Sink & Drain Maintenance

The Basic Home Maintenance Series: Sink and Drain Maintenance

Keeping the water flowing smoothly through your home’s plumbing is as easy as pouring some hot water down it. No need for expensive drain cleaners — in fact, NO drain cleaners unless your pipes are VERY clogged.

How often? Monthly

When? All Year Round

Estimated Cost? $0.00

Time Commitment? 1 Hour

Here’s why: they can’t tell the difference between the clog and the pipe. When a chemical drain cleaner finishes eating away at a clog, it’s going to keep eating away at your pipes. Not a good idea. Instead, try these other, lower impact ways of maintaining clear and clean drains:

Pour a large pot of very hot (but not boiling) water down a household drain. Follow it up with some cool water to flush out the clogs you just melted away.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda and vinegar. All you have to do is pour half a cup of baking soda down your drain and chase it with half a cup of vinegar. Plug the sink and let it sit overnight. Flush the drain with hot water in the morning and they’ll work (and smell) like they’re brand new.

Don’t forget mechanical means: Snakes. For kitchen and bathroom sinks, one of the best items to break a clog is to use a barbed plastic snake.  These can be purchased at big box stores for less than $2.


Plastic drain snake, about $2

For Bigger drains, an auger snake will also work.  These are available at most hardware and big box stores.  Read the instructions on use, they generally screw in and out.  I would suggest wearing gloves when operating as the snake itself gets covered with the contents of your pipes (grease, hair, toothpaste, other gross stuff).

A good model will cost around $20-$30

Drain Snake, $20-$30

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