Bathroom drainpipes - problems & solutions


Bathroom drainpipes - a germ risk

This is not a section of the house that anyone pays much attention to - until it gets clogged, that is. A blocked drain quickly makes a house uninhabitable. Bathroom drainpipes are easily clogged by hair, soap particles and toothpaste, making the already dark, hot and moist circumstances in drains fertile breeding ground for germs. Germs that may lurk on the bodies of shower and basin users may get trapped in the clogged drainpipes and wash up to the surface when others use the shower/basin. The papilloma virus, which may cause Plantar's warts, can be spread in this way. 

The drainpipe is also a favourite abode of pests, especially cockroaches. These can spread diseases such as salmonella, shigellosis, gastroenteritis and hepatitis A.

How to clean bathroom drainpipes 

Many people are tempted to go down the chemical drain cleaner route when bathroom drainpipes get clogged. But think twice before you do this – you may ruin your plastic drainage system, if you have one. Rather pour ½ a cup of baking soda and ½ a cup of white vinegar down the drainpipe, followed by 2 litres of boiling water. This should be repeated fortnightly to keep drainpipes clean. 

Keep your drainpipes unclogged. The best way to do this is to immediately remove excess hair and particles when it builds up at the drain plug. It may also be a good idea to pour a ¼ of a cup of salt, followed by boiling water, down the drain every week to keep it unclogged.

Clogged drains can be opened by means of liquid drain openers containing sodium hypochlorite and sodium hydroxide. If your drain is seriously clogged, get professionals to help.

Handy hint:
Buy one of those small perforated plastic covers that fit into the plughole. This will stop hair and other debris from getting into the drain and clogging it up.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1388 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 7670 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1592 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.