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How to Prevent Clogged Drains & What to Do If You Have One

Looking for ways to best avoid clogged drains? We’re here to help.

There’s never a right moment for a clogged drain. In fact, most times, a clogged drain occurs at inopportune times: when preparing dinner for guests, loading the dishwasher, or winding down the night with a relaxing shower. Whatever the case may be, clogged drains disrupt the comfort of your home and can be absolutely frustrating, expensive, time-consuming, and don’t forget smelly—a deposit of gunk resurfacing causes an unpleasant experience for everyone. 

Even worse, clogged drains may lead to or be the result of a bigger matter. Larger clogs from the main lines may cause backups into your home; Clogged drains within your home may apply excess strain on your municipal drain and sewer system. One simple clogged drain can damage your environment and put your family at risk. 

Looking for ways to best avoid clogged drains? We’re here to help. Eliminate a headache’s worth of repairs by preventing clogged drains with these extensive measures. 


Why Are My Drains Clogged?

Many reasons point to clogged drains—primarily all have to do with the substances that go down them. We spend moments throughout the day hovering over our sinks, using our bathrooms and showering. As a result, countless materials travel down our drains that cause buildup over time: hair, oil, grease, certain food items, paper products—the list goes on.  

To minimize clogged drains, use cold water instead of hot water when using your garbage disposal. Cold water maintains the solidity of grease and oil so that the garbage disposal can properly break it up; Hot water melts and manipulates these substances, allowing them to stick to your drain and cause buildup. Other measures include brushing your hair immediately before taking a bath or shower to reduce the amount of loose hair running down the drain. When the weather is warm, wash pets outside to avoid excess hair clogging the drain. Also, teach children in your home the importance of maintaining your drain system. The best way to prevent clogged drains is to be cognizant of what you’re putting in them. 


What Not to Put in Your Drain 


Grease, Fats, or Cooking Oils

Vegetable oils, butter, lard, dairy products—these liquids cause major clogs and blockage by enabling other items to get stuck in the drain as well. 


Coffee Grounds 

When making your morning coffee, never put coffee grounds in your sewer because this substance works to clog your drain in the same way as grease, fats, and cooking oils.  


Pasta, Rice, and Bread

Food items such as these expand with water causing major blockage by sticking inside of your pipes. 


Meats, Bones, Eggs Shells

Garbage disposals aren’t meant to grind bones or eggshells, and meats cluster together with other items to clog the drain. 


Potatoes Peels, Celery, Carrots 

Fibrous substances should be avoided when using the garbage disposal. These vegetable tissues make it hard for your garbage disposal to properly break it up. 


Bathroom Drains 


Human hair, pet hair, doll hair, stuffed animal hairs, etc.—hair of all kinds can lead to a clogged drain in no time. 


Paper Products 

Be wary of putting baby wipes, feminine hygiene products, paper towels, napkins, cotton balls, and other paper products down the drain. Even “flushable” products that claim to be safe for your toilet most often are just as bad. 


Prescription Medications, Lotions, & Miscellaneous Objects

Avoid putting medications, lotions, band-aids, dental floss, cosmetics, razors, blades, rubber or latex materials, and other like-minded material down the drain. Not only does this cause blockage in your drain, but it also can be toxic to wildlife and seep into your drinking water.   



Although a given, toys are commonly the main offender behind toilet clogs. Make sure to discuss with your children what is and isn’t appropriate to flush down the toilet. 



This may surprise you, but various soaps can clog drains faster than expected. This is largely due to the residue that builds up and causes other items to stick with it. Regulate the amount of shampoo, toothpaste, and other soaps down the drain to reduce the possibility of clogs.   


What to Do When Your Drain Clogs 

Ultimately, the best way to prevent clogged drains that result in costly repairs is by scheduling routine cleaning maintenance. This ensures your drain withstands whatever goes inside it. Clogged drains can result in much bigger issues if not tended to properly. 

The experts at ServiceMark are here to help keep your drains clog-free and running smoothly.  Don’t let clogged drains disrupt the routine in your home. Call us for routine maintenance or drain clearing and we’ll promise you a 1-year clog-free guarantee. If that same drain ever clogs up again within 1 full year—no matter the reason—we’ll come back and unclog it again for free! 

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ServiceMark has been your trusted expert for quality maintenance and drain clearing services since 1951. Our experienced plumbers receive more than 100 hours of technical training each year and can be counted for knowledgable, reliable plumbing service. With 24-hour service, seven days a week, and no emergency fees, we’re here when you need us the most.


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