You count on your bathtub every day for a quick shower, relaxing soak and rejuvenation, or a place to eliminate that funky smell on the family dog. But what most homeowners fail to consider is the tough job of the drain in your bathtub. It handles a lot of soap, shampoo, and other oil-based products, and some nasty dirt. Without a little care and cleaning of its own, your bathtub is going to develop some tough clogs. But there are a few simple things that you can do to avoid these annoyances and even a potential flood of dirty water in your home.
Mesh Drain Screens
One of the quickest ways to build a drain clog is by washing loose hair down the drain. Each time you bathe and wash your hair, dozens of stray hairs find their way down the drain. You can eliminate these clog creators by placing a simple and affordable mesh screen over the drain. Water will continue to flow, but hair and other foreign objects will remain in the screen. All you need to do is clean the screen out as needed. For just a dollar or two, you can eliminate the number one cause of bathtub drains in homes across the country.
Drain Cleaning 101
Most of the gunk that goes down your drain gets snagged in the first foot or two of the drain pipe. The great news is that you can easily remove this debris with a small plumbers snake. These easy-to-use tools are sometimes also referred to as mini snakes because they only run a few feet into the drain at the most. In a pinch, you can also fashion your mini snake with a metal hanger. Straighten most of the hanger, but leave a small hook on the end to snag the debris. Carefully insert it into the drain and twist it to grab the mess that you want to remove. Pull the snake out often to remove hairballs and other debris. Monthly snaking of your home’s tub drains is a great way to avoid a costly and frustrating flood.
Removing Sticky Residue
Most shampoo, conditioner, and body wash contain oil to help moisturize your skin and hair. But what the label does not say is that this oil will stick to the inside of your drain lines. So over time, those oils dry to form a sticky residue that snags every bit of dirt and debris that should be washing down the drain and out to the city sewer system. Removing this nasty residue will go a long way to eliminating future clog issues and that sour odor from your drains.
Hot water is ideal for softening drain residue to wash it and its odor out of your house. Pour half a pan of boiling water carefully down the tub drain. Wait five minutes and pour the rest of the hot water down the drain. You can follow this with hot water from the tap for a few minutes if you are concerned about eliminating a significant amount of residue.
Another environmentally friendly option requires just a few common items from your kitchen. Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture bubble and clean for about five minutes before flushing the drain with hot water. Use hot tap water for a few minutes to get the most thorough rinse.
For stubborn clogs in your home’s drains, call (208) 571-4089. The licensed plumbers from Viking Plumbing will professionally clean your drains to remove clogs, residue, and that unpleasant odor.