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How To Clear Your Clogged Drain And Prevent Future Clogs

The drain in your bathroom sink and tub can easily become clogged from hairs and soap scum. The key to having fast-draining pipes is to clean them regularly to prevent clog build-up and keep as much debris as possible from being washed down the drain. Then, you won't have to deal with a stopped-up sink drain. Here are tips to clean your drains and keep them free of build-up and clogs.

Unclog with a Drain Snake

The quickest and safest way to clear any drain of a clog is to use a drain snake and an electric drill. When you use drain cleaner to clear a clog from your drain, the chemicals you dump down the drain end up in the water supply and can also damage the plumbing pipes in your home.

In May 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey studied contaminants in stream water samples across the country. They found persistent detergent metabolites in 69% of streams tested and 66% contained disinfectants. Not all drain cleaner chemicals can be removed from the water at the treatment plant before it gets put back into rivers and streams, harming the environment. 

Most home and garden stores sell drain snakes you can attach onto a power drill. Remove the plug or drain cover from your clogged drain, then feed the snake down into the drain until you reach the clog. Run the drill and the snake end will rotate inside your pipe, cleaning the clog from inside. Remove the snake and rinse fresh water into the drain to clean any remnants from the clog.

Use a Cleaning Brush and Elbow Grease

After you have cleaned any clogs from your bathroom drain, do regular cleaning maintenance on your drains. Each time you clean your bathroom sink and tub, take a few minutes to clean out the inside of the drain. When you wash at the sink, you also wash soap down into the drain. Over time, the soap leaves a slimy residue inside your drain and pipes that can accumulate causing odors and trapping hairs and fibers rinsed into the drain. 

Remove the sink plug or drain cover. Using water, bathroom cleaner, and a plastic bristled brush that will fit inside your drain, brush around the opening and down inside the drain. Be sure to reach as far as the brush will go. Also, brush to clean the sink plug or drain cover, removing any residue from them. 

Use a Drain Hair Trap

To help keep your drain free of hairs and any fabric fibers that can become stuck onto soap residue, get a drain hair trap. A drain hair trap is a plastic cover with tiny holes that fits over your drain, allowing water to flow into your drain, but trapping any hairs and fibers.

Once the hair trap become clogged with hairs and other fibers, you clean it off and toss the clog into the trash. 

Make a Drain Pipe Trap

You can also make your own drain pipe trap to collect hairs down inside your drain pipe. You will need:

  • 18 inches of ball chain
  • Large-sized plastic coated paper clip
  • 8 wire twist-ties

To make the drain pipe trap:

  1. Straighten the paper clip, then twist it to hook it to one end of the ball chain. 
  2. Loop the paper clip together to create a ring. 
  3. Twist the twist-ties onto the ball chain so their ends point outward, away from the chain. 
  4. Remove the drain stopper from your sink drain and feed the chain and twist ties down into the drain pipe. You might need to bend the ends of the twist-ties a little to get them to fit into the pipe. 
  5. Set the paper clip ring at the drain opening and it will hold the ball chain suspended inside the pipe. As you use the sink, hairs will collect on the twist-ties on the ball chain, then you can remove the chain periodically to clean any hairs and fibers that collect on it.

Use these tips to keep your sink and tub drains free of clogs. If you still have trouble, contact a company that offers drain cleaning services, such as Electric Eel Sewer & Drains Specialists.