Cleaning Chemicals for Under Sink Pipes

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Aug 16, 2019
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Would there be a good PVC pipe cleaner chemical to pour into my double stainless steel kitchen sink drains to keep them smelling fresh?
Maybe something that foams up and sticks to the whole pipe and devours the gunk?
It was starting to smell a bit funky in the kitchen the other day because I hadn't taken the PVC pipes apart and washed the gunk out of them recently.
So I did that again and there was a lot of gunk in them.
I'd like to use a safe pipe cleaner chemical instead of resorting to the 30 minute job of taking the pipes apart and cleaning them out manually.
Or should I clean them every 3 months instead?
I use a screen over my drains, but I rinse out things like cat food cans and that stuff creates gunk in the pipes over time.
 
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There is a product called "Thrift" that works really well with hot water per the instructions. You cannot put it in garbage disposals or toilets though; I've personally used it in bathtub & shower drains, bathroom sink drains, laundry drain with great success. Look HERE
 
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I've used some lemon drops made for stinky drains before with ok results. There is also CLR Drain Maintainer or equivalent to help get rid of that gunk.
 
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I would fill up your sink with hot water and a dose of dishwasher detergent. Let it sit for a bit then open the drain. That will flush your P trap and also clean your stainless sink at the same time.
 
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If you are not on public sewer, be cautious about what you try and use to "clean" them with. We just use vinegar when the kitchen drains start smelling funky. We can't use any harsh chemicals out here in the country. Works pretty good for us. Those lemon things might be septic safe.

I just recently installed a composite style sink, so I redid all the drain plumbing; it will be a little bit before I have to worry about the drain smelling funky.
 
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Since your pipes are PVC, you can use just about anything available for the purpose.
I use the two part Draino product available in the grocery store. It can be kinda pricey though. It does foam up when you mix the two halves of the bottle together.
 
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I poor my old baking soda from the fridge and freezer down the drain. Works for me.
 
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Any chance you have a foam cannon, like the kind for washing cars ? You could even use a hand sprayer/foamer like this type (look for the "foaming" variety):
1669574411685.jpg


Fill it with Dawn dish soap and fill the drain with foam and allow it to sit (even overnight).
 

Mr_Luke

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There is a product called "Thrift" that works really well with hot water per the instructions. You cannot put it in garbage disposals or toilets though; I've personally used it in bathtub & shower drains, bathroom sink drains, laundry drain with great success. Look HERE
I'll try using some of this. Thanks.
 

Mr_Luke

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I was in Lowe's to look at what they had for drain chemicals, and one of the guys suggested I improve the water flow of my drain. I got thinking about that at home and checked the angle of the pipe that goes from sink 1 to sink two (I have double steel sinks in the kitchen), and it was slightly angled to the left sink (the drain is right below the right sink). So I went back and spoke to a plumber guy that works there, and he set me up with some pipes to improve the flow and fix that angle. I sawed off one extension pipe so the angle of the horizontal pipe is now slightly aimed down towards sink 2, where the drain pipe also is. Plus I have extensions that go down another foot under each sink, so the water is moving faster as it reaches the drain pipe. The way it was before, a small amount of water sat in the crossover pipe every day, and that was where gunk built up and eventually smelled foul.

I bought some of that Thrift stuff too, to see if I can clean any debris that might be further down the pipe.
I think my pipes will be fine now, without resorting to taking them apart and physically removing the foul gunk.

The way that plumber guy at Lowe's talks, he doesn't rinse cat food cans in the sink. He wipes them and dishes off with a paper towel to avoid rinsing food fluids down the drain, and throws away the paper towels. This sounds like a good way to get a foul smelling trash can.
Do you think he might be going a little too far, or should we all do that?
 

Mr_Luke

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Any chance you have a foam cannon, like the kind for washing cars ? You could even use a hand sprayer/foamer like this type (look for the "foaming" variety):
View attachment 128192

Fill it with Dawn dish soap and fill the drain with foam and allow it to sit (even overnight).

No, I have not heard of a foam cannon before.
You use dish detergent foam to clean drains?
 
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Dump 1/2 cup baking soda in the drain and follow with 1 cup vinegar. Let it foam and fizz until it quiets down, then flush with hot water for 5 minutes.

Do you have really hard water or wash a lot of greasy dishes? It is not normal to get the buildup you are describing.
 

Mr_Luke

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Dump 1/2 cup baking soda in the drain and follow with 1 cup vinegar. Let it foam and fizz until it quiets down, then flush with hot water for 5 minutes.

Do you have really hard water or wash a lot of greasy dishes? It is not normal to get the buildup you are describing.

I don't wash a lot of greasy dishes.
I'm not sure but I don't think I have hard water here.
 
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The way that plumber guy at Lowe's talks, he doesn't rinse cat food cans in the sink. He wipes them and dishes off with a paper towel to avoid rinsing food fluids down the drain, and throws away the paper towels. This sounds like a good way to get a foul smelling trash can.
Do you think he might be going a little too far, or should we all do that?
My rule (not always followed) is no food goes in the drain/disposal. How often do you empty your trash ? Has to be once a week, I'd hope, for garbage pick-up and you're concerned about that vs having to dismantle your drain pipes every couple months ? 😳

You use dish detergent foam to clean drains?
Sure, why not ? That same detergent is used to clean/remove the residue from your dishes that in turn are stinking up your drains. Dawn can help break down grease and fat build-up which other gunk binds to and causes stinking drains. After you allow it to sit (the longer the better), rinse, rinse, rinse (the hotter the water the better too).
 
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My parents used to use powdered laundry detergent, dry, down there and then pour boiling water down, just enough to melt the powder, then use a plunger to plunge back and forth, wait for a while, then rinse with another pot of boiling water.

Wife just use bleach, I personally just use pipe cleaner as a mechanical brush with dawn ultra.
 

Mr_Luke

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My rule (not always followed) is no food goes in the drain/disposal. How often do you empty your trash ? Has to be once a week,

The city picks up the trash cart 1x a week.
I'm sure my trash is far less toxic than some of the garbage people put in there and let rot, especially in the warmer months.
They throw half eaten hamburgers in there to decompose.

I now put pine pellet sawdust that's soaked with cat urine and it has very little odor.
I used to compost it but decided to add it to the city trash instead.
I pay them to pick up my trash so I might as well.

I can try adding a soapy solution down there before I go to bed at night, and flushing it in the morning.
I don't think it has to be Dawn, it can be about any dish detergent.

Has to be once a week, I'd hope, for garbage pick-up and you're concerned about that vs having to dismantle your drain pipes every couple months ?

Why would you be surprised about that? You can create foul odors by food debris in your trash can just as easy.
Plus my Manx cat might knock it over and dig in there for food scraps.

I'd rather have the city empty my trash once a week than dismantle the pipes 2-3x a year and deal with the foul gunk that used to build up.
I really doubt that I'll ever notice an odor from my kitchen sink again, with the new way I set up my drain pipes. All it takes is a small angle tilt to get waste water quickly on its way to the main drain pipe. If anywhere on this route isn't angled right, you invite issues like I was having.
Actually my whole sink and the cabinet it sits on isn't level, but I now have properly angled pipes so it no longer matters. The waste water doesn't care.
 
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Mr_Luke

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Wife just use bleach, I personally just use pipe cleaner as a mechanical brush with dawn ultra.

But bleach doesn't cut grease. You need soap to do that.
I hope she doesn't use a plunger with bleach.
 
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