Cleaning your plugholes is easy to forget about. They’re unseen, and so we don’t pay much attention to them unless we have to. That might be because of a blockage in the drain that causes the toilet, sink or shower to flood – or because we’ve noticed how stained and grimy the kitchen sink has become – yuck!
Our first instinct might be to go to the supermarket to buy some chemicals or lift the phone to a local cleaning in Brighton service. But think again. Chemical products are not only expensive and, in most cases, unnecessary, they are also harmful to the environment and toxic to pets. Plumbers – well they’re always expensive, especially when the problem might be fixed with a little elbow grease.
So, here’s how you can bring a happy gurgle back to your plugholes without opening your wallet.
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Does your plughole look a bit grimy? From time to time, we notice the effects of the food particles, coffee grounds and hard water deposits that are continually bombarding the steel plughole, causing it to turn an assortment of unusual colours.
If it’s time to bring back the shine follow these simple and natural steps for cleaning plugholes.
To avoid a tarnished plughole in the future, clean regularly using the lemon juice method and avoid pouring down staining liquids like tea, coffee, and oil. With regular attention, the plughole tarnishing will vanish.
Limescale is a hard-deposit of chalky-like substance, made mainly of calcium carbonate. It is left behind when hard water with a high mineral count evaporates and can be found on many appliances and areas of high-water usage such as sinks and baths. It isn’t bad for you but can be unsightly, giving your home a neglected appearance.
To rid yourself of this unwanted guest you can use chemical products available in most supermarkets. Alternatively, if you want a solution that is natural and more budget friendly try using vinegar and baking soda. It is entirely chemical-free – useful if you have pets, kids or allergies – and you won’t need to go to the shops.
To remove the limescale from your plugholes in your bathroom and kitchen, combine eight litres of white vinegar with one cup of baking soda. Ensure the plugholes are as clear as possible for starters, free from any hair and debris. First pour the baking soda down the plughole, closely followed by the vinegar. The two substances react chemically and destroy the limescale.
Leave the solution in there for three or four hours and rinse the plughole with boiling water. Remember to use rubber gloves when working with the solution.
Keeping the plughole in your shower clean is very important, it can easily clog up with hair, limescale, and other debris, causing blockages that can result in the smell of old water and drainage issues when showering. Your shower tray is relatively easy to clean but if it’s not done regularly it can result in clogging further down in the pipes – a much more expensive job.
What you’ll need:
If your shower plughole is not draining properly it’s a strong indication the plughole is blocked – most likely with hair. When you remove the shower cover you will see the gunk and hair immediately. Use the screwdriver to detach the white tube from the chrome shower cover. Place the shower cover in the soapy water and remove hair from white tube.
With a paper towel, clean the gunk and hair from the plughole opening, remove the water container if you have one and place it in the soapy water along with the white tube. Using water and distilled vinegar make a solution in the spray bottle. Give the open plughole a good spray with the solution.
From the bucket remove the odour trap and wipe it down so it’s perfectly clean. Also spray this with the vinegar and wipe it down. Clean the chrome cover in the same way, using the vinegar spray to remove any gunk on its underside. Now is a good time to use an old toothbrush or paintbrush to eradicate gunk from awkward places.
Once perfectly clean reattach the white waste pipe to the chrome cover. Use a cloth to wipe the opening of the plughole, enclosure, and as far down the pipe as you can manage. Replace the odour trap and white pipe with chrome cover.
This process should be implemented at the first sign of standing water, or on a retailer basis – perhaps once a month – to avoid problem pipes.
If you’ve cleaned the shower tray and pipe enclosure several times but are still experiencing standing water or foul smells, you may have an underlying issue that could require a plumber. Luckily, there are still some techniques you can try to remove problem hair without footing the bill.
If you want to eliminate that invisible hair ball for free, the first thing to try is a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Mix ⅓ of a cup of each and pour down the plughole. Leave for one hour or overnight then flush with boiling water. It’s your best chance.
When cleaning your shower plughole, you can also use tweezers to reach down into the pipe and grab any stuck hair that’s lurking down there. The vinegar and soda solution should dissolve most of it, but you can never be certain of getting all of it out. Tweezers are the perfect tool.
Failing this, try a wire coat hanger. It might be that the hairball is too far down for the tweezers. Straighten the coat hanger so that the hook is at the end of it. Put the straightened coat hanger far down the plug hole and twist a few times. If there is some rouge hair trapped down there the coat hanger should bring it up.
A plunger can also be useful for clearing the shower pipe especially if there is a combination of grime and soap as well as hair. Place the plunger over the shower plughole and plunge a few times. The action will create pressure that, when released, will loosen or free up the blockage. This can make the other methods of hair removal much easier.
Your sink is probably the most used part of the kitchen, constantly filling with used dishes and draining away grimy water. It can be hard enough clearing away the dishes at times, so it’s no wonder the plughole gets overlooked.
Once in a while, it’s time for a little TLC. Empty your sink and wash the whole thing down with warm water and dish soap. If you notice any stains, mix together three parts cream of tartar with one-part hydrogen peroxide. Apply lightly to stains with a non-abrasive cloth or sponge. Most stains will come off easily.
With the sink a little wet sprinkle baking soda over the steel. Add some lemon juice or half a lemon as you gently scrub the sink basin and plug hole. The chemical reaction in the mixture will remove stains and deodorize. For the plughole, use a toothbrush to get in between metal grates.
If you notice any left-over water marks put some distilled vinegar on a cloth and wipe down for a lovely shine. Finally take a lint-free towel and buff the entire sink and plughole. It should come up brand new.
With these handy tips there should be no need to smell old water in your bathroom again or peer into a grim-looking sink. Apply these simple techniques to your plugholes regularly, perhaps once a month, to make them gurgle happily and avoid the need to call a Professional Cleaning company.
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