How to Clean PVC Pipes of Toothpaste Buildup

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There are many ways to clean your pipes of toothpaste buildup.
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Your bathroom sink can go through a lot, but one of the biggest issues when it comes to PVC sink pipes has to be the residue from toothbrushing. Toothpaste is thick and can dry into a very hard and nearly immovable substance, and once it gets backed up, your sink can suffer the consequences. These blocked pipes can even render a sink unusable over time, but luckily, there are a number of different ways to clean PVC pipes of toothpaste buildup.

Determining Whether Pipes Are Blocked

You brush your teeth at least twice every day, which means there's a significant amount of toothpaste entering your bathroom drain on a regular basis. You've probably noticed how difficult dried toothpaste can be to clean off your sink, so it's no wonder it creates big issues within the relatively small environment of the PVC pipes that lie beneath your sink's drain plug. But your bathroom sink is prone to other buildups too. It tends to be the combination of toothpaste with hair, soap and oily grease that can be the true enemy.

One sure way to tell if your PVC pipes have a blockage is if you're experiencing issues with your sink draining. If it's taking significantly longer for water in the sink to clear or if it isn't draining away fully at all, it's probably time to clear out your pipes. But there's another, slightly grosser sign that you need a pipe cleaning. This is the black sludge you may have noticed creeping out of your drain. It's likely this is a combination of all your drain detritus and needs to be cleared ASAP.

Using Store-Bought Drain Cleaners

You can purchase many different items to help you clean out your bathroom drain. Plumbers often recommend using a bathroom drain cover to catch any larger items of debris and prevent them from clogging your drain over time. If you're concerned about a particular blockage, you can also purchase drain snakes, which can easily remove drain obstructions.

Products such as Drano can be very effective at unblocking pipes, but some people worry about using such harsh chemicals in their bathroom sinks. Not only is there a risk of these chemicals coming into contact with the body, but they could also end up causing damage to the PVC pipes over time. These chemical drain cleaners also tend not to be the most cost-effective options. For these reasons, more and more people are turning to natural alternatives.

Homemade Drain Cleaners

One of the most effective ways to clean your PVC pipes using a homemade cleaner is a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar. Assured Comfort recommends putting 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by 1/2 cup of white vinegar. A plug should be placed in the drain to force the mixture downward and through the areas of blockage. Lemon juice can also be used to neutralize any drain odors. Simple Green recommends using boiling water to dissolve any lingering clogs.


Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph, Professional Photography Magazine, Bustle, Ravishly and more. When not writing, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries.

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