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By: Adrianna Noton
Clogged drains are one of those annoyances in life that aren't usually very serious, but can still ruin your day. Seeing drains in your bathroom, kitchen or basement gurgle and refuse to let any water through is a major cause of frustration for many people. It means you have to break out your tool kit and try to figure out what caused the drain blockage, or call a plumber to take care of it. Luckily, you can take steps every day to help minimize the likelihood of clogged drains so you can keep your tools where they are and skip the call to the plumber.

In the kitchen, preventing clogged drains isn't a very complicated process. Grease and pieces of food are the primary culprits when it comes to clogged kitchen drains. Grease tends to harden as it settles in your pipes and bits of food can act like a dam inside the pipe so water can't get through. To prevent this from happening, simply stop pouring any grease down kitchen drains and make sure all the food is off your plates before you rinse them. If you have a garbage disposal, it's a good idea to run cold water into it during operation, to help all the food particles move through the system. Running your hot water into the drains a few times per month, or pouring boiling water into drains will help to keep everything clear.

It's also a good idea to pour boiling water into bathroom sink and shower drains at least once a month. Hair tends to gather in bathroom drains to form clogs, and boiling water will help keep the lines clear. Purchasing little screens or filters that fit over the drain to catch hair will help it from getting down there in the first place. Take out the screen each day and clean any hair out, so the water keeps flowing through. For your toilets, make sure not to flush too many paper products at one time, and avoid flushing anything that isn't marked as such, including feminine pads or tampons. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on small kids when they are in the bathroom, so nothing ends up in your toilet that shouldn't be there.

Breaking out your plunger when you notice the drains running a little slower than usual is another way to avoid a full-on clog. Use the plunger to dislodge any potential clogs and your drains can get back to normal.

You can also try some preventative maintenance on your drains by pouring a cup of baking soda down your drains each month, followed by a cup of white vinegar. This combination will naturally eat away at any gunk that has formed in your pipes. If you end up being the victim of clogged drains anyway, call in a plumber to get to the root of the problem and clear out your drains properly. The cause of your clogged drains may be more complicated than you think.


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