If you just had your drains cleared and perhaps repaired, then you want to do all that you can to keep them flowing freely from now on. You're starting over with drains that have absolutely no accumulation of grime and soap scum, so now is the best time to get serious about drain maintenance. Here are five simple ways to do just that!

1. Flush herbicides down the toilet periodically.

Flushing herbicides down the drain may seem like a strange measure to prevent clogs, but it actually works against the biggest cause of clogs in your main sewer pipe: roots. Tree roots love growing into sewer pipes because the pipe is a great source of water and nutrients. Once they infiltrate the pipe, they grab onto toilet paper and other debris, leading to blockages that can affect every drain in your home.

To keep tree roots at bay, flush a handful of copper-based herbicide granules down the toilet about twice a year. If tree roots begin growing into the line, the herbicides will stop their growth before the roots get big enough to cause major issues.

2. Don't flush feminine hygiene products.

Are you still flushing tampons just because the box says "flushable?" Stop! Tampons and other feminine hygiene products can get caught in the drain pipes. They don't break down quickly like toilet paper, either, so the only way to get them out of the drain is usually to use a drain snake or a hydro-jet. You can't do those things on your own -- you have to call a plumber. It's a lot easier to just put the products in the garbage. Invest in a small, covered trash can with a tightly fitting lid if you are worried about odors or invasion by pets.

3. Switch to liquid soap.

Bar soap is cheap, and many people are accustomed to using it. However, it forms a lot more soap scum than liquid soaps do. The fatty acids in the bar soap react with minerals in your water, and form that sticky, scummy grime that clings to your pipes. It can take years for soap scum to get to the point of causing a clog, but eventually, it will.

There are many different liquid soaps on the market, including many made with mild, non-irritating ingredients. Buy sample sizes until you find one you love -- and leave the bar soap in the past.

4. Do a better job of keeping grease out of the drain.

Most people know not to dump veggie oil or a big pan of bacon fat into the kitchen sink. But with your new pipes, you'll want to go above and beyond when it comes to keeping grease out of your drains. Scrape plates into the trash before washing them. Spit out your grapeseed oil mouth rinse into the trash -- not the drain. If you cook with oily sauces, wipe the remnants out of the pan rather than rising it down the drain. 

5. Trap your lint and hair.

Take a minute to walk through your house and check all of the lint and hair traps in your drain. If your washer's outflow hose does not have a lint trap on the end, add one. If your shower drain has holes bigger than 1/8 inch in diameter, change it out for a hair trap with smaller holes that will more effectively catch hair. A few hairs may not seem like much, but over time, they can build up to form a nasty clog.

If you adhere to the tips above, your new drain pipes will serve you well for many years.