Moen® advises against using foaming spray cleansers on acrylic faucets. It can make the material brittle and prone to breakage. For clogged showerheads, consider using vinegar to clean away the deposits. If you have hard water, you may need to use a stronger commercial product designed for heavy mineral deposits.
The U.S. Department of Energy calculates that 14% of a typical household's energy bill is devoted to the water heater. Consider lowering the water heater's thermostat. It not only saves energy but prevents accidental scalding. Also refer to your water heater's manual on how to drain a small amount of water from the unit to remove sediment.
If you have a jetted or garden tub, Jetta Corp. advises that you clean your tub exclusively with a damp cloth and window cleaner. Never use any sort of solvent, as it could damage your tub. The company also advises against using bubble bath or bath oils in your Jetta® tub.
To thoroughly clean your whirlpool every two or three months, fill the bath with warm water and add a small amount of liquid dishwasher detergent. Circulate the water for 10 minutes and drain. Refill with cold water. Circulate for another 10 minutes and drain.
In-Sink-Erator®, the manufacturer of the garbage disposals Lancia uses, advises you use cold water when grinding food waste. To freshen your disposal drain, grind citrus peels or run eggshells through. Run the disposal after draining a sink-full of water. Avoid grinding fibrous materials like corn husks because they can cause drain blockages. Never place your hand in the disposal. If you have to retrieve something from the drain, use a pair of metal tongs.
When going on vacation, don't forget to turn the central water valve off to your home. This will minimize any damage if you have a plumbing problem. To save energy, you might also want to turn down the thermostat on your water heater. But don't turn off the heat. Leave the thermostat at a low setting.
Other vacation hints:
Put a few lights on timers throughout the house.
Stop mail and newspaper delivery or ask a neighbor to collect them while you're gone.
A plunger isn't your only option to unclog a toilet. If you don't have a plunger handy, you can try using a bucket of water and physics to unclog it. If the water in the bowl is low, you can fill a bucket or trash can with water and dump into the bowl from approximately waist height. This can force the clog through, although it can create splash-back.
If a plunger doesn't work on a clog, you may need to resort to a toilet snake (with rubber padding to avoid damaging your toilet). This will work the clog through the system.
Clogs in sinks and tubs often develop over time. In a best-case scenario, you periodically clean out any hair or other materials from the drains to avoid a clog. You can also pour boiling water down drains to clear them out.
But if your drain is completely stopped, you can try using a plunger. To create the proper vacuum and seal, you will need to seal off the overflow drain and add some water to the tub or sink basin. Do not plunge a drain line after chemicals have been used. Also, don't use a plumber's snake on a tub drain.