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  • Madalin Cristian Stinga

Most Common Causes Of Clogged Drains and How to Prevent Them


Regardless of whether we are talking about sinks in the bathroom or kitchen, we have faced the problem of clogging them at least once in our lives. The causes are well known, but many users prefer not to take precautions to get rid of such problems.



Sinks are often clogged with food or household waste irresponsibly thrown away by users. The kitchen produces a mixture of food debris, oil, and detergent that sticks to the drain pipes preventing the water from draining at a normal flow. For many, the leak seems strong and large enough to withstand a few crumbs of bread, rice grains, or coffee grounds. This is not true. The amalgam of food scraps sticks together with the help of oily substances used in cooking and ends up damaging the sink and draining it.


In the bathroom, the sink is usually clogged with scraps of soap, toothpaste, or other cleaning products, plus hair resulting from activities such as shaving, combing.


Clogging the kitchen sink and pipes


Clogging of the kitchen sink is therefore caused by food debris that settles on the drain pipes when washing dishes. These are glued with the help of oil and grease thrown into the sink. Most often we will notice that the drainage of the water from the sink will be difficult, but there are also


cases in which, due to the deposits, we will feel an unpleasant smell that will announce the problem created. In this case, we must intervene immediately and unclog the sink with the help of special products or some homemade products. Also, depending on the possibilities, we can use various tools for unclogging the sink and drain pipes.



Oil and grease discarded in the sink


The cooking oil we use to cook is harmful to the kitchen sink, especially in combination with food scraps. It is known that it has a devastating effect on the environment, which is why we do not recommend throwing it in the sink or toilet. It has been established that one liter of oil pollutes up to one million liters of water. Given that water is the source of life, often unavailable to certain areas of the globe, we must take the necessary measures to protect it. In our case, we also get the advantage of not clogging the kitchen sink.


The same can be said for other types of fats. These are not dissolved by dishwashing detergents, as we would assume, they stick easily to the drain pipes once they have penetrated the sink siphon.


The deposition of oil and grease on the walls of the sewer system causes more damage than we think. In addition to the constant clogging and odors they emit, they can also have a negative influence on the sewage treatment plants that they can block.


Leftover food left in the sink


The most used object in the kitchen is the sink, which we use frequently before and during cooking, but also after meals when we have to wash the dishes. This is the reason why many times we wake up that the water does not drain normally and that a bad smell comes from the drain. This is due to the food debris that remains deposited thereafter washing dishes.



The kitchen sink hosts an impressive number of germs (more than 500,000) even ten times more than the toilet bowl does. We know that most people clean the sink much more often than they clean the toilet bowl, but most of them forget to disinfect this place where all the fats and food scraps are collected.


Therefore, we recommend that you take great care of the food leftovers that you throw in the sink. Foods such as rice, coffee, flour, small eggshells, or various pasta can stick to the pipes and even increase their volume in contact with water, which favors clogging the pipes.


Clogging the sink and pipes in the bathroom


Clogging the sink in the bathroom is a common problem if we are not careful to protect it. A sieve for the sink will get us out of trouble. As in the case of the kitchen sink, various debris sticks to the drain pipes, especially hair that comes in contact with various sticky cleaning products or personal hygiene.


Hair, one of the enemies of sinks


Leakage from the bathroom sink collects large amounts of hair. If another kind of dirt and dust is added to it, we can be sure that dangerous bacteria and mold will form here. Therefore, in addition to the fact that the water in the sink stubbornly refuses to drain, we can encounter problems that endanger our health. The bathroom sink cannot cope with the hairs, so we recommend using a filter that will protect the drain system and reduce the possibility of clogging.



Detergents accumulated on the drain pipes


Another factor that can lead to unwanted buildup on bathroom drains is the detergents used to clean various objects. They stick easily and create a mixture of hair, dust, and other debris removed from the bathroom sink. Detergents, toothpaste, soap, and shower gel can cause a real headache, leading to situations where only the help of a plumber can save us.


How to unscrew the sink and drain pipes


Unclogging the sink and pipes, both in the bathroom and in the kitchen, can be done with professional solutions or with homemade solutions, from simple ingredients: baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice.


When unclogging substances are not sufficient, tools for unclogging the sink or pipes such as the unclogging pump, special wires for unclogging pipes must be used.


It is also important to avoid clogging the pipes and the sink with a few simple measures: protection screen or collecting oil in special bottles.



Homemade solutions for clogging the sink and drain pipes


Although there are special solutions on the market in the form of granules or gels, they are used less and less because they clean only minor deposits, not being able to dissolve solid bodies. Most h


ousewives use solutions prepared directly in the house for unclogging the sink and drain pipes. Simple elements such as baking soda, vinegar, salt or lemon juice in combination with boiled water do an excellent job against fats.


Baking soda solution, vinegar, and boiled water


Perhaps one of the most used homemade solutions is baking soda, vinegar, and boiled water. How to proceed? Nothing easier! Pour the preparation into the drain where there is a small chemical reaction, slightly corrosive, which helps to unclog the sink and then rinse thoroughly with warm water.



The quantities should not be exaggerated. Pour a tablespoon of baking soda into the drain hole over which then add 2-4 tablespoons of vinegar and leave the mixture to act for about 30-40 minutes. Then pour two liters of boiling water. Now you have a clogged sink that no longer emits unpleasant odors.


Solution with salt, vinegar, and boiled water


Another equally simple solution for situations where the sink is clogged is to make a brine at home. For this, we will use approximately 2 liters of boiling water, 5 tablespoons of salt, and 3 tablespoons of vinegar. The hot solution obtained will be poured directly into the sink. This solution is ideal for removing fat deposits and removing all unpleasant odors.


Solution with baking soda, lemon juice, and boiled water


Baking soda and lemon juice can generate another successful blend that will give you the right helping hand to unclog sinks in any household. To implement this solution, pour a sachet of baking soda into the drain, then pour half a glass of lemon juice. There will be a chemical reaction that will clog the sink. As in the previous cases, we will boil a liter of water with which we will wash the mixture.



Sour drinks and baking soda


For those who are looking for a special solution to unclog the sink, we add the one in which you use sour soft drinks, such as cola. We will use about 500 milliliters of juice that we pour into the drain and let it work. To make the solution more efficient we will add a little baking soda (about two teaspoons). After about an hour, pour boiling water.


Vodka and vinegar


For the brave, we present another method that, at first sight, may seem exaggerated. This involves vodka, a strong alcoholic beverage, which in combination with vinegar will very effectively clean the drainpipe by sterilizing it in front of bacteria.


Solution with vinegar, salt, and borax


The mixture of borax, salt, and vinegar is poured into the drain, left to act for a few minutes, then hot water is poured to clean the whole installation. It is obtained from 50 g of salt, 50 g of borax, and 100 ml of vinegar. You will notice that this solution is effective for unclogging pipes. Not to mention, we will use hot water that must flow for a few minutes over the drain.


Tools for unclogging the sink and drain pipes


If the solutions prepared at home do not have the expected effect, we recommend that you use a few tools to help you in your endeavor. Unclogging pump or unscrewing snake are products that you should not miss from home. They will make your life easier by allowing you to quickly deal with any problem with clogged sinks.


Unclogging pump


The drain plug is an element that we must not miss. It can be used with confidence when cleaning solutions have failed to do their job. Whether we are talking about the classic suction cup or a special pump, this product is very useful. The pump, actuated by short but very fast movements, causes the dirt plug that blocks the sink to disintegrate.



The first step involves filling the sink with water up to a level of 3-4 inches after which we will put the pump into action. Due to the mechanical action, the dirt and debris will come to the surface. The more advanced pumps are able to send a strong jet of water under pressure unclogging any pipe.


Snake to clear


The unscrewing snake is a flexible metal cable that has a kind of crank at the end. With its help, it intervenes in the clogged sink but also in the drain column. For a suitable result, the connection of the sink will be removed from the drain pipe and the snake will be inserted on the pipe by rotating movements. It will reach the plug that closes the pipe and will catch it, allowing us to remove it.



Homemade solutions vs. commercially purchased solutions


Whether you opt for homemade solutions or commercially purchased solutions to unclog the sink, you should know that they have certain limitations. They are usually not able to remove large plugs and are only effective against small deposits. However, constant maintenance with products that we always have at hand in the house, baking soda, caustic soda, vinegar, lemon juice, will make us forget about problems.


The advantages of home-made solutions for unclogging sinks and pipes

The main advantages of homemade solutions for clogging the sink and pipes are that they are cheap and extremely easy to use. They also do not contain chemicals that attack your hands, dishes, or sink.





How to prevent clogging of the sink and drain pipes


We can take some preventative measures to avoid clogging the sink and pipes. The use of protective screens to prevent debris from entering the drainage channel is an effective measure that everyone should apply. Another preventative measure is to clean the sink regularly with traditional solutions such as hydrogen peroxide, caustic soda, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, borax.


Last but not least, we can choose to install an anti-limescale filter because the limescale deposits favor the retention of solid particles and the formation of plugs that clog the drainage channels.


Sieve strainer


The sink screen is a simple but indispensable accessory for the proper functioning of the drainage system. This product available at a very low price brings us peace of mind because by simply placing it over the drain siphon it will be able to stop most of the food waste, thus largely eliminating the possibility of the formation of plugs on the drain pipes.




Drain filter


This device is used to filter debris and usually comes in the form of a drain valve. This impurity filter is an effective solution especially when it comes to smaller particles that cannot be retained by the sieve such as hair.


Separate collection of oil and fats


Another golden rule that helps us reduce the risk of clogging the drain pipes is the separate collection of oil and grease. As I said above, the oil is extremely polluting, which encourages us to teach it in special centers. These centers send the oil for reuse, removing the danger of water pollution.


Frequent cleaning of the sink with boiled water


Perhaps the most convenient way to prevent clogging is to frequently clean the sink with boiled water. All we do is turn on the hot tap water for a few minutes, preferably once a week. Boiled water makes it easier to find its place among the debris, managing to disintegrate it. If we have time to add some of the home solutions we have presented above, the results will be excellent.




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