It’s happened again. Your sink is draining slower than a bucket of frozen molasses. Every time you wash a dish or brush your teeth, you end up with a sink full of nasty water, and all you can do is wait for it to trickle away, and then call the plumber—again—or reach for the Drano. You haven’t been putting anything ridiculous down the drain and you’re pretty sure your kids’ toys haven’t been spelunking in the kitchen sink lately.
It turns out that you may have been putting more down the drain than you realize. Here are a few basic things you can do to avoid constantly clogging drains:
Don’t Put That Down the Drain
There are some things that just shouldn’t go down the drain! Some are pretty obvious: you shouldn’t put rocks down your drain; you shouldn’t try to wash your pet hamster’s bedding down the sink. Others are less obvious. Some examples of things that should never go down the drain are paint, hair, cooking grease, chunks of food (anything bigger than a grain of rice is liable to become a problem), and bones. There are other culprits, of course, but these are the most common. One of the reasons is, as you’re probably thinking right now, it seems pretty hard to avoid getting hair down the drain! And what are you supposed to do with the leftover grease from that delicious chicken dinner you just made?
Get Drain Covers
These look like tiny strainers, and you can find them at hardware stores, department stores, and even some grocery stores. The best ones sit in your drain, rather than being a dome above it, so that they don’t get knocked out of place easily. These little guys are a lifesaver. When you’re done using the sink, just dump the contents into the trash.
That’s right. A lot of stuff that can’t go down the sink can be flushed down the toilet. This mostly applies to things like wads of hair or chunks of food. According to Tiger Industrial Rentals, the pipes coming from your toilet are bigger than the ones to your sink, so they aren’t going to get choked up by your beard trimmings, or that terrifyingly ancient pot of soup you found in the back of the fridge.
Dealing with grease
Leftover cooking grease can be a problem. Of course, the best method is to dump it into an empty jam jar and then put it in the trash. There’s also a way of rinsing it down your sink if you don’t have much (less than a cup). Just add dish soap to whatever the grease is in, and mix it up until the whole thing turns a milky color (this can take a lot of dish soap, depending on how much grease you have). The soap breaks down the grease so that it won’t be able to congeal later. Then, turn on the water as hot as it goes, and rinse it all down the drain. Keep the water on for about a minute after you pour the grease in, just to make sure it’s all gone.
These tips are basic, but that’s part of what’s great about them! With just a little effort, you may never have to clean out another blocked pipe.