What Causes a Drain to Clog?

One of the most common reasons why drains swell up is hair. Hair, grease, and food particles clog drains, making them unusable for toilets. Another common reason for drain clogs is using too much toilet paper.

Putting food waste down a drain

Grease, fat, and other food particles that are thrown down the sink can cause a clog in your sink or toilet. These waste products can create a sticky paste when they are combined with water. Similarly, starchy foods like potato peels, corn husks, and celery can jam the garbage disposal. Therefore, it’s best to avoid throwing these waste products down the drain.

Most soft food can be safely thrown down a sink, including vegetables, but avoid fibrous, starchy vegetables. While most liquids are fine to put down a sink drain, avoid dumping melted or oily waste. Depending on the type of sink you have, you might be able to put a lid over the drain to prevent clogs.

Bacon grease can be safely flushed down a drain if you use hot water. However, hot water loses its heat quickly once it reaches the drain line, which makes the fat and oil solidify and contribute to clogging. This can lead to sewer backups and a major public health risk. It is therefore important to dispose of food waste properly to prevent a clog from affecting your home and your health.

Tree roots

A clogged drain can be caused by tree roots. These tiny roots are able to penetrate sewer pipes and feed on the water they carry. These roots can grow up to hundreds of meters long, and they can even probe through rock cracks to get into your sewer system. Tree roots can clog your drain or sewer, causing a backup and other plumbing problems. However, a professional plumber can handle more complex problems.

To kill these root systems, homeowners can use chemical products sold in home improvement stores. Many contain copper sulfate, which works by killing small roots in a drain. However, these chemicals can damage septic systems. Other methods include rock salt. Both copper sulfate and rock salt work effectively, and only need one application to kill tree roots. However, be sure to follow all instructions to avoid poisoning your pipes and trees.

One sign that tree roots have blocked your drain is a slow-draining toilet. You may hear a gurgling sound from your toilet. This is the sound of water trying to get through the pipes. A gurgling noise is caused by the water trying to get through the clogged pipes. In addition to this, you might even notice an odor coming from the toilet. If you suspect that tree roots are causing your drain to clog, you should consult a professional plumber.


If you notice that your drain is taking forever to empty, hair could be the culprit. If you’re tired of waiting for the plumber to arrive, try using a simple solution. Baking soda and vinegar can unclog a drain. The combination of the two products will create a chemical reaction that will dissolve hair. If that doesn’t work, try using boiling water to remove clumps of hair in the drain.

Using a flashlight or a wire hanger can help you see if there’s a clog. After a flashlight, you can use needle-nose pliers to scrape away the hair and remove it from the drain. Wearing gloves is a good idea before you use this method. If you can’t remove the clumps of hair by hand, you can try flushing the drain with hot water.

To prevent a drain clog, make sure to wash your hair regularly. Avoid using your shower drain if your hair is very long. Brushing your hair before you shower helps minimize loose strands that may fall into the drain. Also, if you have pets, brush them before you use the sink. This way, they won’t clog the drain as much. A heavy towel over the sink is another solution.


Toys can clog a drain by getting stuck in the pipes. These small items may be hair, grease, or food particles. Once they get stuck, they shut down your pipes. To solve this problem, turn off the water, and unscrew the P-trap or J-trap in your toilet. Contact a plumbing professional for help. We can answer your questions, too. Here’s what to do if your pipes are clogged with toys.

When kids play, they may drop toys down the drain. When these items get stuck, they stick to the pipes and eventually solidify. Moreover, they can snag on other items in the drain, resulting in a clogged sewer. To clear these clogs, you should first remove the debris from the drain pipes. Use rubber gloves to clean the trap. Once you have removed the debris, unscrew the slip nuts on both sides of the trap. Remove the clean-out plug.

Another way to clear a toilet clog caused by toys is to remove the toilet. Usually, the toys lodge at the lowest point of the toilet, just before the drain. So, before you try to get the toys out of the toilet, turn off the water supply and disconnect the toilet. If the toys are still stuck, you can place them in a bathtub or outside the toilet. You should not try to flush the toys, as this could damage the toilet bowl.

Other small objects

Other small objects are often the cause of a clogged drain, and a solution for these obstructions lies in avoiding them. Small objects are not easily broken down, and because they are so small, they do not fit through standard-sized pipes. Hence, they must be physically removed before they can cause damage to your pipes. Common clog causes include dental floss, hair, and animal fur. However, other stringy objects such as hair, paper towels, and other clothing can also cause the clog to occur.

Another cause of a drain plugged is fatty substances, like grease and egg shells. These substances can accumulate in pipes and eventually block the flow of water. To avoid clogged pipes, don’t pour grease, cooking oils, and cooked meat down the drain. To remove the fatty particles, strain the drain to remove all food debris. Also, you can use a shop vac equipped with a panty hose to remove any small object that may have fallen down the drain.


If your home sink or shower drain is clogged with dirt, it may be time to hire a plumber to clear it for you. Drains are meant to remove water, but the buildup of soap and dirt can cause major plumbing malfunctions. When you flush soap and dirt down the drain, they can pact together, forming mud that will eventually clog up the pipes.

Excessive dirt and mud can clog your drain, causing a backed-up toilet. Even toilet paper can clog your drain, so make sure to wash it separately. While small amounts of dirt should not affect your washing machine, excess dirt and paper can make the pipes too clogged. This is especially true if you have pets that wash themselves in the bathtub. It is also a good idea to clean your tub and shower regularly.

Cat litter

Despite what some people think, cat litter does clog drains. While most litters are designed to be flushed, they are not. This absorbent material can cause serious problems in drains and sewer pipes. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent cat litter from clogging drains. Follow these tips to avoid the problems. The CDC recommends not flushing cat litter. However, if your cat uses clay-based litter, you should avoid flushing it down the toilet.

Using a plunger is one option. If this doesn’t work, you can try to use a chemical drain cleaner. If you’re unable to get a decent amount of cat litter out of the drain, consider trying a sink auger or a plumber’s snake to help break up the clumps. If none of these methods work, you may need to call a plumber to come and remove the litter.

Flushing kitty litter down the toilet is not recommended, since the clay can expand when it gets wet and become a cement-like substance. Not only will this material clog your drain, it will also damage your pipes. It may even lead to sewage backup in your home.