Sometimes you realise and it’s too late. You turn on the tap in the kitchen sink or the shower and before you know it, the water isn’t going down the drain but actually coming up, towards you. You turn off the tap and after a few minutes, the water disappears. You hope against hope that this was just a one-off problem but more than likely it wasn’t. Later that day, you try to wash your hands, you’ve forgotten about the clogged drain, and the water comes up even faster now. It’s time to act.

You’ve obviously been doing something wrong, but you don’t know what. Take a look at some of the common reasons for clogged drains below and try some of the remedies.

The first step to maintaining a clean drainage system is to be wary of what you’re putting down it. In the shower, hair is the most common cause of a blocked drain. To counteract this, buy a filter you can place over the drain which can stop hair, and any soap scum going down.

In the kitchen, throwing any small bits of food, coffee or grease into the sink can quickly cause you drainage problems. Be careful with food items you rinse off the plates, brush any larger foods into the bin, the same with coffee granules. Grease should be drained off into a container so that it can set and then be thrown away.

There are a few homemade remedies if grease or smaller pieces of food are causing bloackages. Vinegar can solve it within 30 minutes. Leave some vinegar to soak in the drain and after half an hour, pour down some boiling hot water. This should remove any organic build up.

To prevent any problems presenting themselves again, start running hot water down the drain after washing off food products or oils. Baking soda followed by hot water can also do the trick.

A healthy drain can eliminate the chance of build-up in the future while also removing the chance of any unwanted smells appearing. Any extreme build-up could result in you calling a plumber to take a look at the problem, so to save yourself the expense, make sure you use some of these tips and tricks on a regular basis. Otherwise, you may end up standing in a build-up of soap scum first thing in the morning, something nobody wants to start the day with.