Every home deserves a deep spring clean each year, to give it a breath of fresh air and prepare the family for the year ahead.
However, drains and sewers are probably not the first things that come to mind when you think of spring cleaning the house.
The kitchen and bathroom are likely to be top of your list, but have you thought about delving into the workings of your home and giving the drains a scrub?
Prevention is Better than the Cure
Although cleaning the drains and taking proper care of the pipes is often overlooked, it is essential for any home’s smooth running.
Cleaning your drains, when done regularly, is a short, easy and inexpensive task. Many problems can arise when drains are left to fester, leading to inconvenient, time-consuming and expensive problems for you and your family.
The first step is to ensure that there is a strainer over each drain. This prevents any food debris escaping and blocking the drain but allows water to run away efficiently.
Before flushing anything through the system, it is best first to remove any physical debris that you can. It is common in the kitchen that small amounts of food are stuck in the pipes, and typical for hair to be stuck in the bathroom drains.
Use a wire brush in the drain to remove as much as you can before you begin cleaning.
When using any shop-bought drain unblocker or cleaning product, be sure to use something non-chemical. Chemical cleaning products can be hazardous when flushed into the sewerage system, and over time, can cause huge issues. Chemical free cleaners are much safer to have around the home, particularly if you have small children and pets.
Your kitchen sink will likely be the most used in the home.
It will be used regularly throughout each day and is generally built to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. But, if the kitchen drain is not routinely cleaned, clogs can start to form in the pipes and water will begin to struggle to pass through.
This not only creates an inconvenience as it can lead to a complete block, but it also can create awful smells around the home. It can be a shame for your efforts and time spring cleaning the house to be in vain as they are masked by the odours appearing from the drains.
White wine vinegar and baking soda is an effective home remedy for spring cleaning the kitchen drain. You will need double the amount of white wine vinegar than baking soda. Pour the baking soda down the drain and follow by slowly pouring down the vinegar.
You should hear a slight fizzing sound of the combination working their magic on your drains. Leave for anywhere between 5 – 15 minutes before rinsing plenty of boiling water through to clear it all away.
This combination will not break down fats, which is why you must be careful not to pour grease and oil down the drains in your kitchen. However, it will help give the drains a freshen up and leave your kitchen smelling much more attractive.
Bath and Shower
The biggest culprit for blocked drains in the shower is hair. This is why a plunge should be an integral part of your drain spring clean. No amount of cleaning product will break down the hair in the drain, so try to plunge it out first before you begin cleaning the pipes.
Due to the sheer amount of water that passes through your bathroom drain, it is possible that mould can begin to grow under the drain cover. If you notice that a musty smell is prevalent and not disappearing when the water is flushed, this could be the likely cause.
This is generally caused when the cover is not sealed correctly. So, although a pretty smelly and unpleasant fix, it is neither difficult nor expensive. Simply remove the drain cover and thoroughly clean the area using the same products you would use for the rest of the bathroom. Refix the cover and make sure it is completely sealed before using the shower or bath again.
Boiling water is excellent for cleaning the bath drain. Whilst it is not adequate for kitchen sinks due to the grease and oil residue, it usually is plenty sufficient for cleaning soap scum from the bathroom drain.
If you do not feel this is powerful enough, and are still noticing a lingering smell, pour a small amount of bleach down the drain and leave to soak for around an hour. Rinse thoroughly with more boiling water, and the smell should disappear.
We all know that a blocked toilet is not a pleasant one, which is why it is crucial to keep your bathroom drain as clean as possible.
Firstly, plenty of more obvious items can cause issues with your drains, including nappies, condoms, and sanitary products. But it would help if you also refrained from flushing nail clippings and hair down the toilet too. These small items can cause massive problems with your toilet drain.
Your plumbing system should be doing a pretty efficient job itself, of cleaning the toilet drains. So, if plunging is not enough, it is probably time to seek professional help.
When to Call a Professional
If you have let the cleaning schedule run away with you, it may be best for you to seek professional advice from a plumbing expert. Blockages can regularly occur and can be challenging to deal with. Although sometimes it can be dealt with by an individual, you do risk causing greater, and more expensive damage to the pipes by attempting to fix the issue yourself.
Additionally, if you come across any leaks whilst deep cleaning the drains, consult a professional immediately who will advise you on how to proceed.
For any drainage issues in the South-East contact the friendly team at FS Drainage today.