Bathtub drains tend to get clogged with hair and other debris, making shower and bath time a less pleasant experience. If you struggle with this issue in your home, now is the time to implement a new drain maintenance routine. The following tips will help you maintain your bathtub drains safely and effectively.
1. Clean Your Drains Monthly
Clean your drains on a regular basis using a drain cleaning brush. This tool and consistent cleaning will help prevent most of the hair and debris from clogging your drain. To do properly clean the drain, lift the cover off of your bathtub drain opening and insert your tool into the pipe. Fish around until you've snagged a clog and pull it out. Keep a grocery bag or garbage bag handy to throw away the clogs once they've been removed from the bathtub.
2. Flush Your Drains With Vinegar
Vinegar is acidic and a natural cleaning agent. Flushing your drains with vinegar can help keep your pipes clean and clear. Once a month, pour a cup of vinegar into your bathtub and leave it there overnight. Flush the vinegar out of the drain the next day using hot water. Be careful not to use boiling water, especially if your drain pipes are plastic, as boiling water can cause plastic to melt.
3. Comb Your Hair Before You Shower
Long hair in particular can be problematic for bathtub and shower drains, and a lot of it goes down the pipes when you shampoo and condition. Combing your hair with a fine-tooth comb before getting into the shower can help you shed loose hairs before you ever start to clean yourself.
Make a habit of combing your hair thoroughly before showering or bathing, and instruct other members of the family to do the same. Teaching your children to pick up this habit when they're young will make it second nature, thus preventing problems in the future.
4. Use a Plumber's Auger When the Drain Gets Slow
A plumber's auger is a hand-held, manually powered tool that can help you clear clogs in much the same way as a professional plumber's snake. An auger looks like a cable with a corkscrew end, coiled up into a little device with a crank that can spin the cable. You can buy a plumber's auger at any hardware or home improvement store. An auger is an effective tool to use any time your bathtub drain starts to drain slowly.
To use a plumber's auger, remove the overflow drain cover on the bathtub and pull out the attached stopper. Insert the corkscrew end of the cable into the pipe until it resists going forward, then lock the cable into place and use the handle to twist the cable until it moves forward into the pipe. Push the cable into the pipe just a little bit farther, then unlock the cable and pull it out of the pipe. The corkscrew end of the cable may be covered in hair or grime. Wipe the cable off and try running the water in the bathtub. If the water doesn’t move faster down the drain, start the process over again until the auger has dislodged the clog.
5. Know When to Call the Professionals
Following the tips above will help you maintain your bathtub drain in the New Year. However, if your bathtub ever becomes completely clogged and you can't dislodge the clog with the auger, it's important to know who to call. Roto-Rooter Sewer & Drain Cleaning Service has access to powerful tools that can unclog your drain when these steps can't. We'll help keep your drains flowing smoothly.