Plumbing-Safe Cleaning Tips

Everyone loves clean bathrooms and kitchens. Just look at the number of cleaning products available nowadays! At Barker and Sons Plumbing, we’re not only experts on keeping plumbing clean on the inside, we’re also experts on keeping kitchen and bathroom fixtures clean without damaging plumbing.

Toilet cleaning tips

Avoid “In tank” toilet cleaners, as they usually contain chlorine liquid that can wear away toilet flappers and other parts in the tank. (Some newer flappers are made to be chlorine resistant, but it’s still risky to use in-tank cleaners with these.) It’s better to use a toilet brush and scrub the bowl once a week. However, if you have stains that can’t be cleaned, try dropping a couple of denture cleaning tablets in the bowl and let them fizz for a while. You can also pour two cups of vinegar into the bowl and let it sit for an hour. For hard to remove stains, fill the bowl with vinegar and let it to sit overnight.

Cleaning lime scale from faucets

Lime is the chalky white mineral deposits from hard water that, over time, can damage sinks, toilets, and tubs and make soap scum harder to remove. To get rid of lime stains from a faucet, soak a rag or paper towel in vinegar and wrap around your faucet, keeping it in place with a rubber band or hair clip, for about a half hour. Brass fixtures, however, require special care.

Cleaning brass faucet fixtures

First, if you’re not sure your fixtures are brass, put a magnet against it. If it sticks, that fixture is not brass. Wipe brass fixtures daily with a soft cloth. If stains occur, don’t use ammonia, rubbing alcohol or silver polish. Instead, dampen a soft cloth with water and a little dish detergent or gentle hand soap and wipe. For stubborn spots, use a small amount of vinegar diluted in water. Then rinse with cool water (to keep the vinegar from damaging the fixture’s lacquer) then wipe dry with a soft cloth. When considering a brass polish, first test it on an inconspicuous area to be sure the polish won’t damage the fixture’s lacquer.

Cleaning shower heads

If you’re shower head is clogged with mineral deposits or mold, use a thin wire or paperclip to clear any major clogs and scrub it with an old toothbrush.Then, remove the shower head and place it in a container filled with warm white vinegar. Soak for 15-20 minutes. If you can’t remove the shower head, submerge it in a small plastic baggie filled with 2-3 inches of white vinegar, making sure that the faceplate is completely covered. Use a rubber band or tape to keep it in place and soak it 15-20 minutes. After soaking, rinse the shower head with warm water. Repeat these steps, if necessary.

Keeping drains clean

First and foremost, avoid store-bought drain products like Draino! Using it, even on occasion, is not only ineffective, but can harm your pipes! The chemicals in Draino can eat away at the pipes interior surface and can eventually burn a hole through the interior of the pipes or can make them brittle enough to crack. Instead, it’s best to avoid getting drains clogged by keeping hair and food scraps from getting into drains in the first place.

However, if you have a stubborn slow drain or clog, give us a call. One of the professional tools we use for cleaning clogged drains is a commercial-grade,non-caustic, friendly bacterial solution that naturally digests oil, grease, and food wastes into water and carbon dioxide. It’s called BioOne – a “hungry bacteria” that is perfect for clogged pipes and safe for septic systems in Orange County. You can learn more about this effective, safe product in our previous blog post on BioOne, or give us a call at Barker and Sons Plumbing in Orange County. We’re always happy to help!