As the years go by, your home suffers from the wear and tear of everyday life. Even the most well-maintained homes need periodic service, repair, or parts replacement on their household appliances and plumbing. Your sink and bathtub drains are some of the most used parts of your home- after all, every time you run water in your kitchen or bathroom sink, or step into the tub or stall shower, the drain is getting a workout. In addition to water, people try to put all kinds of things down their drains, either intentionally or unintentionally, and the result is often some type of clog. While this is all just part of homeowner life, there are some simple things you can do to prevent clogged drains from occurring frequently. Here are the top ways to protect your drain from developing a clog, so that you can keep your water- and your life- running smoothly.

Grease Isn’t the Word!

One common misconception that homeowners have about Mr Drains sink drains, particularly those with a built-in garbage disposal, is that anything and everything can get thrown down there, as long as you’re also running water. However, in the case of cooking grease, this simply isn’t true. Over time, grease builds up in your drain pipe, forming a clog. To prevent a grease-induced drain clog, one simple solution is to pour all your cooking grease into a container, like an empty soup can, and then throw it into the trash once it’s full. The same container can be used multiple times and stored in the freezer to solidify. By using a can to collect all your grease, you can be sure none of it is ending up down the drain!

Ground your coffee grounds

toss down a sink drain
Much like with cooking grease, people tend to think that coffee grounds are fine to toss down a sink drain. After all, individually speaking, coffee grounds are so small, it’s nearly impossible to believe that they can contribute to one heck of a clog. But Boulder’s Flatirons Plumbing points out that by tossing the grounds from your reusable coffee filter down the sink drain every day, you’re creating a buildup that will lead to some serious backup. What’s a person to do- give up coffee? No need to go to that extreme- simply dump your coffee grounds into the trash bin, or in a mulch pile or compost heap if you prefer, and go about your regular coffee-making business. This way you’ll be 100 percent sure there are no rogue coffee grounds ending up in your drain pipe, and you don’t have to sacrifice your morning cup of Joe.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

When we bathe, the hair on our heads and bodies has nowhere else to go but down our bathtub and shower drains. People with longer hair may experience more frequent drain clogs thanks to the volume of hair that plugs up their drain pipes. You can prevent hair from clogging your drain by purchasing a filter called a drain gate. These devices are available in hardware stores and online retailers, and work by trapping hair as it tries to make its way down the drain. The homeowner must then clean out the drain gate regularly to keep everything in working order. If you’re squeamish about hair- even your own!- this solution may not work well for you unless another member of your household can clean the drain gates without flinching.

By knowing which clog-inducing agents to look out for, as well as how to properly prevent them from going down your drain, you are helping to keep your plumbing in perfect working condition. Though clogged drains happen to even the most careful homeowner, these preventative measures can work wonders in terms of keeping plumbers at bay.