Three Fantastic, Affordable Ways To Clear A Clogged Drain Without Harsh Chemicals
Whether it's your kitchen drain your outtake pipe that's become clogged, it can be a time-consuming, expensive hassle to clear it. Calling in the pros is sometimes necessary, but there's plenty you can do right at home to safely clear out mild blockages. From manual removal to easy natural remedies you can mix up right in your kitchen, this list will help you to get rid of clogs both safely and quickly when they occur. Read on for the inside scoop.
Try Baking Soda and Vinegar
The most simple of solutions, vinegar and baking soda won't harm your plumbing and is powerful enough to clear through small hairballs, food particles, and other minor clogs. While it's quick and simple to use, you do need to use it in a specific way to get the most benefit.
Instead of pre-mixing the solution and pouring it down the drain, you'll want to start with the baking soda first. Pour about 1/4-cup to 1/2-cup down the drain itself and allow it to sit for about 30 seconds. It's ok if you fill up the drain itself because of the clog--just allow it to pile up on top of it.
Next, begin pouring vinegar into the drain a little bit at a time. As it effervesces, it will act as both a solvent and a physical push against the clog.
You may need to try this multiple times before gaining results. Once the clog is clear, flush the drain well with cold water.
Make Your Own Natural Drain Cleaning Solution
So you've tried the baking soda and vinegar, and you just aren't having any luck with it. Maybe it's time to step things up a notch! Making your own naturally-sourced drain cleaning solution has the potential to do exactly what expensive chemical cleaners can do without the usual risks. You'll need a few items to make this cleaner, including:
- 1/4- cup of table salt
- 1/2-cup of borax
- 1/4- cup of apple cider vinegar
All of these can be purchased at your local grocery.
To make the cleaner, mix all of the ingredients well in a large bowl. Then, pour the solution slowly down the drain, a little at a time. Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. Afterward, pour 2 cups of boiling hot water down over it.
If you don't get results on the first try, repeat the steps again with a fresh batch and allow it to sit for up to two hours. Once the drain clears out, flush it for several minutes with hot tap water to ensure that it is fully clear.
Make Your Own Unique Drain Snake
Drain snakes are extremely effective, but the models that use pressure to blast out a clog can be expensive and even harmful to your plumbing. This is why it's never recommended that you use pressure unless you're sure you know what you're doing. The instructions for each unique type of drain can vary widely.
While plumbers do use pressurized electric snakes when all other avenues have been exhausted, pressure is usually a last-ditch effort to clear a severely blocked pipe--and it usually results in a very big mess.
Using a manual snake, however, is quick and easy and safe enough for nearly anyone to handle. Better still, you can make one right at home with just a few simple ingredients:
- 10' of semi-flexible PVC piping
- 2-3 wire coat hangers
- Duct tape
- A small piece of black foam rubber sheeting, at least 2" thick
All of these items are relatively cheap at your local hardware store.
To start, straighten out one of the coat hangers, leaving the hanging hook intact. You'll want to either press it closed or open it up so that it's just a little bit smaller than whatever drain you're trying to clear. Straighten the length of coat hanger out as much as possible.
Then, cut a piece of black foam rubber into a column shape. This is meant to go into the tip of the PVC piping to stabilize your wire coat hanger. Ensure that it's a bit bigger than the PVC piping you purchased to ensure that it fits securely. Using the wire coat hanger, tunnel a hole through the center of it. Insert the foam rubber stabilizer into the end of the PVC piping snugly.
Now, insert the long, skinny end of the coat hanger into the foam stabilizer. Using the duct tape, secure it into place so that you wind up with a length of of pipe and the wire hook on the end of it. Use this to reach down deep inside of drains--including the toilet!
This is also an excellent way to grab leftover hair from the bathtub or food debris from your food disposal drain.
While the above methods are cheap, easy-to-use, and affordable, sometimes you will come across a drain that simply won't unclog so easily. When this happens, it's time to call in the professionals for help. It's far better to pay for a contractor from a place like Electric Eel Sewer & Drains Specialists than to bust a pipe in error, as floods and backups can be very hard on your pocketbook. For questions about this or any other issue relating to home plumbing, contact a plumber today.