With kitchen sinks seeing so many pots & pans, glasses, and silverware scrubbed every day, and each family member using the bathroom sink to wash, shave and brush their teeth, chances are that every now and then you’re going to run into a blocked drain. Blocked drains are a pain – they can cause flooding and create unpleasant odours – but they needn’t be difficult to resolve. In fact, clearing blocked drains can be hassle-free.
To unclog drains and eliminate odours, we suggest using a specially formulated sink and pipe unblocker (remember to read the label and test in a small area first before proceeding).
How to Unblock a Drain
A range of products can help you get the job done quick and effortlessly:
Natural Drain Cleaners
For environmental and safety reasons, many people prefer to try clearing blocked drains with natural ingredients, before resorting to harsher chemicals. One proven method is as follows:
In a dry sink, pour at least 1 cup of baking soda down the blocked drain, and ensure that the powder makes its way down the drain.
Next, pour approximately 2 cups of boiling water in and wait several minutes.
Add one more cup of baking soda in and immediately follow it with one cup of plain white vinegar.
Plug the drain. Here you will notice bubbles and a sizzling noise being emitted from the drain. Don’t panic – this is good!
Once the bubbles disappear, add another 2 cups of boiling water.
This is an effective way to make sure your sink remains unblocked, which you should repeat once a month. This video shows you how:
Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.
Chemical Drain Cleaners
There are many products that are designed exactly for this task, like Domestos Sink & Pipe Unblocker. When poured directly into the blocked drain, these chemical drain cleaners work to dissolve the grease and build-up that cause the blockage. They contain special ingredients designed to eliminate the nasty germs that cause the odours from a blocked drain. After the drain cleaner has done its job, any residual water in the sink should drain away smoothly, and the stagnant odour will be gone.
It’s important to always follow the instructions when using heavy duty cleaning products – not only from a health and safety point of view – but also because different types of blocked drains require different solutions. Standing water blockage in a kitchen sink, for example, should be handled differently to a blocked bath from which water can still drain slowly.
How to Eliminate Odours
Nasty odours are one of the side effects of blockages. In most cases, a drain becomes blocked when large items get stuck in the strainer or begin to clog up the drainage pipe. These items then rot and bacteria breeds, releasing the nasty smell.
Frequent cleaning of kitchen and bathroom sinks with quality products such as Cif is a sure-fire way to keep drains free of unwanted debris. Weekly use of a homemade natural remedy, like a baking soda and vinegar solution, is a good habit to develop, keeping grease, grime and bad odours at bay.
Good waste disposal practices will also reduce bad odours and the likelihood of future blocked drains:
In the kitchen, use a rubbish or compost bin, instead of the sink, to dispose of leftover food cooking oil, and any paper products
In the bathroom, consider using a plughole filter to prevent a blockage from hair and other proteins.