An issue such as overflowing sinks and clogged drains are a little hard to ignore, especially when the entire house begins to smell like something rotten. At times, blockages lead to all the sewage water getting in our homes, which is not a pretty picture to start with. Unfortunately, a clogged drain is not something we can forever get rid of; we can only prevent it and cure it but we can never dust it off our hands forever. This means that it is necessary for each one of us to learn ways that teach us how to a make drains cleaner so that when the time comes, we can get to work right away.
What Are The Types Of Blockages?
If we really need an answer to the question of how to make drains cleaner, then it is better to understand what we are dealing with first. The cleaning part will come later. Here are the 2 types of blockages that occur most frequently in our homes and something that we can take care of on our own;
Clog In the Main Line:
A clog like this one often takes us by surprise as they happen all of a sudden with no warnings signs whatsoever. When the main lines get clogged; it leads to problems in more than just one sink or bath. The reason behind this kind of clog usually means that the main line beneath our house or the one that goes to the streets has formed some kind of blockage. Knowing how to make drains cleaner will not help with this kind of clog as it needs a more elaborate plan.
Clog In the Sink:
Once we learn how to make drains cleaner, a clog in the sink would be no problem for us. It is easier to deal with a clog like this. Most commonly, a clog like this occurs after an object gets stuck in the drains. Things like soaps, debris, hair and lint cause this sort of blockage. Once we apply the process of making the drain cleaner, the accumulated water will itself start to drain.
Methods That Teach Us How to Make Drains Cleaner:
If you are wondering how to make drains cleaner by using simple, everyday things at home, then here’s a complete step-by-step guide for you:
1. White Vinegar:
The first step towards cleaning the drain is using white vinegar. Pour a glass full of white vinegar down the sink pipe and leave it for a while, at least 30 minutes to be exact.
2. Hot water:
Keep a large pot of hot boiling water at the ready. 30 minutes after pouring the white vinegar, pour the hot water directly inside the drain. This process will largely help in getting rid of the bad smell and minor blockage. If this doesn’t work, there are plenty of other ways that can tell us how to make drains cleaner.
If the above methods fail to clean the stains and bad odor in the drain, then bring the bleach into play. Be careful though; use only those kinds of bleach that are acceptable for porcelain sinks and do not harm the color or drain pipes in any way. Pour them directly from the middle of the drain pipe and leave it. After a few minutes, rinse the bleach from around the sink and then drain the pipe.
2. Baking Soda and Vinegar:
Upon being asked how to make drains cleaner, most people would most likely come up with this method. Using baking soda and vinegar for cleaning drains is one of the most widely used methods but most times, it is done wrongly. Here’s how to do it the right way:
Mix together an equal amount of baking soda and vinegar. It would be best to use a measuring cup. The ideal amount is a 1/3rd cup for both concoctions.
As soon as the mixture begins to fizz, which will happen immediately so stay ready, pour it directly inside the drain pipe.
Almost immediately, the fizzy mixture will work effectively in removing a major portion of gunk from the drainage pipe.
Let the mixture stay in the drainage pipe for as long as possible. Rinse with hot water only.
If you are not a fan of bleach, then try lemon as it could do wonders to make your sink cleaner than ever. The best part about using lemons as one of the methods to make drains cleaner is that it can be left in the drain for as long as possible. Also, we always have lemon or lime juice in our homes and we can do these treatments whenever we feel like our brains are not up to the par.
4. Ice Cubes:
Ice cubes are an excellent source of removing hard stuck materials from the drain. If the disposal works just fine but still emits a horrible smell, then make sure to use ice cubes to scour out the smell.
How to Unclog the Blocked Drains:
Now that we know how to make drains cleaner, the next order of business is to learn how to unblock them and rid them of the large particles that have blocked the whole system so that it doesn’t create a hindrance in performing different functions of everyday life.
1. Wire Hanger:
When all of your “how to make drains cleaner“ tricks have failed to work and you can feel something very stubborn stuck in the drainage pipe, it’s time to get a little aggressive. Take out any old coat wire hanger. Straighten them out using your hands as best as you can. The straighter they hanger is, the easier it will be to fish the clogging material out. Once the wire hanger is all straightened out, bend one corner into a hook shape. Remove the drain cover and use this make-shift hook to remove the big particles. Make sure to pull them out as opposed to pushing them back in. Once done, run the hot water down the drain and it will solve your problem.
There are all sorts of vacuum cleaners available out there but our focus is on how to make the drains cleaner and for that, we’ll need the one that deals with both wet cleaning and dry cleaning; a wet and dry vacuum cleaner to be more specific. There couldn’t be a more perfect tool to unclog drains other than a vacuum cleaner as its strong suction power takes care of all the nasty stuff clogging our drains. Don’t forget to set the vacuum’s setting to wet cleaning to avoid all sorts of mess. Just set the vacuum to its highest setting and get to work.
2. Use Your Plumbing Skills:
If you are even a little bit handy with tools like screwdrivers and toothbrushes, then you got this under control! The procedure is simple enough:
Keep a bucket at the ready to catch any spillage that happens during the process.
Next, using a wrench, get rid of all the nuts that attach the pipe to the sink.
Once all the nuts are loose, remove the pipe and turn it upside down.
Give it a shake to remove all the debris and dirt from the pipe. Use a long thin piece of wood or a tool to remove the dirt.
The good old plunger exists for the very reason to unclog these difficult drainage systems. In order to make sure it is effective, take the help of a dish detergent to make dirt easier to remove. Pour the detergent and hot water together to make things slippery and soapy inside the pipe. Use a plunger and the drain will unclog in no time. Oh, and if you were also wondering how to make the drains cleaner, then this method will serve a dual purpose.
Tools like Millipede are just made to help you get rid of all your drainage related problems. All we need to do is unroll it, stick it inside the drainage pipe, crank it and pull it back out and you are done. Within seconds, the sink will begin to drain all the standing water.
How to Detect a Clogged Sewer Line:
The signs are the same, or at least to inexperienced people like most of us they are the same. How could we tell that the overflow of water is from a temporary clog or whether it is the sewerage line that is backing up in our house? For all we know, we are learning how to make drains cleaner when the issue is entirely something else. Here is list of tell tale signs of a clogged sewer line that will end this perplexity for us:
When there is an issue with the sewerage lines, it effects more than just one sink or drain in our house. If you notice that multiple baths, showers and sinks are causing trouble and making that funny gurgling voice, then it is definitely a sewerage problem. The problem is even more major if a sink or bath that has not been in use for a long time is also falling victim to clogging.
When drains clog, we go for the plunger. However, if the plunger only pushes the water into another drain and plunging from one drain is leaking the water from the other, then know that it is your sewerage line that is causing the problem.
When you notice that your toilet isn’t functioning properly upon being flushed or that your shower drains are over flowing, then it’s a sign that something is stopping the water from draining, most likely a block in the main sewerage line.
The smell of sewerage water is just too nasty to ignore. This kind of smell rarely occurs when only a drain is blocked but in the case of sewerage blockage, the smell will tell it all.
How to Deal With a Clogged Sewerage Line:
Most of the times, the clogged sewerage line is a challenge to deal with and requires a professional plumber to fix it. Nonetheless, home owners can still take some measures that will prevent matters form getting worse.
First, we need to stop the water from flowing anywhere in the house since the water has no place to go and usage of water will only fill the house with dirty water everywhere. So, the first step should be to close off the main water valve of the house.
The next step should be to call the plumber to take care of things. However, if you still feel you can handle it then you need tools for this; specifically a plumber’s snake and a sewer camera.
A plumber’s snake is a very long and flexible sort of tool that can go from one drain to another with ease and clear out any obstructions in the path. A normal sewerage clog can easily be cleared with a plumber’s snake but in case the problem is more complicated than that, we’ll need a sewer camera. A sewer camera is a fiber optic sewer camera that provides the visuals of the insides of the sewerage line and helps in determining what is causing all the clogging. If it is something that can be removed easily, then you have yourself covered. In the situation where the clogged stuff cannot be removed, then a professional plumber is the last resort and only he can take care of it.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure:
Not many people consider this but there are actually ways to prevent this dilemma from happening in the first place. If all the methods explained in how to make drains cleaner are used every once in a while, then chances of clogging individual drains will be minimized by a large margin.
Other than that, prevention techniques involve using enzymes to prevent any sort of blockage in the plumbing pipes. Here’s how it can be done:
1. Using Enzymes:
Acquire A Bottle Of Enzymes:
There are several types of enzymes available in the market and all of them work in the same manner. So, choosing one shouldn’t be a problem.
Remember that hot water is your drain’s best friend. So whether it is prevention you are going for or this is the method you chose from how to make drains cleaner-list, always keep a container full of hot boiling water nearby whenever you are taking care of the drain pipes. Since enzymes are more effective when surrounded by heat, hot water is necessary here too.
Prepare The Enzymes For Use:
Some enzymes are in a ready-to-use state while others need to be mixed with water. Either way, prepare yours according to the instructions on the pack.
Pour In The Drain:
Make sure to put the enzymes in the drain at a time when it can be left there for a long period of time. Unlike the methods of how to make drains cleaner, this one requires the chemicals to stay inside for as long as possible. The best time is to pour it in your sinks, drains and toilet at night time so that when you wake up and rinse and flush the enzymes, everything is clear.
Pour Hot Water:
As mentioned earlier, hot water is important for cleaning the drain. So, rinse the drains in the morning with a bucket full of hot water.
Remember that we are not talking about how to make drains cleaner; rather, we are discussing ways to prevent it. Therefore, make it a routine to use these enzymes at least once a month and you’ll not be dealing with a drain blockage problem for a long time.
2. Keep Cooking Grease Away:
Grease from food items are a major source of clogging the drains. It appears pretty harmless when they are on the surface but when they go down the drainage pipes, they cool off and become hard, hence blocking the system and clogging the drains. It is better to get rid of the cooking grease in a bin before putting the plates and pots in the sink. It will also help us accomplish our drive to make the drains cleaner.
3. Drain Screens:
One of the major sources of all this clogging is small inconsequential particles that escape into the drains without us noticing them such as hair, debris, soap, food particles, toothpastes caps, bottles, brushes and just anything that is sneaky enough to go down the drain and then get stuck; hence clogging the entire drainage line. To prevent these small things from entering the drainage system, it is a smart idea to change drain screens at least once every two months. If you are worried about the cost, then don’t fret because they come very cheap.
Now that we know how to make drains cleaner, how to keep them that way, how to prevent them from getting clogged and in case of blockage, how to deal with them, we can safely say that a clogged sink will not terrify us anymore, if we let it get clogged in the first place that is!
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