How to Properly Clean Drains

You do not have to wait for your drains to get clogged before you decide to clean them.  Periodic cleaning of your home plumbing drains will do wonders in helping you save on costly repairs as well as limiting the possibility of being stressed out by a plumbing emergency.  There are some basic things that you can do to make sure that the smooth flow of wastewater is not obstructed and that you do not become victimized by backflow.

Low Cost Maintenance

low cost maintenance

Maintaining the smooth flow of your drains do not have to be expensive.  There are some home remedies that you can use, which will not cost you that much.  One of the most common is to use a brine solution.  This will help remove bad or toxic odors that come from your drains.  This would be useful especially in the kitchen where frequent use of grease and oils can cause unwanted odors. Regularly doing this can help prevent clogging of the drains.

Another solution that many homeowners swear to is the mixture of baking soda and vinegar.  This is supposedly a powerful mixture that when allowed to sit in your drain for about 15 minutes can restore functionality.  Aside from being safe and inexpensive, using it frequently will not harm your drain pipes or any part of your plumbing system.

The mixture can also get rid of strong odor that may come from your drains caused by clogging.  To use this, pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar directly into the drain.  Take a kettle of scalding water and pour it in; this serves as a natural drain cleaner as the two ingredients react with the hot water to remove blockage while protecting your pipes from damage.

If you want to use drain cleaners (usually costs around $14 a gallon), make sure that you look for those that do not contain harmful chemicals.  Also take precautions when using these types of drain cleaners by using latex or rubber gloves as well as eye protective gear.  Finally, before using the commercial drain cleaner, read through the instructions completely and follow it.  This will ensure that it will work correctly and protect you from any accidents.

Tools and Mechanical Solutions


Most probably you have already heard about the plunger, right?  Keep in mind when you work with drains to use a plunger that is designed for drains and not toilets.  Make sure that there is a tight seal between the mouth of the cup of the plunger and that of the drain.  Put enough water so that the mouth of the plunger cup is submerged in about an inch of water.  Do about 10 successive, vigorous plunges to force air into the vacuum created by the plunge in the drain.  Repeat this about 2 to 3 times.  This should take care of minor drain clogs.

If the plunging action does not work, consider buying a handheld mechanical snake that usually costs around $24.97 to $39.79 at your local hardware store.  Slowly thread the mechanical snake into the drain that is experiencing a problem and push the clog manually until it has been dislodged.  A force of water should allow the obstruction to flow down the drain and into the septic system.  A regular garden hose can be pushed down the drain to allow water to do its job of pushing down the clog.

If you do not want to buy a mechanical snake, you can opt to rent one.  Usually the price of renting is about $25 for a period of 4 hours or $36 a day.  Should you need it for a longer period the average cost is around $144 a week.  Normally renting a mechanical snake would require a deposit of approximately $50.

After trying these tips and you are still not satisfied with the performance of your drains, it is time to call in professional plumbers to get the job done right.