Bad Bathroom Habits to Break for the New Year

Chemical drain cleaner being poured down a sink drain.

Some bathroom habits are hard to break. We’re not referring to the fact that your kids eat granola bars on the toilet, or your husband forgets to use the air freshener. We’re talking about the bathroom behaviors that lead to mold, mildew, and clogged drains. Prolong the life of your plumbing and avoid costly emergencies by setting a few New Year’s resolutions surrounding your bathroom routines.

Capture Hair Before It Goes Down the Drain

Hair can quickly clog a shower drain. This is especially true if the strands are mixed with soap scum and residue from beauty products. Even the short, straight hairs that come off of your face while you shave can create a slimy mess that plugs up your drain.

Prevent hair from making its way into your pipes by installing an insert in your drain. There are many different styles available. You might need to experiment before you find the one that works best for your household.

Stop Using Liquid Drain Cleaner

Liquid drain cleaner can corrode your pipes even if the label says that it won’t. Plus, it’s not exactly safe for people or the environment.

Instead of pouring harsh chemicals down your drain, try to unclog it manually. You can often reach down the drain with gloved fingers to pull out debris that’s responsible for a clog. Learning how to use a snake can be much more effective than relying on a liquid drain cleaner.

Small clogs become big clogs. Call a professional plumber to ensure that you’ve tackled the problem.

Kill and Prevent Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew in the bathroom are unsightly and can lead to health problems. This year, make it a priority to kill existing mold and mildew and prevent new growth from forming.

Use a product such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide to kill any mold that’s already in your bathroom. You can also find many products that are designed for this use.

Prevent the mold from growing back by taking the following steps:

  • Use the bathroom fan while the shower or bath is running and for 20 minutes afterward.

  • Keep the tub clean and free of soap scum, which can create the perfect environment for mold to grow.

  • Wash towels and bath mats regularly.

  • Clean or replace your shower curtain if it develops spots of mildew.

  • Don’t keep beauty products in your shower; mold often grows behind and underneath them.

Watch What Goes Down Your Sink

If you’re used to brushing food scraps into the sink, it’s time to ditch that habit. (This applies mainly to kitchen sinks, but the things we’ve seen would surprise you.) Anything oily or fatty can build up in your pipes. The residue can eventually shrink the passageways and capture other debris, which causes clogs. Place oil or greasy food directly into the garbage. You should avoid putting these in the garbage disposal too. In the bathroom, you might want to avoid oil-based scrubs, shaving cream, and fizzy bath bombs, which can build up in your drains over time.

Stop Ignoring Drips and Leaks

Have you gotten used to that drip in your sink that used to keep you up at night? Does your dripping toilet wake you up every morning? You shouldn’t ignore small plumbing problems. They’ll eventually become more complicated issues.

Even the most minor leaks can cause water damage. When moisture ends up somewhere that it’s not supposed to be, it can be a haven for mold growth. Inspect your plumbing regularly for leaks, corrosion, and rust.

Bottom line: If you notice an issue, call a plumber at Coast Plumbing, Heating and Air at (714) 262-4009. We work around the clock to handle any of your plumbing needs. Our technicians have the experience, resources, and tools that are necessary to detect problems, and we fix them affordably and rapidly.