At some point, most homeowners will have to deal with a clogged drain. In most instances, the clogged drain is the result of not properly cleaning the drain. When you do not regularly clean a drain, over time, foreign matter can accumulate and clog the drain. Not only is it a frustrating experience trying to unclog the drain, but there is often an unpleasant odor caused by the build up foreign debris and bacteria. Cleaning the drain will help prevent an annoying drain clog.

The following are a few basic tips to safely performing drain cleaning:

1. One tip to safely cleaning a drain is to pour about a tablespoon of baking soda down the drain. Then, pour a half a cup of lemon juice or vinegar down the drain. Let the mixture sit in the drain for about 30 to 60 minutes. There will be a bubbling chemical reaction which breaks up the debris. Then, run really hot water through the drain to get rid of all the debris. Not only will this method clean the drain, but it will keep the drain free of odors. To ensure the drain stays free of debris, run hot water through the drain every few days.

2. To keep the drain clean and odor free, every week add the baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice mixture into the drain and run the hot water through it. This will prevent the accumulation of foreign mater and odors.

3. An effective method of cleaning the drain is to add brine, a mixture of salt and water, down the drain. This is an effective method of preventing the accumulation of grease, soap, and oil such as cooking oil.

4. If your drain and pipes are quite dirty and requires a stronger cleaner, there are a number of different chemical cleaners on the market. It is important to note that some cleaners are quite corrosive so make sure if you use the cleaner, you will not be damaging your pipes. These cleaners also can give off toxic fumes, so it is important not to inhale the fumes. You can wear a mask or you can open a window and then leave the room after you have added the cleaner. As well, chemical cleaners are not usually safe to use on plastic pipes.

5. There are a number of natural drain cleaners available. They are better for the environment and will not damage your pipes. You can purchase these natural cleaners at a plumbing supply store and hardware stores.

6. Drain strainer inserts are useful for stopping substances from falling into the drains. To ensure that your drains are free of mold, mildew, bacteria, and foreign matter, after each cleaning, it is important to run hot water through the pipes.

The best solution to preventing a clogged drain is to maintain a proper drain cleaning schedule which includes the sink. Cleaning a sink and the drain after each use is the best prevention. If you develop a problem with your drains that you cannot repair, it is important to call a professional plumber.

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