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A blocked drain can be a real nuisance, especially when it happens at the weekend or on a Bank Holiday. There are things you can do to reduce the possibility of this happening and all are quick, simple and easy remedies.

First, it is important to think about what you are putting down your plug holes. Hair, grease, soap scum and coffee grounds are some the biggest culprits for causing drain blockages. Pour old cooking grease and oil into the container it came in, or use an old milk carton or empty can. Then either compost or throw away with your normal household rubbish. Remember to flush the sink with hot water on a daily basis. This will help reduce the build-up of grease and fat. Throw coffee grinds into the rubbish or use them as mulch in the garden. Buy yourself a plug cover that will prevent particles going down the drain. They cost very little and are readily available in most supermarkets.

Also think about introducing a regular cleaning regime. To keep your drains running freely and smelling fresh try a few of these cleaning tips:

  • Every time you use the sink flush it through with some hot water. This will help in preventing the build up of scum and fat. The hot water keeps the oil running down the drainage system and stops it building up on the inside surface of the pipes. This kind of unwanted build up will lead to sluggish drains and eventually a blockage.
  • Use a desert spoon full of bicarb of soda and put it down the plug hole. Follow it through with some hot water and you will surprised at the effect it has on sluggish and smelly drains.
  • Vinegar is another amazing cleaner that is often sitting around in your kitchen. Pour a cup down the drain and let it sit there for about half an hour. Then rinse with hot water. Once again you will be left with a clear, odor-free drain. Vinegar contains acetic acid which is a great organic solvent and will remove the build-up of grease in your drain pipes.
  • If you are regularly troubled with clogged drains try this quick remedy. Pour half a cup of salt and bicarb down the drain. Add half a cup of vinegar and leave it to foam for about a minute. Follow up with 4 pints of boiling water.

If you have a waste disposal system in your kitchen try freezing vinegar and water in an ice cube tray. Once frozen turn on the disposal and throw down the ice cubes. The vinegar cleans the disposal and drain while the ice chills and scraps the grease off the disposal walls. Follow up with a whole lemon through the system and leave it smelling clean, fresh and clean.

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