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The Most Common Sources of Drain Clogs


It is a huge hassle when you have a clogged drain in your home! The sink (or shower, or toilet) can’t be used. Often there’s an unpleasant smell. And trying to get the drain unclogged can be a frustrating, time-consuming, and disagreeable task.

How can you best cope with drain clogs? Ideally, you’d avoid them entirely. Knowing what causes them will put you on the right track.

A Word of Warning

Before we discuss how clogs develop, we want to give you a quick PSA about a common way people attempt to clear up drain clogs: chemical drain cleaners. These caustic liquids are easy to find on hardware store shelves, but they are hazardous to your health and can even damage your plumbing in a way that makes clogs build up faster in the future! Try a sink plunger or drain snake instead, and if those fail, call a plumber.

Cooking Grease

The main culprit behind kitchen sink clogs is grease. Fat might slip easily down the drain when you’re washing dishes with hot water, but when it cools, it will solidify inside your plumbing. Bit by bit, this builds up until the whole drain is blocked. The solution is simple: wipe greasy dishes with a paper towel before washing them in the sink.


Shower drains can quickly become occluded by tangles of hair, which don’t wash away and can make it easier for other substances to build up in the drain as well. A mesh drain cover will catch most hair so you can throw it away rather than let it slip down into your plumbing.

Soap Scum

Have you ever scrubbed out a shower or tub that had gone too long between cleanings? You know exactly how solid and stubborn soap scum can be. While your mesh drain cover will catch some of it, the rest will slip down the drain and gum up your plumbing.

There are a few treatments you can try during regular bathroom cleaning that can cut down on this dramatically. The first is hot water, which can melt it and help it wash down to the sewer. The second is baking soda and vinegar, whose bubbly fizz may loosen the scum. And third, some people swear by ammonia for this, but another word of warning: never use ammonia in combination with other cleaning products, especially any containing bleach, because that can create a toxic gas.

Mineral Scaling

All water contains minerals, some more than others. Water particularly high in minerals is called hard water. As the water flows, things like calcium and magnesium can settle out, leaving scaling that can slowly narrow and eventually block pipes. A plumber can flush out the system, but if it’s a persistent problem, they may recommend a water softener. 

Foreign Objects

A toy car in the toilet may be intentional (insofar as intention can be attributed to anything toddlers do) but many other items may slip down a drain accidentally and without your noticing them: a plastic knife, a drinking straw, an eyeliner cap. In these cases, you’ll need drain clearing services in Cumming, GA. And in the future, use a mesh drain cover and keep a close eye on small children near drains!

To speak with a member of our team, contact DC Cheek Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today. Fixed, At the Speed of Life!

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