A clogged drain can lead to a number of problems, some of them costly and damaging. A common cause for clogged drains are strands of hair that get all tangled up in your drains. When your drains get clogged up, traditionally you have only a few choices to remove them: a plunger or drain snake that physically removes the clog. Or you can use a toxic chemical like Drano.
Drain cleaning chemicals like this go right into our waste-water system where they are not filtered out and eventually end up in our rivers and streams. These chemicals can also damage certain types of pipes and are dangerous if they come in contact with eyes or bare skin, and the fumes can cause respiratory irritation. More seriously, accidental ingestion, by a pet or child can be fatal. These are just a few reasons many people try to avoid chemicals.
Here are 3 chemical-free ways for opening clogged drains with materials you probably already have around your house:
Plunger: There are two types of plungers. The kind with a steep black cup is a toilet plunger. The red plungers with a shallow cup are designed for opening sink and tub drains. In order to work, there should be water covering the drain. Place the plunger cup over the drain and push down until the plunger makes a good vacuum seal over the drain. Then grasp the handle and pump the plunger cup up and down quickly five or six times. Pull backward and see if the drain opens. Repeat the process until the clog is forced out and the drain opens.
Drain Snake: A drain auger or plumber’s snake is a plumbing tool used to remove clogs that cause a blockage within drain pipes. Snakes are ideal for unclogging drains, especially when dealing with stubborn clogs that can’t seem to be removed by a plunger. a drain snake or auger is a flexible and long metallic cable with an uncoiled spring or small auger attached on the end that gets into the drain pipe. The other end of the cable has a handle. You can insert the snake manually into a drain pipe and rotate the crank or handle to uncoil the snake. As it uncoils, the snake moves deeper into the drain until the auger penetrates through the clog and breaks it up.
Baking Soda & Vinegar Mixture: For this remedy, you might not need to look any further than your kitchen pantry! To unclog your drain with baking soda and vinegar follow these three easy steps:
- Measure one cup of baking soda and pour it down the drain. Immediately follow the baking soda with one cup of vinegar down the drain.
- Watch for fizzing in the drain and five minutes after the fizzing stops, flush the drain with two quarts of hot water.
- Repeat this process until the clog clears.
If your clog is particularly stubborn you can try pouring a cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt down the drain and let the mixture stay in the drain overnight. The next morning you can flush it with two cups of boiling water.
These natural remedies will not harm your pipes or the environment! It is even a good idea to make this process a part of your regular maintenance routine. Instead of waiting for a problem to occur why not be proactive and work to prevent it? If you are experiencing difficulty with using any of these methods OR you are interested in learning more about them, then please contact one of our 24-hour plumbers. We would love to help you save both your time and money!