At one point or the other, everyone experiences a smelly or clogged drain in the kitchen or bathroom. The unpleasant smell coming from the water that backed up from the drain can cause discomfort. Although there are several cleaning products on the market, you should avoid using most of them due to a high level of toxicity and possibility of damaging your drains or pipes and affect as well as your lungs.
Drain Cleaning Alternatives
Rather than purchasing a bottle of chemically harmful drain cleaner, you can lay your hands of these natural drain cleaning alternatives made with natural materials that are easy-to-make and harmless to everyone in your family, wallet, and environment. So, whenever your drains get clogged, you do not have to spend a lot of money on a potentially harmful commercial cleaning product. Rather, search for some important ingredients and prepare a homemade drain cleaning product that is safe for you and tough on the drain buildup.
Everyone knows the warning signs of a clogged drain like slow draining of water, pooling around of water, and odors. You have to act fast to prevent an eventual clogging of your drain, a burst pipe, or a useless bathroom.
Have you removed the debris covering the surface of the drain and yet the problem is still there? Here are the natural products you can use to clean your drains before calling for professional drain cleaning services.
Bend a Wire Hanger
Out first drain cleaning alternative – Irrespective of how simple it seems, this is a practical solution to fix a clogged drain. Take one of your wire coat hangers, straighten it completely, and bend one end to form a hook. Put it inside the drain and turn it in a circular motion while pushing up and down to get all kinds of hair and stuff that stuck in the drain out. Make sure you are not pushing the dirt further into the drain but he as much as possible out of the drain. Pour about a gallon of hot water to clear things up.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Mix one-third of a cup of vinegar with one-third of a cup of baking soda. The solution will fizz instantly; so, pour it in the clogged drain immediately. Leave for one hour or overnight, and flush with hot water. It should remove the grime, gunk, or hair that clogged the drain.
Another way to go about this is to pour dry baking soda in large quantity in the drain first before pouring vinegar on it. Cover the drain and leave overnight. Flush with hot water in the morning.
Wet and Dry Vacuum
You cannot imagine the fabulous work this vacuum can do in unclogging your drain. Set the ‘Wet and Dry’ vacuum to vacuum liquid first and cover the vent. Seal up the drain as much as possible and turn on the vacuum on its highest setting. It can draw up the clog from the pipe into the vacuum bag. Although it does not work all the time, you can give it a shot; who knows?
Caustic Soda (Sodium Hydroxide)
Warning: Get eye protection and rubber gloves. There is a risk of chemical burns; so, handle carefully.
Pour a three-quarter gallon of cold water into a bucket and add three cups of caustic soda to it. Stir the solution with a wooden spoon; it will start to fizz and heat up. Pour the solution into the cooked drain for about one hour or overnight, and flush with boiling water. If necessary, repeat the process.
This works especially if the clog was caused by grease that built up on the walls of the pipe. Boil as much water as possible, and pour slowly into the drain. Do this in stages to allow the water to work for some seconds before pouring the remaining hot water. This works most of the time, and it is the easiest way to unclog a drain.
Baking Soda and Salt
Get half a cup of baking soda and mix with half a cup of table salt and pour down the clogged drain. Allow the mixture to rest for 20 minutes before pouring hot water. The chemical reaction that will be produced will dissolve the clogging.
Clean the Trap and Pile
Remove the U-shaped pipe (the trap) inside the drain and turn it upside down to empty the content. Use a straightened metal hanger to fish around inside the trap for debris. Do the same thing for the pipes. Rinse the trap and fix it to the pipe again. This solution works if the clogging is mild and in the trap.
Read: What are Grease Traps
Vinegar, Baking Soda, Gravity, and Pressure
This drain cleaning alternative leverages the pressure and gravity of the bathtub to unclog the bath drain. Pour mixed vinegar and baking soda in the drain (as explained in tip two above) and put a stopper over it. Leave for one hour, and fill your bathtub with water. After one hour, removed the stopper. The pressure of about 60 gallons of water should be able to dislodge the clog supposedly loosened by the vinegar and baking soda.
You can use dish detergent as a drain cleaning alternative. Pour a one-quarter cup of dish detergent down the drain. Pour boiling water down. The soap will work as a lubricant and break up greasy residue on the pipe. You need a plunger to cut the gunk or clog in the drain. This is an easy method to clean your drains.
Cream of Tartar and Baking Soda
This is a nontoxic solution that works effectively like drain cleaning services by a professional. Mix one-quarter cup of cream of tartar with one-quarter cup of salt, one-quarter cup of baking soda, and some water to create a creamy liquid. Pour the solution down the drain and leave for 30 minutes. Pour two cups of boiling water down the drain and leave for one hour, after which you flush with warm water. You may need to repeat this process for tough clogging.