Drain Maintenance

Drain Maintenance: Simple Solutions for Household Drains

Discover the simplicity of maintaining unclogged drains! Clogs can be a real hassle, popping up at the worst times and causing headaches all around. No worries – there’s a straightforward solution. By taking a proactive approach to drain maintenance, you can sidestep the expense and frustration of dealing with backups. Plus, you’ll avoid the unpleasant odors that come with clogged systems, which can pose health risks to your family. We’ll take a commonsense approach to drain maintenance.

With proper drain maintenance, you can prevent other drainpipe issues from raising their ugly head. By implementing simple practices and being mindful of what goes down the drain, you protect your property and contribute to the well-being of your home and the preservation of our wastewater treatment facilities. Let’s explore how a little know-how can save you time, money, and hassle while promoting a healthier, cleaner world for all.

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Cleaning Your Drains is Part of Drain Maintenance

Cleaning your drains is the first step in keeping them clear of obstructions. Even though our drains are sometimes out of sight, they don’t need to be out of mind. When it comes to routine house cleaning, your drains are just as vital to your family’s health and comfort as your kitchen countertops. So, remember, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of career. It would help if you cleaned your drains of debris once every couple of weeks for heavily used drains and once a month for drains that are not used as often. However, since hair is typically the culprit in the bathtub, shower, and bathroom sink drains, some drains will need an inspection more frequently in addition to drain maintenance. 

Once it Sticks to the Walls, Hair Starts to Gather

The cause of slow-moving or clogged shower and bathroom sink drains is called black slime. There are other names for the black substance, including bio-slime, biofilm, and black sludge. The black slime is a living organism consisting of food, toothpaste, phlegm, skin cells, hair, body oils, and everything else that can adhere to the pipeline walls in your bathroom sink drain. Once it sticks to the walls, hair starts to gather as the bacteria grows, and before you know it, you have a slow-moving drain. And before long, it will clog altogether if you don’t take swift action. The same is true for your shower drains. So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty on drain maintenance for bathroom drains, then move on to the kitchen. We” address maintenance, cleaning, and clearing. 

Black Slime Causes Sluggish Drains

How to Provide the Best Drain Maintenance

Drain Maintenance: 

Maintain your drains, and you’ll never have to worry about clearing them. Remember, we want to have a commonsense approach to drain maintenance. So before we start talking about vinegar and baking soda, let’s look at some products on the market designed to maintain a good flowing drain while keeping them clean. But before we start, let’s look at one of the best ways you can maintain your drain to prevent black slime from building up. 

A Kettle of Boiling Water

Pour a kettle of boiling water down your drain once a week to prevent that bacteria from growing in your sink. That simple! In most cases, if you’re consistent, this may be all you need.

Install a Hair Catcher in Your Shower Drain:

The common denominator to almost all shower, tub, and clogged sink drains is hair. Catch the hair and avoid the clog; it’s that simple. Hair catchers come in all shapes and sizes. You can purchase them in stainless steel, silicone, and disposable hair catchers. One thing they all have in common is they won’t break the bank. They range from $5-$13. You can easily install mesh screens beneath your shower drain cover without disrupting your shower’s aesthetics or exposing the drain. For screw-in drain covers, use the shower-size screen beneath the cover and simply screw through the mesh when replacing the cover. 

Hair Catcher / Drain Maintenance

Install a Hair Catcher on Your Sink

Most homeowners were never aware that hair catchers were available for bathroom sinks. The Drain Buddy, no installation required. Say goodbye to tools – just remove your old stopper, drop the Ultra Flo into your sink drain, and you’re all set! It’s that simple! No more hassle of tinkering with drain rods under the sink. The Drain Buddy features a basket that catches hair and foreign objects, effectively preventing clogs. If you accidentally drop jewelry down the drain, it can be quickly retrieved by pulling out the stopper and releasing the basket. No more costly plumber bills! The cylindrical basket design allows for effortless cleaning – simply wipe away hair with a tissue or paper towel.

Drain Buddy

Mrs. Meyer’s 

While most drain products are meant to clear drains, a few are designed for drain maintenance. For example, Mrs. Meyer’s Probiotic Drain Maintenance is infused with micro-helpers that spring into action to thwart buildups while imparting a delightful hint of Lemon Verbena for a fresh, citrusy scent. This innovative cleaning solution activates itself to deliver an effective clean, ensuring your drains and pipes remain in excellent condition. Regular use prevents stubborn buildups, maintaining optimal drainage flow effortlessly. 4.4 Stars out of 779 reviews.

Instant Power® Commercial Drain Maintainer

The product removes unpleasant odors lingering in your kitchens and bathrooms, which may signal a clogged drain system. Instant Power Clogged Drain Cleaner effectively removes blockages and clears away odor-causing buildup, restoring freshness to your space. The environmentally conscious formula is designed to digest fats, oils, greases, and other organic waste accumulating in drains, promoting a cleaner environment while effectively tackling clogs. The product has 4.3 stars with close to a thousand reviews.

Draino® & Liquid Plumr® 

Here are two branded drain cleaners with their own version of gel maintenance and cleaners. And we will not tell you that these products are bad for your pipes because they are not. So don’t listen to uninformed plumbing companies that want to put fear in you about liquid drain cleaners. However, like so many other products, there are the good and bad. These scientifically tested products have been on our grocery store shelves for over sixty years and have stood the test of time. They will work perfectly as a drain maintenance. Please read the label and use it as directed. It sounds like common sense to me.  

Ok, Vinegar and Baking Soda 

While vinegar and baking soda are good for maintaining and keeping your drains clean, please do not try to clear a drain with vinegar and baking soda. You will only be wasting your time. However, it’s great for drain maintenance; pour a couple of heaping tablespoons of baking soda down your drain and slowly pour vinegar over the baking soda. Wait 15 minutes, then pour a kettle of hot water down the drain for best results.

Now, these are just a few ideas for maintaining your bathroom drains. We suggest you stick with tested brand-name products and only use them as directed. So, let’s review about drain maintenance:

  1. With proper drain maintenance, you can prevent other drainpipe issues.
  2. Cleaning your drains is the first step in keeping them clear of obstructions.
  3. The main cause of slow-moving or clogged bathroom drains is black slime, a bacteria. 
  4. Black slime consists of food, toothpaste, phlegm, skin cells, hair, and body oils.
  5. Pour a kettle of boiling water down your drain once a week to prevent black slime.
  6. Install a hair catcher on your bathtub or shower drain. 
  7. Install a Drain Buddy on your bathroom sink. 
  8. Use a branded drain clean designed for drain maintenance weekly for heavily used drains and bi-weekly for lesser-used drains.
  9. Use a mix of baking soda and vinegar to maintain your drains. However, it does not work well on a clogged drain.

Kitchen Drain Maintenance

Let’s move on to drain maintenance for kitchen sink drains, including our garbage disposal. Every family wants a clean-smelling sink that drains well. While you hear about all the do-it-yourselfer home remedies for maintaining your kitchen drains, we prefer staying away from those DIY remedies. However, as mentioned above, vinegar and baking soda could freshen up your drains, but who wants to smell vinegar? Especially when Arm & Hammer has its own branded drain refresher that deodorizes and freshens up your drains for less than $7. 

Take The Stink From My Kitchen Sink

Grease is the Number One Reason for Clogged Drains

Kitchen drain maintenance is more about what NOT to put down your drain. For example, grease is the number one reason for clogging a kitchen sink drain. This is the issue many homeowners think: running hot water down your drain will dissolve the grease. The problem is that your drain pipes are cold, and the grease will harden adhering to the walls in your pipeline, regardless of how hot the water is. #1 Don’t pour grease of any kind down your drain.

Locate the Smell and Purchase a Branded Product to Eliminate it 

Use a product designed for drain maintenance, which includes good-smelling drains. Remember, your garbage disposal and dishwasher are all connected. So, if your kitchen sink is smelling, it may be coming from the dishwasher or the garbage disposal. In such cases, there are products designed to eliminate the smell and have your sink smelling as it should. The best part is that these products don’t cost an arm and a leg, and they provide enough product to last an extended period of time. For example, see the proven products below and find some products of your own: 

OdoBan® Deodorizer:  

Eliminates odors caused by pets, mildew, urine, smoke, and sewage. Kills 99.99% of germs in 60 seconds on hard, nonporous surfaces.

Green Gobbler Enzyme Drain Cleaner: 

Controls Foul Odors & Breaks Down Grease, Paper, Fat, & Oil in Sewer Lines, Septic Tanks, & Grease Traps.

Green Gobbler

CLR Clear Pipes and Drains: 

Monthly Drain Buildup Remover Helps Dissolve Sources of Clogs to Keep Drains Flowing Smoothly, Safe on All Pipes and Drains – 80 Ounce Bottle

Prevents Clog Buildup and Removes Sink Odors in Bathrooms, Kitchens, and Homes; septic-friendly. 

CLR PRO Commercial Drain Maintainer: 

Preventative Maintenance, Bio Enzyme Formula, Reduces Odor and Breaks Down Grease.

Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer Drops: 

Lemon Zest Scented Kitchen Sink Freshener Pods & Drain Odor Eliminator Disposer Care Balls by Bastion

Let’s put aside all the online DIY remedies, and for less than $20 annually, you can have a sweet-smelling and well-maintained kitchen drain. Additionally, there are other low-budget products designed to keep your dishwasher at its best. 

Essential Guide to Drain Maintenance

Here’s a handy list of items that are best kept away from your drains to guarantee smooth and trouble-free plumbing:

  1. Grease, fats, and oils from cooking: They can stick to the walls in your pipes and cause stubborn clogs.
  2. Coffee grounds: They behave similarly to grease.
  3. Meat, poultry, fish bones, eggshells: They can create clumps in your pipes.
  4. eggshells
  5. Pasta, rice, and bread: These starches expand with water and can cause blockages.
  6. Gum: It’s not good due to its sticky nature.
  7. Produce stickers: They can clump up with other debris to form clogs.
  8. Baby wipes, napkins, and paper towels: These paper products don’t dissolve well and can clog pipes.
  9. Feminine hygiene products and their packaging.
  10. Fibrous materials: Such as cotton balls, cotton swabs, and certain foods.
  11. Cat litter: Even if labeled as flushable.
  12. “Flushable” products: Such as toddler wipes and sanitary items.
  13. Band-aids, dental floss, and similar items: They can tangle and create clogs.
  14. Razors, blades, syringes, and needles: Better dispose of in a safe place to prevent injuries.
  15. Condoms, balloons, and rubber gloves: They can obstruct pipes and cause damage.
  16. Prescription medications, lotions, and cosmetics: Dispose of them properly to avoid environmental harm.

By being mindful of what goes down your drains, you can prevent costly repairs and keep your plumbing system running smoothly. Happy plumbing! 

Brandon and Family, Licensed plumbing contractor

Family Owned & Operated

My name is Brandon Mageno. I'm the founder, President, and CEO of Big B's Plumbing Company. As the founder, I never thought about being average or good. My passion for being the best plumbing company in Southern California has always been the same. Providing plumbing services to this great county is simply in my DNA. Nothing makes me happier than to see a satisfied customer. Learn More About Us

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