Have you ever experienced the frustration and mess of clogged drains? By keeping these simple tips in mind, you can keep everything in your home flowing smoothly, and avoid these hassles altogether.

First and foremost, never put something down the drain that simply doesn’t belong there. If a product is not marked “flushable,” don’t take any chances — just throw it out instead of attempting to flush it. As for kitchen drains, avoid sending scraps of food or cooking grease down the drain. It’s best to pour grease into a used can. If poured down the drain, it will settle along the sides of your pipes and trap bits of food that will accumulate and lead to a clog.

Installing strainers is a simple, inexpensive way to prevent clogs. Strainers can be used on all sinks to catch hair, soap and food. Just be sure to clean your strainers, as well as of your sink stoppers, regularly. You may not think of cleaning your stoppers regularly, but they should be washed and rinsed thoroughly once a week, because this is a prime place for clogs to originate.

If you have a garbage disposal, running cold water through it can help to move ground food through your pipes. Be sure to run plenty of water — otherwise, food may rapidly accumulate in your pipes. In addition, it’s a good idea to pour boiling water down each of your drains on a weekly basis. By making this a regular part of your cleaning routine, you can clear out scum and build-up.

Even if you follow each of these steps, you may still encounter problems with slow drains. When you do, think twice before using drain-clearing chemical products. These products may actually do more harm than good — they can erode the insides of your pipes, leading to leaks. And because these products often fail to remove the entire clog, the problem is likely to recur.

Instead of reaching for chemical products, reach for the phone when you encounter clogs and slow drains. Call Blind & Sons for professional plumbing expertise and quality service, backed by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Sources: DIY Life, HouseLogic, eHow Home