We all know how irritating it can be when your drain gets clogged. Worst of all, it seems like many of those commercial drain cleaners don’t even work. What they are good at doing, however, is corroding your pipes, polluting the water, and damaging your septic system or the materials your tub/sink is made of.
DIY Drain Cleaners
Below you will find some recipes for do-it-yourself drain cleaners that don’t contain harmful chemicals and won’t damage your system. Even better, they are easily accessible and cheap enough to use over and over again, if needed.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
Combine one cup of apple cider vinegar with one cup of baking soda. The intense effervescing action that occurs is proof that this is a successful drain-cleaning combination. Simply pour it down the drain, along with plenty of hot water. You can repeat this multiple times to completely clear the drain. This is also a good tool to incorporate weekly to keep your drains running clear.
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Simply replace the cider vinegar from the recipe above with a cup of lemon juice. While this alternative is slightly more expensive (unless you have your own lemon tree), it is possibly more effective and it certainly smells better. Let the baking soda and lemon juice foam up for a few minutes, then follow with a good amount of warm water.
Salt, Borax, and Vinegar
Combine ¼ cup salt, ¼ cup borax, and ½ cup vinegar. Again, follow up this combination with plenty of hot water. This cleaner may take a bit longer than the first two, but it is just as effective.
Many clogs are a result of items hardening inside the drain, therefore preventing everything else from going down. Imagine bacon grease or even your soap once it reaches room temperature and solidifies. Therefore, sometimes something as simple as pouring boiling water down the drain will help to turn the clogging culprit back into a liquid-like form and push it the rest of the way down the drain.
This treatment should not be used in excess as it may stress the materials of your tub/sink (i.e. porcelain).
The best way to clear your drain is to not let it get clogged in the first place. Avoid pouring items such as grease and food particles down the sink. In your tub and shower sinks, be sure to clean them out regularly by hand to avoid buildup of hair and/or shower products.
Not only will this prevent the drain from clogging, it will also prevent the hair and soap/shampoo/conditioner build-up from sitting in your drain and creating a unique aroma. It may be helpful to have a mesh cover over your drains to prevent many of these items finding their way down.
As mentioned, this natural drain cleaners can be used often to prevent drain problems in the first place. It is natural and unavoidable for some debris to go down every drain, so cleaning your drains regularly is highly recommended.