Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keeping Sink Drains Clear

Thanks for joining me for Kitchen Tip Tuesday! I am a long time reader but a first time poster and a brand-new blogger. I just started this week, but I've already blogged about my garden, frugal finds, and I'm having a giveaway.

This kitchen tip comes to you courtesy of my mother. In order to keep the drains running smoothly on her kitchen sinks, she simply uses hot water.

Run your water until it gets hot (you can use an old milk jug or pitcher to catch it and use it to water plants if you'd like!), then plug your sink or both sides, if you have a double sink. Once they are both full, either don a rubber glove to protect your hand or use a long handled spoon to pull the stoppers. You might also tie a string to your stopper to pull it with, if you prefer. Regardless, don't burn yourself, the water is hot!

If you have a garbage disposal, go ahead and run it as the sinks empty to help pull the water down even faster. Now that your pipes are warmed up, you can repeat it a few times if you wish.

There are two factors at work here; one is the heat from the water softens any grease in your pipes and pushes it on through. The second is the full sinks on both sides (or just the full sink, if you have one) creates more pressure and suction to make it move quickly.

While this does use quite a bit of water, I prefer it to using extremely caustic drain-opening chemicals and I certainly prefer it to paying a professional! The same concept will of course work on your bathroom sinks, and even the tub, although you don't need to fill it all the way full. If you find you run short of hot water, you can put some pots of water on the stove ahead of time to boil and pour those in the sinks to give yourself a head start.

Another tip that has helped me keep my drains clear is that I use the garbage disposal side for wash water when doing dishes and I rinse in the other side. That way, any food particles go through the disposal. Also, when I drain my dish water, I turn on the disposal as sort of a mini-version of the sinkful of hot water tip. Every bit helps, I think.

For more kitchen tips, visit Kitchen Tip Tuesday here at Tammy's Recipes.


Amy @ Finer Things said...

Hot water works wonders. We do the wash on the garbage disposal side thing, too, and I always run it when I'm draining water. Great tip!

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Kim said...

Great tip! I never thought about emptying both sinks at once for greater pressure. I use dish liquid squirted down the drain to break up clogs. I bet that mixed with your mother's method would be a killer! lol

Angela said...

Hi! I'm so happy to see you have a blog now. Is it alright if I link to it on my blogroll?

Lenetta said...

@Kim - I bet the soap helps cut the grease. I need to get used to keeping grease OUT of the drains, though, for when we live on the farm and have a septic system.

@Angela - Sure, thanks! My little one finally got a big girl haircut last week but it isn't quite as short as your little one's. Doesn't it make them look so big??

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Congrats on the new blog! I like this idea of just using hot water. I usually use white vinegar and baking soda to unclog drains.