No matter how much you try to avoid it your kitchen and bathroom sinks will clogg. If you want to become your plumber's best friend give them a call right away to clear it up and through away an easy $80 on average for the visit. Draino and other drain cleaners can be a quick fix, but they are nasty, poisionous and can heavily damage your pipes over time leading to even costlier repairs. The following are a few "Do It Yourself" tips to care for your drains.

An Ounce of Prevention

By simply pouring hot salted water down your drains once a week you can clear out most accumulating debris. Bathroom pipes can get clogged with shampoo and toothpaste residue not to mention hair. This simple, yet effective method can cut down on build up and avoid any nasty smells that can develop.

One piece of equipment that is recommended to keep on hand, lasts for years and is the price of a few bottles of drain cleaner is an auger. Also known as a drain snake or plumbing snake, it is a long coil that is inserted into the drain and turned via a hand crank or even an electric drill. This is what plumbers use to break up a clog and then charge you $80 for the service. They cost about $20 and are great for unclogging kitchen and bathroom sinks as well as shower drains. This little piece of equipment can save you lots of money in the long run.

If Prevention Doesn't Work

First try a plunger. This should be a basic household piece of equipment. There are many who don't like to use it and they feel they will expend an enourmous amount of energy (and get wet or dirty in the process) before they give up and call the plumber. However, one trick is not to try and push down quickly to try and break up the clog. This can just push the blockage further down the pipe and only make matters worse. Slowly push the plunger down and then pull up hard creating a sucking motion so the what is stuck can be pulled back up Do this several times. Make sure that there is at least a couple of inches of water before you do this-the water will help create the suction to pull everything out.

Second, use 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 a cup of vinegar. Pour this concoction down the drain and then leave it to stew overnight. Afterwards pour boiling water down the drain. This should clear it up and it is a "green" method of cleaning your pipes.

Good luck!