8 Common Causes of a Clogged Drain 

a close-up shot of a drain with water going downAlmost all homeowners run into problems with their plumbing, more specifically, clogged drains that are failing to work properly. Before you’re quick to blame your drain, the backup of these systems is most often caused by what we are allowing to go down in them. We’ve seen all kinds of buildup and grime in pipelines—items that definitely don’t belong. As professionals in the field of plumbing, we understand that you may not be fully aware when it comes to keeping your drains and pipes as clean as possible. We discuss some of the most common items that cause messy ordeals for drains and more. 

Soap Scum 

Soap is essential for daily hygiene and cleanliness. Although, some soap and body washing products are made with chemicals that can cause films of scum to layer and gather as it washes down the drain. This is more commonly found in drains of homeowners who use bar soap as opposed to liquid products. This scum can build over weeks and months, impeding the flow of water in and out of your drains. 


Your kitchen’s sink disposal is made exactly to help you get rid of smaller particles of food and leftovers. Although, some kinds of food don’t easily go down the drain or break up into smaller portions as easily as others. By allowing stubborn foods to constantly go down your drain, they can accumulate within your plumbing system, and cause everything to back up—a mess no homeowner wants to deal with. 

Oil and Grease 

Oil and grease, in addition to food, are another common culprit of blockages in your drains. It can be hard to determine how much grease you are disposing of, therefore, you will tend to wash down food items at ease. As we previously mentioned, although it is true that your garbage disposal is capable of breaking up many food particles, it could still be helpful that you scrape as many leftovers as possible into the smallest particles. 

Wipes and Cosmetic Towelettes 

Some wipes are made to easily disseminate and dissolve when being flushed into your plumbing. Others? Not so much. The consistency of toilet paper allows it to fall apart rather quickly as it is immersed in water, but this is not a common case for towelettes and wipes. Cosmetic or makeup wipes tend to come in a thicker consistency for optimum cleaning, so it’s important to keep in mind that not all are made to flush as easily! 

Dental Floss, Hair, Stringy Items 

Hair is commonly found in the drains of bathroom tubs and showers. It can be easy to lose track of how much hair your disposing of while you lather, treat, and rinse, which is why it is another common culprit of drain blockage. Surprisingly enough, dental floss creates the same effect as hair. As frail as the stringy item may seem, as it collects it can create a wall and water may be able to pass, but not nearly enough as before. Icky odors may also be a result of these major clogs. 


Believe it or not, people will flush or wash paper down into their drains. Paper, as in computer paper or notebook paper, was not necessarily made to be disposed of in your kitchen sink or in your bathroom toilet. Similar to toilet paper, it can easily dissolve in water as it goes down the drain, but in rather large increments is where you have to be careful. It takes a significant amount to clog your drain, nonetheless, it can worsen if oil or debris is already present. 

Hygienic and Feminine Products 

Time and time again, people are told to not flush these items, and yet, they are commonly found in backed-up toilets and plumbing. These products, alone, are not made to be flushed. They are simply made to be thrown away. After they are used, it makes it even harder for toilets and pipes to dissolve these items. In addition to buildup, foul odors can be a result of this kind of backup and clog. 

Produce Stickers 

Like most grocery shoppers, it’s likely that you purchase produce such as fruits and vegetables and wash them as soon as you get home. Oftentimes, these items have produce stickers, small in size and rather easy to peel and throw away. When a homeowner is experiencing a backup in their plumbing, these produce stickers are often found in the removal of the mess. 

Interrupted Drains? We Can Assist. 

If your plumbing has been failing to work as it normally does and you think it may be due to one of these items or more, we can help! Contact the professionals at C&L Plumbing Supply to learn more about how we can treat your pipes.


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