STOP! You may think those coffee grounds or eggshells are safe to put down your kitchen drain because they’re so small, but even little things can cause clogged drains and a big headache! Before you get to the point that you have to call a plumber to save your drains, try these handy tricks to prevent clogged drains and keep your kitchen drain in good working condition.
Just Add Water
In a pinch, running hot water down your drain after every use can help break up any residual grease and grime and keep oil from stick to your drain walls. The hot water will sluice away the sludge and help prevent clogged drains. However, if hot water isn’t working, a little chill might help.
Throw Some Ice Down There
Did you know that ice is great for garbage disposal blades because it keeps them nice and sharp? Plus, the coldness of the ice chills your pipes and does a great job of scraping the grease off of drain walls. Add a little vinegar to your ice cube tray (and make sure it’s clearly marked!) to help keep your drain nice and clean. If you’re not wild about the smell of vinegar, a few citrus peels like lemon, lime, or grapefruit, will keep your kitchen drain smelling clean and fresh.
Protect Your Pipes
If you don’t have a garbage disposal, it’s a good idea to buy a strainer to keep large food particles and other kitchen waste out of your drain. Cleaning that strainer might be gross, but it’s worth it to avoid a call to the plumbing company because you have clogged drains. However, even if you have a garbage disposal, there are still foods you should avoid putting down the kitchen drain.
Keep These Things Away from Your Drain
We know, we know. Sometimes it’s a hassle to scrape every plate and pan into the trash before doing the dishes, but your drain will thank you! There are many different things that can cause a clogged drain, but these are some of the most deadly:
- Coffee grounds: coffee grounds will block your drain and put you on your plumber’s naughty list for sure. Save them for compost instead!
- Eggshells: A lot of folks put eggshells down their kitchen sink to sharpen their garbage disposal blades, but that’s a bad idea. Save your eggshells for crafting or compost – they’re high in calcium.
- Grease: Never, ever put grease down your kitchen drain! Grease and cooking oil just gum up the pipes. We recommend finding a safe grease disposal method instead, like soaking it up with paper towels and throwing it away.
- Potato peelings, flour, or rice: Drains and starch do not mix. Anything that can clump together can cause a clogged drain and endless plumbing nightmares.
- Fibrous Foods: High fiber diets are great for people but not so great for your kitchen drain. Things like celery stalks or asparagus should be thrown away to prevent fibers from sticking to your drain walls and causing blockages.
Add a Little Science
Drano® is a great tool in a pinch for cleaning out clogged drains, but if you’re worried about putting chemicals down your sink, a little science experiment can also do the trick. Simply pour a panful of boiling water down the drain. Then add 1 cup of baking soda, followed by a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water (1 cup of each should do it). Plug the drain, wait about 10 minutes, and pour more boiling water down the drain. The carbon dioxide created by the vinegar and baking soda will bubble and help break up the gunk in your clogged drains, which will then be flushed away by the boiling water.