Drain Cleaning Tips and Advice for New Homeowners

By: Alex | Date Posted: October 21, 2023

Owning a home is a fulfilling experience but also brings its fair share of responsibilities, particularly in understanding the importance of regular upkeep with reliable cleaning tips and advice. One such responsibility that often slips under the radar for new homeowners is drain maintenance. In regions with diverse architecture and variable climates, properly maintaining your home’s plumbing is crucial. If left unchecked, clogged drains can quickly escalate from minor inconveniences to major headaches. Embracing practical cleaning tips and advice, new homeowners can significantly benefit from these insights to keep their drains flowing freely.

Why Drains Need Special Attention

While many locations are known for their cultural scenes and rich history, certain areas’ unique geographical characteristics combined with urban developments mean drainage issues can be more prevalent. Seasonal factors like fallen leaves can find their way into outdoor drains, while rapid urbanization in many places can put added stress on the sewage systems. This makes regular drain checks and maintenance non-negotiable for homeowners.

Common Causes of Clogged Drains in Homes

Being aware of what commonly blocks drains can help in prevention:

  • Hair

Hair is often the primary offender in many bathroom drain blockages. To mitigate this, installing drain guards can effectively catch and prevent hair from entering the drainage system.

  • Grease and fat

Pouring grease and fat down kitchen sinks is a common mistake. As cooking oil cools, it will coat the inside walls of a drainpipe and then harden like candle wax, gradually decreasing the inside diameter of the pipe and leading to stubborn blockages. It’s best to pour excess oil and grease into an old coffee can or jar. Be sure to wipe cooking oils from frying pans with paper towels and throw them away.

  • Food particles

While garbage disposals are handy, they don’t catch everything. Residual food particles can accumulate over time on the other side of the disposal, deep inside a sink drain, eventually clogging your drain. Scrape plates, pots, and pans into the trash can. A disposal will work reliably if it only has to deal with the minor foot particles that remain.

  • Non-biodegradable items

Surprisingly, even products labeled ‘flushable’ like certain wet wipes can cause clogs. Their inability to break down easily means they can obstruct water flow in drains. Play it safe; throw all wet wipes into the wastebasket.

Tools Every Homeowner Should Have

For those who prefer a hands-on approach, investing in some basic tools can be beneficial:

  • Drain snake (or auger)

This is a long, flexible tool that can be manually rotated to dislodge blockages.

  • Drain guards

These are placed over drain openings to catch hair and debris.

  • Natural cleaners

Stock up on baking soda and vinegar. They’re eco-friendly and effective on minor clogs.

DIY Drain Cleaning Tips for Minor Blockages

Every home, no matter how immaculate, faces the occasional minor drain blockage. But fear not, because there are several DIY drain cleaning tips you can deploy:

  • Use boiling water

One of the easiest methods involves boiling water. Whether from a kettle or a pot, directly pouring the boiling water down the drain can dissolve challenging clogs, especially those involving fat or grease. However, boiling water should never be poured into sinks made of composite materials. These can crack under the heat.

  • Natural solutions over chemicals

Drain cleaners packed with chemicals might give quicker results but could harm your pipes and the environment. Instead, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can be quite effective, creating a bubbly reaction that dislodges blockages.

  • Manual tools – plunger and drain snake

Consider the classic plunger before escalating to more intense solutions. Remember that there are both sink plungers and toilet plungers. Sink plungers aren’t very effective when used in toilets. And you don’t want to introduce toilet plunger germs into your sink, so keep one of each around the house. For more challenging blockages, a drain snake can be maneuvered into the drain and rotated to break up many clogs.

  • Maintenance is key

Regularly cleaning your drains is essential. Avoid putting oil, grease, or food remnants down your kitchen sink. This proactive approach can save you from significant headaches in the future.

Recognizing When You Need a Professional Drain Cleaner

Professional plumber working on a drain system

Persistent issues are clear indicators that you might need a professional touch. While DIY methods have their place, there’s undeniable value in seeking professional input for more serious clogs and lasting drain health. See below for signs that you need to call in experts in plumbing, drains, and water cleanup:

  • Recurring blockages

If the same drain keeps getting blocked, there could be a deeper issue.

  • Multiple blocked drains

This could indicate a problem with the main sewer line.

  • Water backup

If water starts coming up a drain, it’s a clear sign of a serious blockage deep inside a branch drain line or the main sewer. These clogs are beyond the reach of a plunger or hand auger.

Some signs of a clogged drain are obvious, such as water pooling at your feet in the shower or a kitchen sink that drains too slowly. However, there are subtler signs as well:

  • Unusual noises

Gurgling sounds often indicate trapped air, a precursor to a blockage.

  • Bad odors

Foul smells emanating from your drain mean trapped food or other waste has started to decay.

When these signs arise, consulting a professional plumber not only resolves the immediate issue but also ensures the longevity and efficiency of your entire plumbing system.


Embarking on the journey of homeownership is an exhilarating experience, replete with valuable lessons at every turn. Among these lessons, grasping the importance of drain maintenance is often underestimated, yet it is vital for preserving both the comfort and cleanliness of your living space. By integrating essential cleaning tips and advice into your routine, such as conducting regular inspections, being cautious of what is permitted down your drains, and acknowledging the moments that necessitate expert intervention, you cultivate a proactive approach to home maintenance. These strategies not only prevent undue hassle but also significantly cut down potential expenses and time wasted on repairs. Therefore, as you make yourself at home in your new abode, embracing these cleaning tips and advice will pave the way for a seamless, efficient, and effective home care regimen.

Thank you for reading!


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments