Should you Clean Your Own Drains?

Should you Clean Your Own Drains?

Have you attempted to clear your drains in the past? Despite how hazardous and uninviting drains often are, homeowners regularly attempt to clean them themselves to save time and money. However, a plumber often ends up being called out to finish the job.

We’ve all felt the urge to take matters into our own hands when the sink, bath or shower drain backs up. After seeing countless TV advertisements promoting liquid drain cleaners, you’re bound to have reached for that chemical-filled bottle under the sink. But unfortunately, shop-bought solutions may do more harm than good!

Do Drain Cleaning Solutions Work?

To give credit where it’s due, chemical drain cleaners can be effective for removing small blockages such as grease, soap and hair and are readily available at the shops.

However, there are a few reasons to suggest they are ineffective. Simply, chemicals are extremely toxic and can damage many surfaces such as aluminium, paint and wood. They lack the ability to break-down and remove most solid obstructions that you would find in the pipes. And fundamentally, they can end up damaging the pipes themselves. Furthermore, the content of chemical solutions can harm water’s ecosystems. So, if you insist on using liquid solutions, switching to natural enzymatic products, devoid of harmful chemicals, may help to remove minor clogging. But we would suggest trying some home-remedies first to clean your drains.

What Can Clog a Drain?

In order to avoid a clogged drain, we would advise homeowners to not put these items down the drain, to steer clear of major problems in the future:

  • Coffee Grounds – one of the most likely sources of a clogged kitchen pipe.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products and Condoms – they do not disintegrate in water.
  • Paint (both oil- and water-based) – toxins can end up in the water supply.
  • Grease, Fat and Oils – they can coat pipes so nothing can pass through them.
  • Eggshells and Bones – they can stick to fat and oily substances very easily, making for a particularly clogged pipe when combined with the above grease and oils.
  • Pasta, Rice and Potatoes – their starchy content swells and creates blockages.
  • Tissues, Paper Towels and ‘Flushable’ Wipes – trust us, they really aren’t flushable and can still cause clogs!

DIY Drain Cleaning Remedies

As an alternative to chemical based solutions, we suggest trying these methods before purchasing pricey products:

  • Pouring half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar down the drain, letting it sit overnight, and then flushing the drains with hot water in the morning.
  • Pouring a large pot of very hot water down the drain (not boiling), followed by some cool water to flush the drains.

Using either of these tips once a month is an easy and inexpensive method to clean your drains, so that they hopefully work like new!

Leave It to The Professionals

From a completely impartial perspective, it is best to avoid chemical cleaning products and attempting to clean your own drains. Therefore, if you have a problem with your drains and the DIY remedies haven’t worked, or you’d simply prefer some professional help, contact us online or give us a call on 07983 138153.