Chemical drain cleaner

How to Clear a Clogged Drain

Common Causes of Drain Clogs

Toilet Clogs

You’ve heard the toilet rules since you were potty trained, but let’s repeat them one more time: the only waste that should get flushed down the toilet is organic waste and toilet paper.

Items that are commonly flushed but should not be flushed include:

  • Paper towels
  • Tissues
  • Feminine care products
  • Q tips
  • Cotton pads or balls

These products do not break down in the water the same way that toilet paper does, so they will cause clogs in your toilet over time.

Kitchen Sink Clogs

You might be under the impression that your kitchen garbage disposal is for all garbage and that it can handle anything you toss down the drain. This would be false. Your garbage disposal is meant to handle scraps of food in small quantities, the pieces that wouldn’t come off of the plate when you emptied it over the trash can.

Here are some food items that should never be put down the garbage disposal:

  • Fats, oils, and grease. They will solidify and clog your pipes.
  • Fibrous foods tend to tangle around your garbage disposal hammers or get caught around other debris.
  • Eggshells and coffee grounds get caught in the nooks and crannies of your pipes and can cause clogs with other debris.
  • Starchy foods like pasta and rice expand when they contact water and could lead to major clogs.

Bathroom Sink and Shower Clogs

Hair is the number one culprit of clogged sink drains, and shower drains. The shower makes perfect sense; as you shampoo, condition, rinse, and maybe even comb through your hair, all of those loose strands fall out and flow right down the drain, at least until they’re stopped by other debris or a drain grate.

But why does so much hair end up in the bathroom sink? Think about all of the times you’ve brushed your hair over the sink or curled or styled your hair in this same location. All of those loose strands have to end up somewhere.

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

When you encounter a clogged drain, it can be incredibly attempting to reach for a bottle of Drano or another chemical drain cleaner and pour it down the problem drain; however, we strongly recommend against this. Chemical drain cleaners are made up of incredibly corrosive products that are meant to heat up and melt through whatever gunk has clogged your drain. But those same corrosive chemicals will eventually eat away at your home’s plumbing materials as well.

Not to mention that if your skin or eyes comes in contact with the chemicals, you could end up with a burn or worse.

At-Home Clog Remedies

Drain Snake

A drain snake is a great way to clear a clogged drain, especially if you know the clog is caused by hair. This is because barbs are running up the shaft of the snake that will latch onto any hair and pull it all out of the drain in one fell swoop.

Baking Soda & Salt

Another way to clear your clogged drain is with a mixture of household ingredients. Pour equal parts baking soda and salt down your drain and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then flush it down with piping hot water.

Vinegar, Salt, & Lemon

Another at-home mixture is equal parts salt and vinegar, then half a part of lemon juice. Pour it down the drain and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, and flush it with hot water.

Salt is one of the main ingredients because its coarseness helps to cut through any slimy grime. With these at-home mixtures, you might need to try them two or three times before seeing the best results.

If the at-home methods don’t work for clearing your drains, give our team a call instead! Visit our website or call us at (626) 414-5583 for scheduling information!