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How Drain Cleaning Can Save You Money and Keep Your Drains Running Smoothly

Drain cleaning may not be on your to-do list, but it’s one of the most important home maintenance tasks you can undertake. Regularly cleaning your drains prevents bigger problems from arising and saves you money in the long run.

Drain Cleaning

Avoid using store-bought liquid drain cleaners, as they can damage your pipes and contaminate the environment. Try using a natural, homemade drain cleaner that involves baking soda and vinegar. Visit to learn more.

Nothing puts a damper on dinner or ruins a shower like a clogged drain. A few simple tools and some know-how can wash away clogs and get your life back on track in no time.

First, check to see if there’s a visible obstruction blocking the drain. If so, remove the drain cover and pull out any clumps of hair or other debris that you can see. You can also try using a bent wire coat hanger to hook a clog and then slowly pull it out of the drain. If these manual efforts don’t work, it’s time to turn to chemical solutions.

Commercial drain clog removers are made of powerful chemicals that can dissolve hair, fats, oils, and soap scum quickly. However, repeated use of these products can damage pipes by softening or dissolving them. If you’re still experiencing problems, consider hiring a professional plumber.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda and boiling water to clear a drain. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, then immediately follow it with half a cup of vinegar. The combination will bubble and break up clogs, then move them down the drainpipes as you flush the drain with hot water.

If the baking soda and vinegar method doesn’t work, you can try using a pipe snake. These narrow, flexible rods are designed to snake into pipes and can break up and push clogs out. To use a pipe snake, remove the pop-up assembly from the sink and feed a few feet of cable down the drain while cranking the handle.

If a clog is particularly stubborn, you may need to use a hand auger or power drain snake. These motorized rods have long, flexible cables that can reach deep into a pipe to break up and remove clogs. Plug in the auger or snake and position it near the clog. Activate the motor and feed the cable down the drain, moving a few feet at a time, before turning off the auger and flushing the pipe. Repeat if necessary until the clog is gone.

Foul Odors

A hot bath is a wonderful way to relax, but the smell of a stinky drain can ruin the experience. Foul odors often result from the accumulation of organic matter in your home’s sink drains, which can also lead to clogs. Fortunately, you can use natural ingredients to deodorize your sink drains and keep them running smoothly.

The first step to a clean, fresh-smelling drain is to empty the drain opening of any hair, food scraps, or soap scum. Rinsing a drain with hot water can also help.

Baking soda and vinegar are effective deodorizers that can be used alone or in combination. If you decide to use vinegar, warm it up on the stove before pouring it down the drain. The acidic substance can soften grease, soap scum, and other residue while killing bacteria and suppressing odor-causing molds and mildews.

You can also use a plastic drain snake to remove gunk and grime from your drains. The sharp, tough bristles on the tool can break up hair, gunk, and other debris that accumulates in your pipes and collects inside your sink. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and protective eyewear when using a drain snake. After you’ve removed as much grime as possible, rinse the snake and your drain with hot water.

If you still smell a foul odor after cleaning your drains, one possibility is that the p-trap in your sink is dry. The p-trap is designed to block odors from the sewage system, but it can’t work properly when dry. One easy solution is to run hot water down your sink drain for about 15 seconds after each use.

Another common cause of a smelly drain is a sewer line leak or blockage. While this isn’t something you can fix on your own, a plumber may be able to help.

Sewage Smells

A musty, sewage-like smell coming from your kitchen sink or shower drain can indicate that something is wrong. Thankfully, a few simple steps can stop the foul odors and restore your pipes to their original state.

The first step to eliminating a sewer smell is identifying which drain is giving off the smell. This will help you determine the source of the smell, which could be a buildup of biofilm, a blockage, a problem with the house trap, or a clogged sewer line.

A clogged drain can often be fixed using a plunger, but if you suspect that a more serious issue is to blame, it may be necessary to remove the house trap and disassemble the pipe. If you are not comfortable doing this yourself, a professional plumber can remove the trap for you and repair the underlying issue.

Foul-smelling kitchen drains are common and usually caused by non-decomposable products that are washed down the drain. Using a baking soda and vinegar mixture can help eliminate the odors by breaking down the food and allowing it to wash away with the rest of the garbage.

A blocked vent stack on the roof can also cause smelly kitchen and bathroom drains. This can be due to the buildup of hydrogen sulfide gas, which can result in an unpleasant, rotten egg smell. Fortunately, this can be easily repaired by a professional plumber or by installing new venting.

The most severe of all drain odor problems comes from a sewer system that is backing up or clogged. A backed-up or clogged sewer pipe can release a mixture of toxic gases, including hydrogen sulfide, methane, and carbon monoxide, into your home. These gases can be extremely dangerous to your family’s health and even fatal in high concentrations.

A clogged sewer line or sewer vent can be difficult to detect and fix. However, a trained professional can use special cameras to locate the exact location of the clog and then use either a drain snake or hydro-jetting equipment to clear it. These tools can be used in narrow spaces where a traditional snake cannot.

Clogged Toilets

If your toilet is repeatedly getting clogged, you may have a problem with your sewer or drain line. Every toilet, sink, tub, and washing machine in your home connects to this line that carries waste away into the municipal sewage removal system or your septic tank. Various things can clog this line from the inside, like wads of flushed material, or from outside sources, like broken lines that allow dirt and debris to enter and clog the lines.

If you don’t have a plunger or the thought of plunging your toilet makes you squeamish, try a homemade drain cleaner made with baking soda and vinegar. These non-toxic household products work just as well as commercial drain cleaners and are safe for your pipes and the environment. Start by boiling half a gallon of water. Pour the hot water into your toilet and wait a few minutes. Then, add one cup of baking soda and two cups of white vinegar. The mixture will fizz a lot and break up most clogs. If the mixture isn’t working after a few minutes, try adding a few squirts of dish soap to the mix. The slippery soap will help to loosen any bodily “unmentionables” and send them on their way.

Another option is to try using an auger, which is a long rod that snakes into the drain to dislodge and remove clogs. You can find these at hardware stores or online. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use, but be sure to wear rubber gloves and safety goggles when handling this tool. You will also want to take care not to scratch or otherwise damage the porcelain toilet bowl.

You can also try using an enzyme-based drain cleaner, such as BioBen. This product breaks down organic waste and can be used in conjunction with other clog-removal tools, such as a drain snake or the toilet plunger. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use, and be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize the auger and any other tools afterward.

If none of these methods are working or if you are unable to locate the clog, it may be time to call a professional plumber. However, if you are able to unclog your toilet manually, there is no need for a plumber; just be careful next time to make sure nothing is accidentally flushed down the drain!