Once your sink clogs up, the challenge begins with trying to unblock it with the right chemicals or tools. Depending on the lifestyle you lead, a sink can clog up with a range of household waste products, each causing a different issue for your drain.
There are some obvious products to avoid putting down your drain, but also others you would think would be acceptable. So, to help you avoid a clogged drain in your bathroom or kitchen, here are some of the reasons, solutions, and preventative measures you can take.
Will Hair Clog a Shower Drain?
Shaving foam, soapsuds, and hair solidify together to form a perfect clogging material. As the hair comes out with shampooing or after shaving, it will rest in the ring catcher or base of the U-bend. These hairs mat together and function as a base for soap to stick to.
Liquid soaps are less of a problem, but soap bars will congeal onto hair and build up over time. To avoid this, you can try running the tap for a minute after you finish to wash away the soap suds. But for the best results, pull out any visible hair after washing.
-Pull the hair out with tweezers and then rinse out the sink with warm or hot water.
-Hot water will help dissolve any leftover soap.
-It is worth pouring hot water down the drain every week to prevent build-ups that can clog the drain completely.
How Can I Dissolve the Hair Clogging up My Sink or Shower?
If the hair manages to latch on to the inside of the drainpipe, below the level of the ring catcher, you have a few options. You can try using a powerful chemical to burn away the soap and hair, but this can damage the drain’s seals, so think of it as a last resort.
Start with a concoction of baking soda, vinegar, and hot water to make it easier to wash the hair away.
1. Pour 1-cup of dry baking soda down the plughole, then follow on with a cup of vinegar.
2. Leave to mix to bubble in the drain for five minutes or more.
3. Rinse the drain until the flow seems to improve.
4. You may need to redo the above steps two more times.
If there is no improvement after repeating the steps three times, it is a sign that you need to try a chemical drain cleaning solution. For anything beyond drain cleaner, you will need to call in the help of a plumber.
What Is Safe to Put Down My Drain?
The fear of having to go through the prolonged process of unblocking your drain may put you off from putting anything down it. But these are a few things that you can and should not put down a drain.
Things That a Drain Can Cope With…
Filtered Hot Drinks: – Tea, instant coffee.
Cold Drinks: – Milk, juice, water, sodas.
Things That a Drain Can NOT Cope With…
Non-Filtered Hot Drinks: – Tea leaves, coffee grounds, chocolate powder.
Fatty Products: – Milkshakes, creams, butter, animal fats, cooking oil.
Foods: – Breadcrumbs, peels and pips of fruits and vegetables, flour, rice, eggshells.
Other Items: -Medication, produce stickers, paint.
Cooking meat releases a lot of animal fat, which becomes liquid while hot. The fat renders soon as it cools below temperatures of between 40 to 60-degrees Celsius. If you pour the fat in its liquid phase straight down the drain, it will cling and harden to the cool side of the drainpipe.
As a rule, you should never pour fat down a sink — instead, wait for it to cool and scrape it into your rubbish bin. But if you pour fat down the drain by accident, you should run the hot tap on full for a few minutes. You can also boil a few litres of water and pour that down the drain to help melt away the fat.
Can I Pour Honey Down the Drain?
Honey, like syrup, is a sugar-based product that dissolves in water and will begin crystalizing above 20-Celcius. You can wash honey away once it crystallizes, though you need to heat it to over 50-Celcius to melt it again.
The better the honey, the easier it crystalizes — once it goes down your drain, it will cling to the piping and other objects that are down there. Throw unused honey into the bin, or you can mix it in with boiling water to make a solution before pouring it down the drain.
You should apply the same process to unwanted syrups. Any sugars that you caramelize should go straight in the bin.
Can I Pour Ground Coffee Down the Drain?
Used coffee grounds form a type of mud that is a challenge for the U-bend in a drain to wash out. Coffee is non-soluble, but the waste does make exceptional mulch for composting. Used coffee grounds are rich in slow-releasing nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Used coffee grounds are often used by gardeners as an organic snail and slug repellent while encouraging the good work of earthworms. Coffee grounds are good for the garden and plant pots and great for blocking waste disposal units and drains.
The weight of coffee grounds makes them difficult to flush out with water, and the mud creates a perfect habitat for bugs to thrive. If you have waste coffee grounds, pour them around your plants or straight into the bin.
How Do I Remove the Coffee Grounds from My Clogged Drain?
You can start by running both hot and cold taps for a few minutes — to try and wash away the build-up of coffee grounds. If it is a persistent problem, you can try the following steps with a plunger: –
1.Put the plug into the sinkhole and fill the sink up with warm to hot water.
2.If you have a double sink, plug up that drain hole at the same time to maximize the pressure.
3.Get ready to put the plunger over the drain hole and pull the plug.
4.Pump the plunger over the drain hole to dislodge the coffee grounds.
5.Wash through with water.