Old Wives’ Tales and Plumbing Tricks – Do They Really Work?

Old wives’ tales and homemaker remedies to household problems have existed since the dawn of the American family and the Internet is a rife place for rumors and myths, so we thought we'd take some time to fact-check a few of the more common household remedies for sewer and plumbing issues around the house:

How Do I Safely Degrease the Drain?

Homeowners learn quickly not to put bacon grease down the kitchen sink, but potato skins, coffee grounds, and other food items can do some serious damage to your pipes if you try and wash them down the drain. Commercial liquid drain cleaner can eat away at pipes and harm the environment, so we'd recommend the following solution:

Answer: Disconnect the Trap

The P-Trap under your sink is the most likely spot where grease is caught in your plumbing. By disconnecting it and clearing it out manually, you can prevent clogging right at the source. Keep an old jar handy to dump your bacon grease and avoid the problem for the future!

My Drain Smells - What About Lemon Juice?

Homemakers have often said putting lemons down the drain will keep it smelling clean and clog-free. Unfortunately, the smell doesn't last and the citric acid will corrode your pipes.

Answer: Baking Soda

Periodically putting a small amount of baking soda down your drain will keep eliminate odor and provide a safe, neutral smell that won't do nasty things to your pipes.

How Do I Sharpen the Blades in My Garbage Disposal?

Again, it was common to use lemons not only as an odor-reducer, but putting a whole lemon in the drain was considered the best way to sharpen the blades of a garbage disposal.

Answer: Use Ice

The citric acid from lemons will harm your pipes - using a few cubes of ice in your disposal and letting it run with running water for about 30 seconds will actually sharpen your blades pretty nicely. No mess, no fuss, no damaged pipes!

For more information on how to best care for your pipes, contact Pioneer Plumbing and Heating. Our expert plumbers and technicians can help you through small plumbing maladies all the way up to new constructions. Give us a call today!

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