How to Properly Maintain and Clean Your Drains

In the grand scheme of household chores, drain maintenance often takes a backseat. Yet, neglecting this vital aspect of your sewer maintenance can lead to many problems, such as clogs, slow drainage, and unpleasant odors. At Chas Roberts, we’re here to help you identify the potential causes of this issue and guide you through seven effortless steps to remove clogs in your plumbing system.

How to Clean a Bathroom Sink and Shower Drain

Before we delve into the step-by-step process, let’s understand why drain maintenance is crucial. Over time, debris, hair, soap scum, and grease can accumulate in your drains, leading to blockages and foul odors. Regular cleaning not only prevents these issues but also extends the longevity of your plumbing system.

Chas Roberts is a plumbing expert with a dedicated, full-service plumbing department that is ready to assist you 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. When one of our certified and highly skilled plumbers is dispatched to assist you, you also benefit from a complementary plumbing inspection. This comprehensive inspection includes:

  • Water main pressure test
  • Water quality test
  • Water heater check
  • Water softener check
  • Reverse osmosis check
  • Shutoff valve check
  • Supply line check
  • Toilet check
  • And more depending on your plumbing system

How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink Drain and a Shower Drain

Some of the most commonly affected drainage systems prone to organic buildup, blockages, and unpleasant smells are the ones in the bathroom and kitchen. This is largely because these drains manage a significant volume of water and waste.

Dealing with a sink or shower that drains slowly can be quite a hassle. Similarly, encountering a toilet that drains sluggishly can trigger a notable level of unease — an experience familiar to many. To avoid these issues, let’s explore the techniques for efficiently cleaning and maintaining the drainage systems throughout your residence.

Step 1: Gather Your Cleaning Tools

Being well-prepared is essential for the success of any DIY project. Before you start the process of cleaning the drain, make sure to gather the following supplies:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Plunger
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Drain brush or pipe snake

Step 2: Remove Visible Debris

A slow draining sink, shower, or toilet is generally caused by a blockage or buildup. Naturally, the first thing you need to do before cleaning a drain is to take care of any potential clogs.

To accomplish this, a common approach is to use a regular plunger, which can be easily purchased from most stores that sell household items. Specifically, we recommend using a plunger with a bellow-like design that is most suitable for this task. Plungers are versatile tools that can be applied to toilets, sinks, and bathtubs.

Step 3: Apply Baking Soda and Vinegar

Now that you have removed any debris, it’s time to create your cleaning solution with common household items such as baking soda and vinegar. Start by directly pouring about half a cup of baking soda into the drain. Right after that, add the same amount of vinegar. These two ingredients create a chemical reaction that’s helpful to break down tough grease and gets rid of lingering smells. Allow this mixture to sit in your drain for around 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 4: Power Flush with Boiling Water

While you wait for your baking soda and vinegar mixture to break down the grim in your drains, begin to boil water. You’ll need approximately 4 to 6 cups of boiling water to carefully pour down your drains. The intense heat of the water will help to break down any remaining debris, while simultaneously loosening any build up. For good measure, you can repeat this step to effectively clear your drain from any remaining obstructions.

Step 5: Use a Drain Brush or Pipe Snake

When dealing with those tougher clogs that just won’t budge, it’s time to bring in the reinforcements – a trusty drain brush or a versatile pipe snake. Carefully slide this tool into the drain and give it a gentle twist to tackle those stubborn residues that might be causing the blockage. This approach ensures a thorough cleaning, taking on even the trickiest clogs with confidence and efficiency.

Step 6: Call the Experts at Chas Roberts

While mastering the art of DIY drain maintenance is commendable, sometimes the complexities require the touch of a seasoned professional. This is where Chas Roberts comes into play. Our extensive experience with Phoenix area homes gives us the knowledge and tools to tackle even the most stubborn drain issues. Whether it’s a tenacious clog or a comprehensive plumbing inspection, our technicians are equipped to ensure your drains are functioning optimally.

Preventing Future Clogs

As plumbing experts, we often recommend to our customers these three tips to keep drains clean and free from future clogs or buildup:

  1. Utilize Drain Screens

Deploy these devices to enable water and small particles to pass through while preventing hair, larger food particles, and other debris from entering. Drain screens are particularly useful for the kitchen sink, as well as the bathtub and shower.

  1. Avoid Pouring Grease Down the Drain

Never dispose of liquid grease down your drain, as it can solidify over time and cause blockages. Additionally, grease can lead to sewer clogs. To prevent this, make sure to wipe greasy dishes with a paper towel before rinsing them. When washing oily items, use ample hot water and detergent.

  1. Regularly Maintain Drains and Stoppers

Make a habit of routinely cleaning and clearing your drains. Once a month, pour a few gallons of boiling water down your sink to help prevent buildup. Also, maintain your sink stoppers by cleaning them regularly, as they tend to accumulate grime, hair, and other particles.


Maintaining and cleaning your drains might not be the most glamorous task, but it’s an essential one that can save you from headaches down the road. By diligently following our comprehensive 7-step guide and incorporating regular maintenance into your routine, you can bid farewell to clogs and costly repairs. Remember, a well-maintained plumbing system leads to a happier, healthier home. And if ever the need arises, don’t hesitate to seek the expertise of the professionals at Chas Roberts. Your drains will thank you for it.

For expert plumbing assistance in Phoenix and the surrounding areas and to tackle any clogged drains, trust the experienced team at Chas Roberts. Our dedicated plumbers are here to help you resolve any plumbing issues, ensuring a comfortable and odor-free living space.

Family-owned and operated Chas Roberts is the largest HVAC company in Arizona and has been in business for over 75 years. Chas Roberts plumbing services are available in Metro Phoenix and provide exceptional, one-on-one customer service and knowledgeable advice on your plumbing. If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, give us a call now.

Contact our Metro Phoenix office at 602.386.2732.