How to keep slime from building up in drain pipes

Written by mary gonzales
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How to keep slime from building up in drain pipes
Regularly cleaning your drain pipe will prevent slime build-up. (water in a sink image by terex from

Drain pipes are one of those things that most people don't give much thought until the day that the water just sits in the sink or the bath tub without moving. Clogged pipes and the gunk inside them can cause pressure on the interior of the pipes that might eventually let go through other joints, in very inconvenient parts of the house. The water that escapes is bad enough when it lands on floors or even furniture, but if slimy substances come out of the pipes, the consequences can be much more expensive to repair. Better to keep your pipes clean and avoid slime from collecting in the first place.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Garbage bin
  • Boiling water
  • Bleach

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  1. 1

    Set a garbage can or lidded compost bucket near the sink drain, or conveniently inside the food preparation area so you can throw away vegetable and fruit matter easily instead of leaving it in the sink or pushing it into the garbage disposal.

  2. 2

    Keep grease far away from any possibility of its entrance into the drain by pouring it into disposable containers and throwing it away completely. Include in this prohibition bacon grease, butter-based sauces and frying oil. Clean out greasy slime by pouring boiling water slowly down the drain.

  3. 3

    Place hair traps in your sink drains and your shower drain to catch not just the hair, but the scummy soap trapped in hair and other materials that will travel into the drain pipe.

  4. 4

    Pour boiling water into the drain and then add one cup of bleach to the drain. Bleach will help clean out thicker, more prevalent scum and slime. Make sure to open a window or set up a fan to pull the air away as you work with the bleach.

  5. 5

    Repeat Step 4 as necessary to completely clean the pipe. Repeat every six months as part of your regular house maintenance.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have a garbage disposal, keep it running better and more cleanly by pouring cold water into the unit after each use.

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