We’ve all experienced that moment in the shower when yet another clog seems to be forming. You look down and instead of seeing the water swirling quickly down the drain, you notice it sluggishly pooling on the shower floor. It’s a common yet frustrating occurrence because you know that you’ll have to get in there once again and try to clear it out.
So, why does this keep happening and are there ways to make it less frequent?
Not surprisingly, soap scum is the most common culprit of drain clogs in bathroom sinks and showers. While you don’t have to give up soap to avoid clogs you can prevent future soap scum buildup once you know what it is and why it builds up over time.
What Is Soap Scum?
Soap scum is a material that starts soft, but eventually turns hard. It’s essentially a combination of the fatty acids from soap that mixes with the minerals found in hard water. This substance then attaches and solidifies on the inside of your pipes. It’s also common for hair or debris to get caught in the soap scum, making clogs even more likely to form.
How to Get Rid of Soap Scum Clogs
If you’re suffering from soap scum related clogs, it’s probably a chronic issue that you deal with on a regular basis. But there are several things you can do to combat soap scum clogs:
● Install a Water Softener or Descaler:
One of the necessary ingredients to make soap scum is the minerals in hard water. By eliminating some of the minerals, soap scum won’t form as readily.
To install a water softener, you’ll need the help of a professional plumber. The device connects directly to your home’s water source so that all of the water is softened before it goes to your shower and other fixtures. Before deciding to purchasing a water softener, however, you can perform a water hardness test on your own to find out if hard water is really the problem. If your water doesn’t turn out to be that hard, you might consider some other preventative steps for reducing the number of clogs you’re experiencing.
A descaler or water conditioner is another item that produces great results. It doesn’t remove minerals from the water, but does stop minerals from sticking to your pipes in the form of scale or soap scum. Ask your plumber about the best solution for your home.
● Boiling Water:
For the occasional minor clog, pouring boiling water down the drain can melt away scum and clear out the blockage. You can clean out your pipes using this trick once a week to make sure that your drains are always free-flowing.
● Enzyme Drain Cleaners:
These drain cleaner’s active ingredients eat up and remove soap scum and fats. In addition, these types of drain cleaners are safer and more environmentally friendly than other, harsher chemicals that you might find on the market.
● Mesh Drain Covers:
Don’t forget that hair and other debris often worsen the problems that soap scum creates. So, install a mesh drain cover that will catch even small debris that can cause a clog. Clean them out regularly to keep your drains unobstructed.
Now that you know what soap scum is, you can fight it on all fronts using the proper preventative and clog-busting measures. Once you put the strategies to use, you’ll be able to enjoy showering without wading in an inch or more of water around your feet.