The first time you have to deal with a clogged drain can be daunting, but it does not always have to be a mess and a hassle. Set a regular maintenance routine. It is the best way to keep the drains clog-free in your home. It does not take much time or much money to perform this regular maintenance. And it can save you from the cost of a severely clogged drain.
Also, keep a drain's four biggest problem items from going down the drain: cooking grease, coffee grounds, hair, and soap scum. Collect cooking grease in an old jar or tin and dispose of it in the garbage, compost or throw out coffee grounds, and get a good mesh catch to cover the drain and capture the hair and soap scum.
Weekly Drain Maintenance
Weekly, there are a few things you can do to give your drain the best chances for not being clogged. Once a week, flush your drain by boiling a large pot of water. Pour one-half of the pot down the drain. Wait five minutes and pour the rest. It's a simple thing that can help dislodge any grease or debris lurking in your drain. The hot water is perfect for melting any grease buildup and only takes a few minutes to do.
Monthly Drain Maintenance
Use an enzymatic cleaner once a month to keep your drains fresh and clean, consider using a product like Bi-O-Kleen's Bacout Stain and Odor Eliminator for this purpose.
Enzymatic cleaners are great at breaking down organic matter in the drains that may not have made it all the way down.
Drains With Disposals
Run ice cubes and orange peels through the garbage disposal to knock off any residue on your disposal blades. Make sure to slice the peels, because large peels can jam a disposal.
Ice sharpens the blades easily and dislodges any food remnants that may have slipped under the blades or has become attached to them.
Seasonal Drain Maintenance
Two to three times a year, flush the drain with baking soda and vinegar. Run hot water down the drain. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of vinegar with the hot water down the drain. This combo foams up and removes debris, and it also helps kill bacteria and remove odors. Do this little bit of maintenance anytime or when odors start to become noticeable in the drain.
Bad Drain Woes
If you have a bad drain that is not flushing, then you might need to try one of the conventional heavy duty drain cleaners like Drano or Mister Plumber. Lye is the active ingredient in most popular store-bought drain cleaners. This caustic ingredient dissolves soap scum and hair. You will need to pour some down the drain, follow it with some water, and wait for the lye to start doing its job. These drain cleaners have harsh chemicals and should only be used sparingly. Do regular maintenance using the non-caustic ingredients regularly.