The Dirty Dozen: 12 Things that Clog your Drain

If you’ve ever unplugged your family home’s clogged drain and thought “eww—what IS this?”–then this post is for you!

As professional plumbers we have literally seen it all when it comes to clogged drains, from childrens’ toys to keys to cotton balls and pasta. Having seen it all, numerous times, we’ve come up with our drain-clogging dirty dozen—the worst drain-clogging offenders that we have seen time and time again. And here they are:

1. Grease from food that is poured down the drain and congeals into one gooey, gross blob.

2. Baby wipes and other baby products (they aren’t as ‘disposable’ as you think!).

3. Plastic and cardboard from personal hygiene products.

4. Cotton swabs, cotton balls and cigarette filters (who’d have thunk right?).

5. Hair. Oh so much hair.

6. Food scraps from the kitchen, especially pasta noodles that have expanded after they enter the pipe system.

7. Vegetable peels that are accidentally put down the kitchen drain.

8. High-grade, multi-ply toilet paper. No matter how many cute kittens they put on their ads, don’t buy 37-ply toilet paper as it can clog your drain.

9. Bath salts. If you’ve experienced draining issues in your bath tub, then bath salts may be the culprit as they don’t dissolve as completely as people think.

10. Soap. While soap itself doesn’t clog a drain it can allow the other substances and debris to form into a solid, which causes clogs.

11. Children’s toys are extremely common, especially in bath tub and toilet drains.

12. Coffee grinds. It is amazing how easily grinds can block a pipe. Not only can they create a blockage themselves, but they also cause small particulate matter to build blockages.

How to Avoid the Dirty Dozen of Offenders of Clogged Drains
Avoiding annoying and costly drain clogs is extremely easy—carefully monitor what you put down your drain, including the least-likely offenders. Keep in mind that even small particles can allow other debris to gather and create a clog, especially grease. Instead of putting products like coffee grinds and grease down the drain, put them in a bag or box and toss them in the trash. For hair, try installing an additional filter if you have long, drain-clogging hair.

In addition to avoiding putting the dirty-dozen offenders down the drain also consider a once-a-month cleaning, by putting a cup of vinegar down the drain and then after a half hour of ‘sitting time’ follow it up with a cup of boiling water. You’d be amazed what a strong cleaner vinegar is and how it can flush out the pipes and your drain.

If your clogged drain is beyond simple repair—then give us a call at Hayes.

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