10 Common Causes of Clogged Drains: Prevention and Solutions | Expert Plumbing Tips

We know how frustrating clogged drains can be, whether it’s a slow-draining sink, a backed-up shower, or a completely blocked toilet. Clogged drains disrupt our daily routines and require immediate attention. 

According to Cision Pr Newswire, Google consumer surveys showed that nearly 20% of homeowners frequently have to deal with a clogged toilet. Understanding the causes of clogged drains is the first step towards preventing them and maintaining a smooth-flowing plumbing system in your home.

In this comprehensive blog, we will explore the 10 most common causes of clogged drains and provide practical solutions to fix them. From hair and soap scum to food waste and tree roots, we’ll cover the various culprits that can wreak havoc on your drains. So, if you’re tired of clearing the clogged drain and want to learn how to get rid of clogged drains, read our blog till the end.

By identifying these main causes of clogged drains and learning how to get rid of them, you’ll gain the essential knowledge to tackle these issues on your own or make an informed decision when seeking professional plumbing services. Don’t let clogged shower drains disrupt your daily life any longer.

So, without further ado, let’s explore the 10 common causes of clogged drains and discover effective ways to fix them, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free drainage system in your home.

  1. Hair

Human hair, animal fur and other stringy materials like dental floss are one of the most common causes of clogged drains, particularly in shower, laundry, bathtub, and bathroom drains.

It’s especially dangerous because it sticks and knots up with other particles, such as soap and oil, and attaches itself to the drain. In our decades of professional experience, we have seen that most of the intractable blockages involve hair, particularly in bathtubs, showers, and bathroom sinks.


Usually, plunging works well enough in drain unclogging. If not, you might also try using a commercially available drain cleaner. However, these can cause pipe damage if used frequently. 

You may also prepare your own drain cleaner using baking soda and vinegar. To remove tough blockages, a plumber’s snake may be required.


Use a hair strainer drain guard to keep hair from falling down the drain, and clean it regularly. Check out this blog from Insane Choices to choose between different types of sink strainers and know what fits best at your sink.

  1. Soap

Soap residue, often known as soap scum, can build up over time being one of the common causes of clogged drains, particularly in laundry, shower, and bathroom drains. It limits pipe width and causes nasty blockages. Soap can also mix with other things to form clogs, such as hair and grime.

Soap Scum Cause Of Clogged Drains


Pressure cleaning is the most effective method for removing soap accumulation from pipes. But if you are not experienced with it, we suggest a professional plumbing service to do the job because if it’s not used with caution, it can cause damage to your drains.


To avoid soap scum, use soap-free cleansers to wash your dishes. You can also use homemade cleaners by baking soda and vinegar to avoid soup scum.

  1. Dirt

A frequent mistaken belief is that you can wash as much dirt down the drain as you like. The fact is that dirt may accumulate and be the reason for clogged drains, particularly when it gets mixed with hair, soap, and oil.


You have a few options while clearing clogged drains. One method is to use a plunger, which can create pressure to dislodge the blockage. Another option is to use a drain cleaner. 

Lastly, you can use a drill like a plumber’s snake, a long tool that can go into the drain and remove the blockage. These methods are commonly used and can successfully clear the possible causes of clogged drains.


If you have a lot of dirt and mud on you, it’s a good idea to shake or rinse it off before going inside your house. This way, you can prevent the dirt from getting into your drains. By taking this precaution, you can maintain a cleaner and clog-free plumbing system.

  1. F.O.G. (Fat, Oil, Grease)

Oil, grease, and fat are all the serious causes of clogged drains. Grease and oil harden in the pipes, creating a blockage in them. Some people feel that pouring hot water down the drain would eliminate these elements, but this is not a useful solution.


Try plunging, as we have mentioned before. If you are inexperienced when it comes to plunging, check out this blog from Bobvilla, which will direct you on how to get ridof clogged drain by using plunger plunger correctly.

If plunging doesn’t work, pour some detergent and hot water into the bowl before flushing. This 

frequently breaks down the solidified oil. Plunge once again. If this doesn’t work, use a commercial drain cleaning product and carefully follow the instructions on the container.


Wipe away little quantities of oil with a paper towel and dispose of it. Larger quantities of fat should be allowed to solidify in a container or jar before being thrown away.

  1. Food Waste 

Various food wastages are another causes of clogged drains we often don’t notice. Food waste can clog your pipes even if you have a garbage disposal. Some foods, such as tea leaves and coffee grounds, are particularly harmful because they do not degrade.

Food Waste Causes Of Clogged Drains


Food waste can accumulate in a number of locations. Plunging, drain cleaners, or a plumber’s snake should be used in clearing clogged pipes. However, if you have waste disposal, this might be the problem. Remove the garbage disposal and check it. If required, clean it and replace it.


Make a compost container for food scraps. Avoid throwing food waste down the drain even if you have a garbage disposal.

  1. Diapers and Wipes

Only toilet paper and human waste should be flushed down the toilet. Wipes and diapers are too big and can easily clog the drain. Even quilted toilet paper falls into the causes of clogged drains, especially if used excessively.


Plunging or drilling to remove obstacles is frequently effective when clearing clogged drains. But if too much water has gathered up, make sure to call a professional plumbing service in Toronto to tackle the issue so that you can minimize the damage. 


Except for human waste and toilet paper, never flush anything down the toilet. Use the quilted paper carefully, and don’t throw excessive toilet paper at a time.

  1. Small Solid Objects

Children playing can flush their toys into the toilet. Other things may be flushed by mistake if they fall into the basin. Small things can fall down the shower or sink drain if you don’t have a sink guard installed. 


Plunging or using a toilet auger should be attempted, but if the object is securely embedded, this issue may require the assistance of a professional plumber.

If you need help with how to hire a professional plumbing service, make sure to check out our comprehensive blog, Expert Tips On Finding The Best Plumbing Services In Toronto.


Children should be taught not to use toilet fixtures as toys. It is important not to flush anything other than paper or human waste down the toilet. All shower and sink openings should be guarded to prevent tiny things from falling.

  1. Cotton Swabs and Feminine Products

Female products should never be flushed down the toilet since they might clog drains. Tampons are particularly problematic since they can expand to 10 times their original size after absorbing liquids. Unlike toilet paper, feminine products and cotton swabs don’t break down or dissolve.


It’s important to remove such obstacles from your pipes quickly; otherwise, they can break or crack them, causing expensive repairs. Initially, try plunging; otherwise, you’ll have to hire a licensed plumbing service.


Tampons, pads, and cotton swabs should never be flushed down the toilet because they expand and do not break down, causing major complications.

  1. Cat Litter 

If you have a cat in the house, you need to be extra cautious about the cat litter. As it is also one of the extremely damaging causes of clogged drains in drainage systems. It’s made of clay, silica, and sand and is designed to absorb moisture and form clumps, resulting in big blockages inside your pipes.

Pet Litters Are Causes Of Clogged Drains


You can use a homemade or commercial drain cleaner when dealing with these causes of clogged drains. But if this doesn’t work, we suggest a professional plumbing service to fix the clogged shower drains or kitchen sinks.  


Never flush kitty litter or attempt to wash it down any home drain. Put it in a bag and toss it in the garbage.

  1. Plants and Leaves

Plants are one of the most common reasons of clogged drain especially in fall season. If you have trees or plantation near your drainage system, the leaves can build up and cause drain clogs and blockage. While these are easy to unclog, it requires you to put in more time for a sparkly clean drain.


You may be able to remove and pick out any plants and leaves if the problem is not too deep. If the situation is more serious, you may need to hire a professional to clear the drains.


Keep the drain openings clean and tidy, and make sure that they are covered with effective grills.

Choosing The Best Plumbing Service

When you see your bathroom or sink overflowing with water, keeping a professional plumbing service on your speed dial list is necessary. It’s important to take quick action and prevent further damage. 

If you are living around Toronto, Citizen Plumbing can ensure professional drain unclogging, drain snaking and all kinds of plumbing services to get out of this misery as soon as possible. 

We have been providing reliable and satisfactory plumbing solutions to homeowners all over Toronto. So, If you are having a plumbing issue, you know whom to call for the most affordable and trustworthy service to call in.


In conclusion, clogged drains can be a frustrating and disruptive problem in our daily life. Throughout this comprehensive blog, we have explored the 14 most common causes of clogged drains and provided professional solutions to fix them effectively.

Understanding the causes of clogged drains is the first step towards preventing them and maintaining a smoothly functioning plumbing system in your home. By identifying these main culprits, such as hair, soap scum, dirt, food waste and other things mention in the blog, you can take preventive steps to keep your drains clear and avoid disruptions to your daily life.

Whether it’s using drain strainers, regular inspection and plumbing maintanace, or seeking the best plumbing services in Toronto like Citizen Plumbing when needed, taking care of your drains is crucial for a clean and clog-free living environment.

By following the tips and techniques outlined in this blog, you can gain the necessary knowledge to tackle clogged drains or choose a licensed plumbing service in Toronto to fix the issue and ensure a hassle free plumbing system in your home. 

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