Is one of your pipes clogged? Don’t worry because with our tips on how to clean pipes and prevent them from getting clogged, your bathroom and kitchen drains will be clear again in no time at all –and they’ll stay that way!
You just noticed that a pipe is clogged or that the water in one of the sinks isn't draining properly? Of course it had to happen at the most inconvenient of moments – just before guests are about to arrive. In the worst case, this annoying problem may also be accompanied by an unpleasant smell. But do you have to call in a professional to sort it out? No – you can clean the pipes yourself. It might not be the most popular cleaning task, but you save money and the job gets done quicker! We explain how to clean a pipe and give you tips.
Is the drain clogged and it’s preventing water from draining away? This is annoying, but fortunately, it usually doesn’t take long to fix. Follow these steps to unclog a pipe:
- Scoop as much water as possible out of the sink with a cup.
- Then pour 250 ml of cleansing gel into the drain and leave it to work its magic for five to ten minutes. This gel dissolves hair and other substances that may be responsible for the blocked pipe.
- If the blockage is quite persistent, you can leave the gel for longer – ideally overnight.
- Rinse with plenty of warm water after the gel has had time to take effect.
- Has the sink strainer been left discoloured after cleaning the pipe? In this case, you may have to use a cleaning agent. Leave it to work for about 15 minutes and then rinse the strainer under running water.
In most cases, a clogged pipe and even the pipe cleaning itself can cause an unpleasant smell in your kitchen or bathroom. The easiest way to neutralise this smell is to use bicarbonate of soda or vinegar essence.
It is always best to tackle the root of the problem – in this case, we’re literally referring to roots: hair roots. After all, hair is one of the main reasons for a pipe getting clogged. Protect your drains by using a sink strainer since it catches most of the hair and prevents you from having to clean the pipes. Wipe the strainer regularly with some cellulose paper to collect all the hair.
In the kitchen, hair is less of a problem and the clogged pipes are usually caused by food scraps. Using a sink strainer here is also a good idea because it prevents pieces of food from going down the pipe in the first place, and makes it easier to dispose of the food debris in the bin. This is particularly useful if you often wash the dishes by hand.
One of the best pipe cleaning tips is to listen to the drain. This is because a clogged pipe usually lets its presence be known by reducing the speed that the water flows down. If this is the case, you still have some time until the drain is completely blocked and the water no longer drains away. If this blockage is further down, you can clean it with a plunger or a pipe-cleaning spiral. If you don't have any special tools in your house, cable ties can be used if necessary.
If you feel like it, you can also clean the siphon. However, be sure to place a bucket under the pipe to collect all the water and debris. It is best to clean the pipe with a wire brush afterwards.