Drain Cleaning Tips

If you’ve owned a home for any length of time, then you have probably had the experience of a clogged, stopped, or backed up drain.  Whatever you want to call it, the water in the sink isn’t going where it is supposed to!  As the feeling of anxiety and frustration sets in, the thought may cross your mind, “Maybe I shouldn’t have poured that down the drain.”  Well in many cases, you’re probably right, so please take some free advice and put into practice a few plumbing tips from your friendly plumber in Upland.


Let’s focus for a moment on the kitchen sink.  The introduction of the garbage disposal has made doing the dishes an easier routine, to be sure.  I would, however, like to clarify that a garbage disposal really is more appropriately named a ‘food particulate disposal’.  I know, I know, we can set you up with a turbo charged grinder that can chew up rib bones, but keep in mind it all has to go down the same drain.  So please, take it easy on your drain and run your disposal with small amounts of food and large amounts of cold water.

Despite the great advancements in disposals, some foods should never go down the drain.  Take, for instance, celery.  These nice little strings resemble hair, and we all know what that does to a drain.  Starchy foods are another one to avoid.  Potatoes, rice, and even pasta tends to settle like sand in a drain, instead of flowing out with the water.  Over time, this this will lead to a stoppage.  Of course, the number-one, all-time drain stopper is, you guessed it, grease.  Under no circumstances should grease ever be poured down the drain!  That should cover it, but it seems that there needs to be some clarity as to what grease is (allow me to explain).  Before grease is disposed of it usually resides in a pan, so keep in mind next time you’re cooking meat or using oil, whatever is left over in the pan should be poured into a can and placed into the trash.  Little side note: the casserole that didn’t turn out should also be placed in the trash.  Placing it in the disposal will result in an invitation to have your plumber over for dinner!


Even if you avoid all the bad things, your drain might need a little maintenance from time to time.   Here’s a few tips to keep things draining.  For a quick freshen up, chop up a lemon or an orange and slowly feed it down your disposal.  If you need something a little more aggressive, try this:  Take 1 cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain (agitate with a wooden spoon handle to make sure it all goes down).  Next, heat 1 cup of vinegar in the microwave and pour it in the drain.  Wait 15 minutes and then dump a pot of boiling water down the drain.  Following these tips will help keep your drains clean, fresh, and flowing.


Over time, drains are bound to get clogged.  This happens more frequently with cast iron or galvanized pipe.  As inconvenient as that may be, it’s nice to know you can fix it with a cellphone!  One quick call and your Green Hippo plumber will be on the way.

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