Blocked drains are a common household issue, but these blockages shouldn’t be a frequent occurrence. By keeping each drain clean within your home, either with your own maintenance or the help of a professional plumbing team, you can prevent a build-up and save on costs for repair.

Drain cleaning is the process of clearing blockages, roots, and debris from pipes and drains, usually using a high-pressure water jetter, electric eel, and even the humble plunger. At-home remedies can help prevent problems with early intervention, such as baking soda and vinegar for a minor blockage. But why do we need to clean our drains regularly, and how can they easily be maintained?

Why Clean Your Drains?

Aside from the inconvenience of a blocked drain, there are several reasons to ensure you do your best to regularly clean your drains, including:

1. Removes unpleasant odours

When debris like food scraps or wipes get caught up in your pipes, they get trapped and leak an unpleasant odour. The smell will remain until you get the drain clean.

2. Reduces the Likelihood of a Blockage

If you upkeep your drains, you’re less likely to experience significant blockages from debris build-up. Fats, food, wipes, toys, hair, soap scum and a long list of other materials are all common causes of blockages and are preventable by choosing to clean your drain regularly and not washing these items down your drains.

3. Saves Your Money

When debris, food scraps, and tree roots are impacting your drain and left without intervention, it can become a costly undertaking to rectify. Sometimes it requires the replacement of pipes, both indoors and externally. 

By getting your sewer and stormwater drains cleaned regularly, at least annually, you’re bound to save yourself money and have less time without well-functioning drainage.

4. Improves Lifespan of the Drain

While most issues are relatively quick to solve, blockages aren’t ideal for the long-term functionality of your home drains. Without the build-up of tree roots, oils and other debris, and using the expertise of a plumber, there’s less chance of the drainage services continuing to deteriorate, leading to an improved lifespan.

Signs You Need Your Drain Clean

When you flush wipes down the toilet drain or pour cooking oil down the sink, your pipes will deteriorate, and a clear build-up of debris causes the following:  

Unpleasant Smells

It’s a sure sign that there is a mystery to solve in your drains when a smell comes from the kitchen sink or other pipes throughout the home. Bacteria feed on the debris in your drains, and mould grows, which emits a fragrance like rotten eggs or sewage. 

Strange Noises

When you have banging, humming or gurgling noises coming from your pipes, it’s usually a sign you need a plumber. A banging noise usually indicates an issue with water flow, whereas a humming noise involves dysfunctional water pressure and needs adjusting. A gurgling sound means your pipes are finding it hard to drain and are under pressure.


If you flush your toilet and the water continues to rise, it’s a sure sign your toilet is blocked and experiencing overflow. If you continue to flush, you’ll end up with a messy floor with toilet or sewage water.

Slow Drainage

Whether you have slow-draining drain pipes or a toilet after flushing, it’s suitable to suggest you need your drain cleaned. It indicates that something is stopping the drain from flowing efficiently and will continue to worsen without intervention.

6 Ways to Keep Your Drain Clean

There are easy ways to keep your drain clean, with and without the use of cleaning products, and these are just a few ways:

1. Avoid Washing Food Scraps & Oils Down the Sink

Never wash expanding food (pasta, rice etc.), oil, ground coffee and other scraps down your sink drain. While it may not have an instant effect, a build-up over time causes blockages that can end up being costly.

Oils and coffee grounds are better disposed of in empty glass jars once cooled and put out with the rubbish. 

2. Remove the Build-Up of Hair & Soap Scum

Shower drains are hair and soap scum traps and cause drains to clog by coagulating and sticking to the pipes. As it builds up, the blockage becomes significant and affects water flow. When cleaning your tub or shower, pull out as much hair as possible and remove the soap to avoid blockages.

3. Use Baking Soda & Vinegar

If you’re looking for a natural but powerful remedy for clearing a minor drain blockage, homeowners often have success with the following treatment:

  • Pour hot water down the drain
  • Pour a cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar into the pipes
  • Cover with a plug for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Pour hot water down the drain again.

Undertaking these steps has a reaction where it breaks up the material causing a blockage, such as to dissolve hair and soap scum.

4. Regularly Check Tree Roots

Tree roots cause significant damage to drain pipes and can be costly to replace if they crack or break. By taking the time to inspect the state of the tree roots and pipes, you can seek the assistance of our plumbers early and at less risk to your property.

Ring Woden Valley Plumbing for Top Customer Service

If it has been a while since you’ve had your drains cleaned or have never taken the opportunity, now is the time to call Woden Valley Plumbing for a CCTV inspection and high-pressure water jetter cleaning.  

Whether you start with some DIY methods or enable our qualified crew to clean your drain before signs of any significant clogs, you will have smooth running drains. The more often your home and bathroom drains are inspected and cleaned, the better the outcomes.