Written by Charlotte Shaff. 

Six months into the pandemic and the clogs just keep coming. Valley plumbers are seeing no slowdown in calls about slow and clogged drains. With more people spending more time at home, the experts at Donley AC & Plumbing are sharing ways to avoid messes.

“The biggest culprits are cooking grease, hair and soap scum,” says Mike Donley, president of the Phoenix-based company. “Liquid grease should never go down a drain. Instead, pour it in a sealable container and dispose in the trash.”

How To Tackle Hair and Soap Scum

Placing a screen or filter over a drain’s opening can help reduce problems with hair and soap scum. Brushing your hair just before showering can remove loose hair and reduce the amount that lands in the drain. If you wash pets in your bathtub or shower try laying a washcloth over the drain to catch excess hair.

How To Keep Drains Clear

  • Regularly remove and clean the drain stopper.
  • Pour baking soda into the drain and follow with hot water.
  • Pour a cup of vinegar down the drain, let sit for 30 minutes, and follow with hot water.

Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

  • Don’t treat your disposal like a trash can. Instead throw leftovers in garbage or compost pile.
  • Avoid putting starchy, stringy and fibrous waste into the disposal. Potato peels and celery don’t sufficiently break down.
  • Turn the disposal on before you toss in scraps. Add scraps gradually to avoid overloading the disposal.
  • Keep cold water running while disposal is on and for a full minute after it’s turned off.
  • Avoid pouring cooking oil and fat down the drain.
  • Use a paper towel to wipe off greasy pans before placing them in the sink.
  • If you think there’s a problem with your disposal avoid using the dishwasher because it discharges into the disposal.

How To Keep Disposal Working Well

  • Feed ice cubes to sharpen the blades.
  • Always run cold water when the disposal is on.
  • To counter odors, put lemon or lime peels or small wedges down the disposal.

How To Keep Toilet Running Correctly

  • Never flush food down the toilet
  • Never flush cotton balls or swabs
  • Keep a trash container nearby so everyone in the house is reminded to use the container and not the toilet.

About Donley AC & Plumbing

Since 1976, Jim and Mike Donley and their employees have been providing honest, caring service to Arizonans. Family-owned Donley AC & Plumbing has twice been honored with the Better Business Bureau’s Ethics Award. Donley technicians receive ongoing training to provide the most comprehensive service for air conditioning, plumbing, heating, sewer repair, maintenance management and solar hot water.