How Drain Cleaning Can Prevent Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are common, but they’re not always a quick fix. Left unattended, serious clogs can damage your pipes and lead to expensive repairs.

Try pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain for minor clogs. It might help clear away loose hair, grease, or soap scum. But if the problem is more severe, it might be time to call in a professional Drain Cleaning Perth.

Liquid Drain Cleaners

drain cleaning

The liquid drain cleaners you see at the grocery store or home improvement center are designed to create a chemical reaction inside your pipes. They typically contain ingredients like hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid or lye to break down hair, soap scum and other organic material that accumulates in drainpipes. The problem is, these chemical cleaners are also harmful to your plumbing system and can be dangerous to use if not followed instructions carefully.

The main issue with these liquid cleaners is that they generate heat, which can melt or damage your pipes. Many of them also have strong odors that can permeate your entire house. Repeated exposure to these chemicals can cause a variety of health issues, including skin and eye irritation, and even respiratory problems. Most importantly, they’re often ineffective at actually clearing a clogged pipe.

In most cases, a simple plunger will do the trick if you’re dealing with a minor clog. But if you’re faced with a major blockage, try using a plumbing snake instead. These hand-held tools are easy to use and can be much more effective than chemical cleaners.

If you must use a liquid drain cleaner, opt for one labeled as non-corrosive. These cleaners don’t have the same powerful chemicals as standard cleaners and are less likely to damage your pipes.

Caustic drain cleaners are the most common type of liquid cleaner and are usually marketed as “fast acting.” They work by giving off heat to melt or dissolve the clog. However, repeated use can erode or crack your pipes. They’re also highly toxic to touch and can if not diluted correctly, be dangerous to your health and the environment.

An alternative to caustic drain cleaners are oxidizing cleaners, which use basic household substances to break down the material that causes a clog. They’re especially useful for removing grease, but they can also help with hair, soap scum and paper. While they take longer to work than caustic cleaners, they’re significantly safer on your pipes and the environment.


A snake is a favored tool among both professional plumbers and DIY homeowners when it comes to removing stubborn blockages. A clogged drain can be a nuisance, causing plumbing fixtures like sinks, tubs and toilets to back up, overflow and fail to drain water. Unlike chemical cleaners, which are often corrosive and can damage pipes, a good drain snake is designed to cut through or dislodge the clog, allowing your home’s pipes to function properly.

A drain snake, also known as a drain auger, is a long flexible cable with a rotating head that can pierce or grasp the clog. Its end is coiled, allowing it to navigate the twists and turns of your home’s drain pipe and ensnare or break up the gunk in your pipes. When used properly, it can eliminate even the most stubborn clogs without affecting your plumbing’s structural integrity.

When a plunger or drain snake fails to unclog your pipe, you may want to consider professional drain cleaning. Known as hydro jetting, this method involves running highly pressurized water through your pipes with a specialized hose. This not only removes clogs but cleans your entire pipe wall, extending the lifespan of your plumbing and decreasing the risk of future clogs.

If you are concerned about the chemicals or excessive force involved in professional drain cleaning, or if your clog is recurrent, try a natural alternative: enzyme-based cleaners. These products harness bacteria that eat away at organic waste, including hair and grease, breaking it down into harmless water and carbon dioxide. While less effective for severe or chronic clogs, they can provide a preventative solution when used regularly.

If you are unable to clear your clogged pipe with a snake or drain opening product, contact your local plumber. They will be able to assess your situation and recommend the most effective course of action. For stubborn or recurring clogs, professional drain cleaning is the best way to ensure your drains are fully functional and your home’s pipes are in good condition. If your clogged pipe is due to a damaged sewer line, your plumber will be able to recommend professional drain repair services.

Enzyme-Based Cleaners

As a more environmentally-friendly alternative to chemical drain cleaners, enzyme-based products utilize microorganisms to break down organic molecules that create stains and odors. These natural cleaners are safer to use in homes with children and pets, gentle on fabrics, and biodegradable. They also work effectively on a broad range of soils, making them suitable for use in most drain cleaning applications.

Enzyme-based cleaners contain a special mix of nonpathogenic bacteria that produce and consume enzymes to break down various types of soils and messes. The bacteria digest the organic molecules into two basic components: carbon dioxide and water. As they work, the bacteria multiply and continue to digest the soils until their food supply runs out.

Different types of enzymes are used in different enzyme-based cleaners to target specific kinds of organic messes and stains. For example, protease enzymes are great for protein-based stains like blood and vomit, while amylase and lipase can break down starches and fats. The result is a more thorough and effective clean than regular chemical cleaners can provide.

Unlike acid-type drain cleaners, which can be damaging to pipes, enzyme-based cleaners are safe for most drainpipe materials, including PVC and PEX. As with all drain cleaning methods, it is important to follow label instructions for the best results.

When used regularly, enzyme-based cleaners can significantly reduce the need for frequent chemical drain cleaning. In fact, some clogged pipes can become permanently unclogged with the help of an enzyme-based product.

Enzymes can also be used in other areas of the home to remove odors and stains from fabrics and surfaces. They can be applied to floors to eliminate slippery residues, and are especially useful in bathrooms for eliminating toilet odors and greasy kitchen floors.

When buying an enzyme-based cleaner, check the label for minimum ufc/ml levels (unit-forming colonies per milliliter) to ensure the product contains live bacteria in sufficient quantities to be effective. It is also a good idea to test the product in an inconspicuous area of your plumbing system or drain to ensure it is safe for use.

Ongoing Maintenance

Ongoing maintenance is a great way to keep your plumbing systems functioning properly and prevent clogs. Instead of waiting until there is a problem, drain cleaning services can clear away buildup before it becomes a major issue. Ongoing drain cleaning can also help prolong the lifespan of your fixtures and pipes. Over time, buildup can cause corrosion, narrowing, and even pipe failure. By scheduling regular drain cleaning, you can reduce the risk of these issues and save money in repair costs.

Foul Odors

Blockages in your drains can create stagnant water that emits unpleasant odors throughout your home. This can create an unsanitary living environment and negatively impact your family’s health. By regularly having your drains cleaned, you can eliminate these foul odors and enjoy a cleaner, more pleasant indoor environment.

Leaking Pipes

Over time, a poorly maintained drainage system can lead to leaking pipes that can damage your home and cause serious health concerns. When your pipes become corroded or damaged, it is important to have them repaired as quickly as possible to minimize the risk of leaks and other problems. Regular drain cleaning can help prevent clogs and other drainage issues, so you can avoid costly repairs in the future.

Tree Root Invasion

Over time, roots from nearby trees can penetrate into sewer lines and clog drains. These clogs can be difficult and expensive to resolve. Ongoing maintenance from a professional plumber like Swan Denver can help to minimize the risk of this issue by regularly clearing away any blockages and checking for signs of trouble. By taking proactive steps, such as planting trees further away from your sewer line and installing root barriers, you can help to reduce the risk of tree root intrusion into your drain lines.

Clogged drains can be a huge inconvenience and can cause a lot of stress and hassle. They can also damage your pipes and affect the function of your home’s plumbing. By including drain cleaning as part of your annual maintenance routine, you can reduce the risk of clogs and other plumbing issues, so you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your drains are in good condition.