In our previous articles, we mentioned the importance of good maintenance habits when it comes to your plumbing such as, recognizing signs that suggest your drain is clogged and how to go about preventing and fixing a burst pipe. Now let’s dive into what those good maintenance habits are and what are some practical steps you should take to keep the drains in your home nice and clean.
How Often Should I Clean My Bathroom Drains?
You don’t have to wait for the drain in your shower or bathroom sink to clog, for you to clean it. It is recommended that for good maintenance, you clean your shower drains and bathroom sink drains yourself, once a month. But for a thorough cleaning, you should have your drains cleaned professionally once a year.
Professional vs. DIY Drain Cleaning
Most people who decide to clean drains themselves often resort to using store bought drain cleaners that consist of harsh chemicals, designed to eat through whatever is left in your shower drain or bathroom sink drain. Though these chemicals will usually do the job of dissolving buildup in your pipes, they are so harsh that they will degrade the pipes themselves. This inturn can cause leaks and pipe bursting in the long run, as your pipes become more fragile. Not only are the chemicals harmful to your plumbing system, you can imagine, they are also harmful to your health as well.
A professional drain cleaning steers away from using such chemicals and is based on more effective methods, such as hydro jetting. Hydro Jetting is an efficient, economical and environmentally safe way to clean your bathroom drains, kitchen drains and sewer pipes. Hydro-Jetting uses high velocity water pressure to blast away years of accumulated scale, silt, sand, roots and grease build-up on the inside walls of your pipes.
A professional cleaning cleanses deeper into your drain system to prevent clogs that a DYI method may not reach. Though it is still important to clean your shower drains yourself, a regular professional cleaning, will ensure your plumbing system is well maintained.
How to Clean Your Bathroom Drains
1. Use a Shower Drain Screen or Guard
A shower or bathtub drain screen, is an excellent little tool, that can prevent hair buildup in your bathroom drains. Clean out your shower drain screen once a week, from any debris. This is an inexpensive method, that will go a long way in keeping your bathtub and shower drains clean and free of pesky, hair buildup.
2. Control what goes down your drain
Though a drain screen will help catch hair from going down your shower drain, there are other everyday, personal care items, that still go down your bathroom drains regularly. Some of these culprits include hair gel, shaving cream, mouthwash and toothpaste. Though preventing most of these products from going down the bathroom drains is mission impossible, being aware that they do indeed cause buildup overtime, is an important step to realizing just how important regular drain cleaning is. Decreasing the amount of products you use at a time will also decrease your chances of a major buildup.
3. The Boiling Water Method
Running hot tap water after depositing some of the products we mentioned above, into your bathroom drains, will help to keep your drains free of buildup. Another common way to keep your drains clean and free of clogs is by pouring boiling water down your drains. The high temperature of the water will dissolve any buildup from various products. Doing this about once a week is a simple step that can help prevent future clogs.
4. The Vinegar and Baking Soda Method
When combined, baking soda and vinegar create carbon dioxide that bubbles through your pipes and helps to loosens debris in your drains. To clean your bathroom drains using this method, simply pour ½ cup of baking soda down your drain, follow with ½ cup of vinegar and plug your drain. Let the bubbling work it’s magic for up to 10 minutes. Unplug your drain and pour in a kettle of boiling water. The boiling water is the key that helps to create pressure and push the loosened debris down.
5. Enzyme Cleaners
Enzyme cleaners are made of beneficial bacteria, which feed on organic materials such as mildew or hair. Though these cleaners will not work on unclogging a bathroom sink or shower drain, they are effective in maintaining your drains and keeping them clean. Enzyme cleaners are safe for humans and pets. They do not damage your pipes, like a chemical cleaner, because this bacteria feeds on organic material, not metal. The bacteria multiplies throughout your plumbing system on its own until there is no more organic material to feed on.
The answer to how to clean your shower drain or sink drain, may seem like a lot of work. But taking these steps regularly, will pay off in the long run in preventing annoying clogs and other serious and expensive plumbing issues. A major part of the work when it comes to these good maintenance habits, rests on you as the homeowner. However, calling in a professional once a year for a thorough drain cleaning, should not be overlooked and forgotten.
Here at VIP Sewer and Drain Services, our professionals are ready to assist you with your drain cleaning needs! For any emergency situations, we are available 24/7.