When you’re used to something working correctly you expect nothing less! In the case of this blog, slow-moving drains can cause plenty of frustration! You think everything is working fine and then all of the sudden you start to realize there’s something wrong… why isn’t this draining!?! It was fine yesterday!!! It’s a common situation and one that many people prefer to fix themselves rather than calling out a plumber. Totally understandable! Since that’s the case, let us help you out today by sharing our knowledge with you, and providing natural, safe, non-toxic options for you to fix that slow-moving drain driving you crazy!
Narrowing it down…
There are 4 different types of substance clogs you can run into; 2 kinds found in the kitchen, and 2 found in the bathroom. That narrows this search for answers down quite a bit! Once you’ve figured out which type of clog you have you will be able to gather the right tools to fix the problem, no stress, and probably only a little mess (depending on the clog)!
- The #1 cause of kitchen clogs is FOG (Fat, Oil, & Grease), this means that if you decide it won’t hurt to pour any excess fat, oil, or grease down the kitchen sink drain it’s going to disappear down the drain just fine, but out of sight does not mean out of mind in this case. For example, liquid fat will cool and harden in the pipes, getting thicker (especially if you’re doing this often) until you have a slow drain or a complete stoppage.
- The second kind of clog you can run into in the kitchen is a food particle clog. This is when large pieces of food get trapped in the curved pipe beneath the sink (the p-trap) and slow down the regular flow of things. This is also a very common occurrence.
- Hair- yeah, it’s something we all cringe a bit at, but it’s reality and the most common cause of bathroom clogs! This is a clog that usually occurs right below the drain cover, and isn’t the most difficult to clean out as long as it hasn’t been building up over time.
- Soap Scum- Soap residue and particles often can coat the interior of pipes and cause a blockage. Though it’s not as common, these types of clogs can be worse to deal with in that they can get so bad that they corrode the pipes!
There are plenty of varying solutions to a slow drain/clog. A large number of these solutions are chemical, and many of us are cautious of using strong, dangerous chemicals in our homes. That being said, there are different household tools that can fix a clog as well as mixtures that you don’t need to run to the store for ingredients.
Mixtures that work well include a natural liquid dish detergent and hot water combined to remove grease or fat from clogged pipes. It’s as simple as heating 2 liters of water to a boil, stirring in the dish detergent, and slowly pouring it down the drain. Make sure to use natural dish detergent, and flush the drain after this process with hot tap water. Don’t expect this to work immediately, it may multiple tries! Another mixture that you can try is salt and hot water! This follows the same steps as the dish detergent and hot water mixture, and should help remove fats and grease from those clogged pipes!
These are just two types of natural solutions for you to try, I know there are many more out there, and some include essential oils which I think is awesome! If you are unsure of what is safe or good for your plumbing, contact your plumber to help you make the right decision!
Household Item Solutions:
It comes as no surprise that a plunger would be useful for a clog, but specifically what kind of clog? A rubber plunger is often best used if a kitchen sink is clogged by food pieces or objects lodged in the pipes. Because of the pressure and release, the plunger can create, this is a pretty good option to try! You will need to fill the sink to about halfway with warm water before using the plunger. This should dislodge anything in the pipes and allow it to pass while you’re rinsing the drain.
Another item you may not think to use is a long wire hook. This works on hair or small objects caught in bathroom drains. After removing the drain cover and making sure you’re wearing gloves and have a wire that’s bent into a hook, insert the hook into the drain and do your best to hook and pull out whatever is clogging the drain. You can repeat this until it’s cleared. This method works well because a wire hook is safer and much more preferable for pulling out anything found in a bathroom drain!
Take Preventative Measures!
If you injure yourself, often after the injury has healed you make the effort to NOT repeat what gave you the injury in the first place! Ideally, this theory of learning from mistakes or dealing with a problem helps us to make better or safer choices in life. It’s no different with your plumbing at home! Here are a few Do’s & Do Not’s to help you avoid continuous clog issues…
DO NOT (and I mean at all costs if you can help it) put FOG (fats, oils, & grease) down your drain or garbage disposal! Instead, let it cool and/or dispose of it in the trash before washing the dish or utensil!
DO dispose of food waste & veggie peels in the trash! Wait, why!?!? Well, foods like onions, potatoes, eggshells, banana peels, pasta, celery, etc. are a no-go for your garbage disposal! check-in with your disposal’s manufacturer guide for details on what food is best to NOT introduce to your garbage disposal!
DO NOT use hot water to melt fats, even though it pushes those fats down the drain initially, it will later cool off, harden, and clog the pipes!
DO install a hair filter in your bathroom drains to help deal with the unpleasant issue of clogged bathroom drains you Really don’t want to have to unclog personally!
Lastly… DO flush your kitchen drains once a month with salt and hot water to help prevent grease build-up!
Hopefully these natural tips for clearing a slow-moving drain or clog help you out!!! And if it’s something too difficult or seems to be an issue beyond your control, give us a call or text! We’ll be happy to send someone out to look at the issue and give you a hand!
See you next time!