing your drains regularly to your cleaning routine. It takes no more than five minutes and makes all the difference. Flushing out your drains on a weekly or fortnightly basis will help reduce build up of grease, dirt and other minerals, allowing water to flow more freely through your pipes.
And the great news is, you can flush your drains easily with items you have at home. You’ll need rubber gloves (elbow length is better) and protective goggles or glasses (swimming goggles can do the trick) if you’re dealing with chemicals to protect your hands and eyes.
Other things you’ll need are:
- Biological drain cleaner
- Baking powder
- White vinegar
- A kettle (for boiling water)
Focus on the drains that are most likely to get blocked. This will typically be your kitchen and bathroom sinks, shower and bath drains. This is where grease, soap scum and hair wind up and lead to blockages.
To flush the drain, pour boiling water (around once a week) down the pipe for a natural but effective drain cleaner.
For a tougher approach, consider buying a biological drain cleaner that uses enzymes to break down clogs. These types of cleaners are better than harsh chemical cleaners.
Alternatively, you can make your own drain cleaner by combining two tablespoons of baking powder with a cup of white vinegar. Pour the solution down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before pouring boiling water down to flush it out.
Another top tip: For bath and shower drains, hair is one of the main causes of clogs. Brush your hair before showering to divert any loose hairs onto your hairbrush and away from your drain.
You could also invest in a drain cover to catch things like hair and food and stop them from slipping down the drain. These are inexpensive and can be picked up from most hardware shops.
Try these tips and see what difference they could make to your drains.
For more serious blockages, call the team at Trent’s Drains. We treat blocked drains in Bristol and the South West and our team has years of experience. We also offer preventative drain maintenance to keep your drains working properly. Call 0117 949 0155 today.