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What Causes Drain Clogs To Form?

We’re all familiar with the irritating presence of drain clogs. Whether you can’t do your dishes because your sink won’t drain or you’re standing in an inch of water while you try to shower, drain clogs are annoying. It seems like right when we clear one drain, another gets clogged, but how do drain clogs form in the first place?

As the premiere Houston plumbing repair and drain cleaning service, Mission Air Conditioning & Plumbing has all the information you need to finally understand those stubborn drain clogs. Whether you’re looking for the common causes of clogged drains or the best drain cleaner ever, our team has your back!

Tough Drain Clogs: An Origin Story

It may come as a surprise to you, but our actions as members of the household are the number one reason why clogs form in drains! We usually take our drains for granted, but the amount of material we expect to wash down the drain and never be seen again is extensive. It’s no wonder some of it gets caught on the way down. If you’re curious, the following are common sources of drain clogs in your home.


Yes, we know this sounds backward, but soap does more than clean your hands or dishes. Many soaps are actually made of grease or fats, and they tend to break down when they enter your drain. This means the leftover grease or fatty material can get caught or stuck on the inside of your drain easily. 


Primarily affecting shower or tub drains, hair is a perfect example of clog forming material. Hair holds up pretty well to movement and tends to clump together. You can imagine how easily hair could get caught and collect other materials into a sizable drain clog — especially in households with long hair!

Food Materials

We take our garbage disposals for granted, but some foods should never go down the drain — even with a disposal. Some examples of things you should NEVER put down a drain are:

  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Potato peels
  • Pasta or rice
  • Corn husks

Particle Buildup

There are several things that cause buildup in your pipes that will clog your drain. First, try not to wash large amounts of dirt into your drains. Dirt is fairly heavy and can stick together easily. Secondly, minerals in your water can adhere to the inner walls of your pipes and cause trouble. Lastly, toilet paper is a common culprit for clogged drains because it forms a paste and contributes to clogged material. 

Foreign Objects

If you have little rascals running around your home, you’re probably familiar with foreign objects making it down the drain or toilet. However, this applies to adults as well. Plastic, metal or any other kind of non-organic material should never be sent down any kind of drain. It has a high probability of getting stuck or causing damage to the plumbing system.

Clearing Stubborn Drain Clogs

There are specific solutions to different kinds of drain clogs that a professional plumber can help you choose. However, there are some best practices to trying to resolve the clog situation on your own.

  • Physical Removal — Using a wire hanger or suction to try to remove the clog manually is always an option.
  • Chemical Removal — Chemical drain cleaners are an option, but we recommend you read the labels carefully to be aware of the dangerous chemicals you are working with and putting into your water system.
  • Natural Remedies — Using mixtures of hot water, vinegar, baking soda or caustic soda can help break down clogs formed by organic material.
  • Expert Plumbing — A professional will have special tools and knowledge to remove even the toughest of drain clogs!

Let Mission Clear The Way!

Our team at Mission Air Conditioning & Plumbing offers the most efficient drain clog solutions for your convenience. Don’t suffer any more than you have to. Just give us a call today!

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