Don’t Forget Your Drain During Spring Cleaning

Sunshine and outdoor temperatures warm enough to open your home’s windows is a telltale sign spring is here. If you’re planning an annual rite of spring, deep cleaning your home, remember the drains! Here we’ll discuss why drain cleaning is important with several step-by-step guides for cleaning common household drains.

Why Should Spring Cleaning Involve Drains?

Your household drains might not be clogged now, but it doesn’t mean they and you won’t appreciate a thorough preventive cleaning.

Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal A workhorse in many kitchens, the garbage disposal is an easy appliance to clean and gives you years of service in return.

  • Disconnect the power source: Unplug the cord under the sink or turn off the circuit breaker.
  • Clean the baffle: This is the rubber covering inside the disposal drain. Scrub the visible top and underneath with an abrasive sponge and dish soap. Rinse the sponge as needed while cleaning.
  • Clean the grinding chamber: Use the abrasive sponge and dish soap to scrub the top of the grinding chamber until the surfaces feel clean.
  • Add baking soda and vinegar, then cover the drain: Pour in ½ cup of baking soda, then slowly add one cup of distilled white vinegar. Place the sink stopper over the drain, let the mixture fizz, and clean inside for at least 10 minutes.
  • Reconnect the power and flush the disposal: Reconnect the power source. Then, remove the stopper, turn on the garbage disposal, and flush the drain with hot tap water for at least one minute.

Kitchen Drains

A clean kitchen sink adds a certain glow to the rest of the space. But a clean kitchen drain? Well, that’s next level and should be on any spring cleaning list.

You only need a handful of standard kitchen products and less than an hour:

  1. Bring two quarts of water to a boil, then slowly pour down the kitchen sink drain.
  2. Add a cup of baking soda and thoroughly rinse the drain and sink with hot tap water. Pour a cup of lemon juice or distilled white vinegar into the drain and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Again rinse the drain and sink, and enjoy a deep-cleaned drain that smells fresh!

But for the kitchen drains that need a little extra help, consider an enzyme-based drain cleaner. These environmentally friendly cleaners need up to a full day to effectively clean food, grease, and soap residue from the drain. But they reduce the bacteria and odors while giving you a free-flowing drain.

Bathroom Sink Drains

Many products you and your household members use during morning and nighttime bathroom routines flow into the drain and out of sight. Unfortunately, many of these products solidify as they cool or build up inside the pipes.

Cat Meme

Three effective ways to clean a bathroom sink drain are baking soda and distilled white vinegar; pickling (rock) salt and hot water; and cream of tartar and boiling water.

  • Pickling salt and hot water: Pour up to two cups of pickling salt in and around the drain opening. Cover with damp paper towels and wait 10 minutes. Flush with hot water.
  • Baking soda and distilled white vinegar: This solution can be used after a salt and hot water flush. Make a thick paste with up to one-half cup of baking soda and vinegar as needed. Place the paste around and just inside the drain and wait 10 minutes. Pour boiling water around the drain edges, then use a scrubbing brush inside the sink drain.
  • Cream of tartar, salt, and boiling water: Cream of tartar effectively breaks down particles inside the drain pipe. Pour one cup of cream of tartar into the drain, followed by boiling water.


If you diligently clean the toilets in your home, that’s great! But what about the toilet drains?

Toilet drains are usually toward the end of spring-cleaning tasks people remember. Yet, there are several options to help this vital drain stay clean and functional beyond the spring.

  • Commercial drain cleaners: These come in liquid and powder forms and are available at most home improvement stores. They’re also the first product most people use for a clog, but they can cause chemical burns and long-term damage to the pipes.
  • Enzyme-based cleaners: These cleaners are best suited for preventing clogs than dislodging them. Plus, enzyme-based cleaners are safe to use with septic systems.
  • Natural drain cleaners: These DIY cleaners are usually made with household items, such as Borax, salt, and distilled white vinegar; baking soda plus white vinegar or lemon juice; and plain boiling water.
  • Water blast: A bladder, such as a large rubber bag, is attached to a garden hose and inserted into the toilet drain. As the bag expands with the water turned on, it dislodges clogs and sends them through the pipes.

Toilet Paper Clogs Drains Hot Water Heater

Spring is a great time to deep clean your water heater. After all, this appliance is the reason you have hot water on demand.

  • Drain water to check for sediment build-up: Place a bucket under the drain valve and release two to three gallons of water. If the water is clear, the appliance is fine. But if you notice more than a bit of dirt or debris, you’ll need to perform a full tank flush.
  • Replace the anode rod: This small rod uses electrolysis to protect the water tank from corrosion. It slowly corrodes throughout the year instead of the tank and only needs a few minutes to switch out.
  • Test the TPR valve: The temperature and pressure relief valve is a crucial safety feature and should be checked — at a minimum — yearly. Lift the valve, then look for a small flow of hot water and a gurgling noise. If you don’t see or hear either, contact a plumber to replace the vale.
  • Check the hot water temperature from a faucet: Using the faucet nearest to the water heater, turn on the hot water and allow it to run for three minutes. Fill a cup and use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature. Adjust the thermostat on the water heater if it doesn’t read 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Giving the drains in your home a thorough cleaning is a great way to enjoy the benefits of spring long after the season ends.

If you’re looking for professional drain cleaning, contact the pros at Service Champions!