Oh, no! Your drain is clogged. Time to call a plumber!
Or maybe not. Before you call in the experts, there are a few things you can try to unclog your drain on your own. We’ve compiled the top 5 DIY drain cleaning methods to help you get started.
Before we get into drain cleaning methods, let’s touch on drain maintenance and prevention. Nobody likes dealing with clogged drains. So how do you avoid this nuisance? Here are three ways to prevent clogged drains:
- Clean your drains regularly. By taking a few minutes every 1‒2 weeks to throw some cleaner down your drains, you’ll save yourself hours of headaches in the future.
- Utilize screens or drain grates. These will catch hair and other products that shouldn’t be going down the drain. Just be sure to clean them regularly to avoid smelly buildup.
- Never put any of the following down your drains: toxic chemicals, grease, feminine products, paper towels, eggshells, stringy foods, or fruit rinds.
Most Effective Drain Cleaning Methods
Clogged drains are annoying, but they can usually be cleared easily if you have the right products. Fortunately, all of the following methods involve items you probably already have at home. These drain cleaning methods are easy, non toxic, and cost effective.
You’ll notice one recurring ingredient as you continue reading: baking soda. Baking soda can whiten your teeth, get rid of the smell inside your fridge, and help you make the perfect cookies. And it turns out, baking soda is a very effective drain cleaner.
Baking Soda + Vinegar + Hot Water
You may have learned about the effect of mixing baking soda and vinegar during a volcano science experiment as a kid. Well, this effect is a non-toxic chemical reaction that can effectively clean inside your drains.
To clean: Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, chase it with ½ cup of vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar), and cover the drain for at least an hour (or overnight). Then, pour hot water down the drain to flush out what’s left.
Baking Soda + Lemon Juice + Hot Water
Follow the same steps listed above, but substitute ½ cup of vinegar for ½ cup of lemon juice. The acid in the lemon juice will mix with the baking soda to form a cleaning compound. Best of all? Your drain will smell great afterward!
Baking Soda + Salt + Hot Water
Mix ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of salt, and pour the mix down the drain. Pour boiling water into the drain after about 10‒15 minutes and let the magic happen.
For minor clogs, something as simple as boiling water can solve your problem. Just slowly pour boiling water down the affected drain and repeat 2‒3 times as needed.
Bent Wire Hanger
Hair is one of the worst causes of a clogged drain. Unfortunately, none of the above methods will be very effective against hair clogs. In these cases, you can try using a bent wire hanger to grab hold of the clog and pull it out.
Drain Still Clogged?
Keep in mind that severe clogs or those caused by hair may not be able to be cleared by DIY methods. In these cases, we may recommend either hydro jetting or snake drain cleaning. Click below to learn more about our drain and sewer services.
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