Drain clogs and blockages in your home plumbing system are virtually inevitable, but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating to deal with when they happen in your home. Fortunately, there are several effective ways to clean the drains in your home to clear and prevent clogs and blockages in your home plumbing system.

With that being said, it is very important to know what you’re doing when you clean the drains in your home. If you clean your drains the wrong way, you can cause severe damage that can seriously disrupt your home plumbing system and necessitate very expensive repairs in the future.

Cleaning the drains in your home regularly is also one of the best ways to prevent clogs and blockages from forming in your drains. If you’re struggling with a clogged drain or simply want to prevent clogs in the future, here are five techniques you can use to properly and safely clean drains in your home to remove odors, prevent clogs, and clear existing blockages.

Freshen Up a Garbage Disposal with Ice and Lemon

Bad odors can emanate from any drain in your home, but garbage disposals are most likely to develop bad odors from a build-up of old food and bacteria inside of the disposal.

One of the easiest ways to freshen up the smell of garbage disposal is to dump 3 to 4 cups of whole ice cubes, 3 or 4 lemon peels, and 1⁄4 cup of salt down the disposal and turn it on. This abrasive mixture of salt and ice will clean the grinders of the garbage disposal without damaging them, and the lemon peels will mask any lingering bad odors.

Use a Plunger to Clear a Blockage

Using a plunger is one of the most foolproof ways to clear blockages from your drain. Start by filling the sink, bathtub, or shower with enough water to fully cover its bottom surface.

use a plunger to clear drains

use a plunger to clear drains

Then, push the plunger firmly against the clogged drain until it suctions tightly against the drain’s hole. Quickly pull back up on the plunger, then press it down again. You may need to repeat this pumping process several times until the clog clears and the water starts to drain from your sink or bathtub.

For sanitation reasons, use a separate plunger for your toilet than the one you use to unclog your sink and shower or bathtub drains.

Try a Barbed Drain Cleaner for a Slow Drain

If your drain—especially your shower or bathtub drain—is draining sluggishly, it is likely that a build-up of hair is caught in the drain and causing it to drain more slowly than it should.

Fortunately, clogged hair is pretty easy to clear out of a drain with the right tools. A barbed drain cleaner usually gets the job done. A barbed drain cleaner is a long plastic tool with back-angled barbs on it. Just stick the barbed drain cleaner down the slow or clogged drain and pull it back up. The barbs on the drain cleaner will pull out clumps of hair and other materials that have gotten stuck inside the drain and hopefully get your drain working at normal speed again.

Call in a Professional

Not every drain blockage can be fixed on your own. Sometimes, you need the help of a trained professional to clear more stubborn clogs in your drains. If you are unable to clear a blockage in your drain using the techniques above, it’s not a good idea to try more drastic measures on your own. You might end up doing more harm than good, which can lead to the need for more expensive repairs down the line.

If you’re located in the Inland Empire or its surrounding areas, give Accurate Leak Locators and Plumbing a call for all of your drain blockage-related service needs. Accurate Leak Locators and Plumbing is a professional leak location and plumbing service with years of experience in performing a variety of plumbing services—including cleaning and clearing blocked drains. The experienced and certified technicians at Accurate Leak Locators and Plumbing use a special drain snake line to “pop” stubborn drain blockages to get your clogged drain cleared and in working order in no time.