Sink Maintenance: The Ultimate Guide

Taking proper care of your sinks and drains can mean the difference between a working kitchen or bathroom element and having to resort to paying for costly repairs. If you keep a free-flowing drain system, you’re minimizing the chances of clogs and making it easy to keep the sinks and bathtub clean and working properly.
Kitchen sinks tend to clog due to food residue in the drains and various other debris and unwanted materials that find their way inside and solidify over time. Just as well, bathroom sinks clog because of sticky substances such as hair, shaving creams and soaps as well as toothpaste, all of which can build up and back up the drain pipe.

Melt the grease

Because grease tends to build up and solidify over time in your kitchen drains, it’s necessary that you address the problem from time to time with some homemade solutions. A simple mixture of boiling water and detergent should do the trick – bring a pot of water to boil and pour a hefty amount of detergent into the sink. Let it sit for a second and then start slowly adding the boiling water in short intervals.

Bathroom drains are a different problem altogether, albeit usually an equally simple one. All you need is a tablespoon of kitchen salt and ¼ cup of vinegar. Pour the salt and the vinegar into the drain and let it sit for at least an hour before you proceed to rinse it down with warm water. As a finishing touch, pour hot water into the drain. If needed, repeat the entire process for maximum effect.

Use hot water

Maintaining healthy drains can be as simple as pouring hot water once or twice a week. Bathroom drains will greatly benefit from hot water flashes as you wouldn’t normally use scalding hot water to wash your face or teeth – the toothpaste residue will melt and other unwanted elements will have an easier time passing through. On the other hand, the hot water will help your kitchen drain to pass through grease and food residue.

When your drains are badly clogged

When your drains are severely clogged, there are a couple of things you could do – you can try to use a heavy-duty drain cleaner, or you can call a professional. Drain openers aren’t expensive, but there is only so much they can do and they are not a solution to every problem. They can also be very hazardous if handled incorrectly, so be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully before proceeding, and also note that not all drain cleaners cannot be used for every type of drain.

On the other hand, the more cost-effective solution would be to get your plumber to fix the problem, as genuine experts use the right cleansers and repair tools to effectively unclog your drain pipes and ensure their longevity in the process. If you have heavily blocked sinks, it’s always better to employ a professional, before a small problem turns into a costly repair. There are even plumbers that will not only fix your drain or sewer properly, but also guarantee that their combination of drain cleaning and fixing services will last for as long as you own your home.

Don’t forget cold water

It might seem as counterintuitive at first, but actually running cold water can help your garbage disposal to perform better. Hot water will melt grease and leave it to create a coating layer in your drain pipes, whereas cold water will solidify the materials, allowing them to be easily broken apart and disposed of by the garbage disposal. You should only use hot water after you’ve already used the garbage disposal, in order to help remove any leftover grease deposits.

Maintaining free-flowing drains is not a demanding chore, but it does require some preemptive acting in order to avoid household problems such as clogs and in worse cases, floods that will necessitate costly renovations and repairs. Stick to these essential guidelines and you will have no problems keeping your kitchen and bathroom drains working smoothly and efficiently!

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