Most people take plumbing for granted. But when the kitchen sink backs up with greasy water or the bathtub won’t drain, it becomes priority one.
Professional plumbers charge $45 to $200 per hour. It makes sense to fix problems yourself when possible.
If your drain moves at a snail’s pace, take action. Resolve it fast so it doesn’t become a major issue.
Consider what’s causing the clog. Then, pick a solution that doesn’t harm your pipes.
Many commercial drain cleaners use harsh chemicals. When the chemicals contact the clog, they generate heat. If not used in the right way, the chemicals can damage older pipes and weaken PVC pipes.
The smart way to approach slow-moving drains is with the least harmful method. Some of the most effective ways to clear a clog are chemical-free.
Keep reading for the 5 best ways to clear your pipes with green drain cleaners.
The Benefits of Green Drain Cleaners
Green drain cleaners won’t harm your pipes. They’re safer to use than toxic chemical cleaners.
Green cleaners are safe for you and the environment. Choosing a green cleaner is a good way to protect yourself and the environment.
If you don’t want harsh chemicals in your home, try the following non-toxic ways to clear your drains. Making a green drain cleaner is cheaper than buying over-the-counter products.
1. Snake the Drain with a Wire Coat Hanger
Try snaking your drain with a thin metal coat hanger. Straighten a hanger into a straight line. Leave a hook at one end.
Put the hooked end of the hanger into the drain. Move it around as much as possible. Pull the hanger out with any food or hair clogs.
Repeat until nothing comes out. Run hot water down the sink when you’re done.
If the clog is deeper than the length of the hanger, try another method.
2. Use a Rubber Plunger
The plunger is a good place to start in the kitchen. When food gets stuck in the drain’s curve it’s hard to reach.
Remove everything from the sink. Fill it halfway with warm water. The top of the plunger bell should be underwater.
Make sure the plunger stays sealed against the surface. Push and pull on the plunger handle with quick, strong thrusts. Don’t break the seal.
After you loosen the clog, trash the gunk. Follow up by running hot water down the drain.
3. Boil Water and Dish Soap
Boil half a gallon of water. Mix in 2-3 tablespoons of grease-cutting liquid dish soap. Pour the hot mixture in a slow and steady stream down the sink.
This technique works well on grease clogs. The hot water heats the grease back into a liquid so it can drain.
Be patient. You may need to repeat this method several times to unclog your drain.
4. Mix Baking Soda + Vinegar + Boiling Water
Clear the sink and surrounding area. Pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain. Next, pour a 1/2 cup of vinegar into the drain.
Plug the drain right away. Let the baking soda and vinegar sit in the drain for an hour.
Unplug the drain after 60 minutes. Pour a large pot of boiling water down the drain. Keep pouring boiling water into the drain until it clears.
5. Use Salt + Borax + Vinegar
Take ½ cup of salt and ½ a cup of borax and mix it with 1 cup of vinegar. Let it sit in the drain for at least an hour.
After an hour, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. Let it sit until the drain clears. Rinse the drain with hot tap water to clear anything left in the drain.
6. Try Baking Soda and Salt
Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of salt together. Pour it down the clogged drain. Let it sit overnight if you can. If not, wait at least 30 minutes before pouring boiling water down the drain.
Bonus Tip: Use Boiling Water
One of the easiest and most obvious ways to clean a drain is boiling water.
If the water is hot enough, it reheats any grease and oils to liquid form. The clog melts and drains away.
Use several pots of boiling water so you can flush them down the drain in rapid succession.
Avoid Dangerous Chemical Cleaners
It’s tempting to use a chemical cleaner because they work fast. But, chemical drain cleaners are harsh and dangerous.
Along with potential damage to pipes, chemical drain cleaners are toxic for people.
The chemicals can harm skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. They’re more dangerous if swallowed. Used in the wrong way, a chemical cleaner can cause an explosion.
Always read and heed all warnings on a chemical drain cleaner. Keep it away from children and pets. Use protective gear and ventilate the area.
Never mix different cleaners. Don’t use a plunger at the same time as a chemical cleaner.
Prevent Future Clogs
You can prevent clogs before they happen by following a few drain care guidelines.
The biggest clog culprit in bathrooms is hair. In the kitchen, blockage occurs when grease solidifies with food inside the drain.
Always use a strainer in your sink, bathtub, and shower drains. A strainer catches a lot of hair and food debris that leads to clogs.
Never pour grease from bacon, cooking oil, and meat fat into your drain. Instead, put it in a plastic bag or container and throw it away.
Flush the drain with some hot water after you brush your teeth or pour something into the kitchen sink. Pouring hot water down the drain once a week can dissolve soap, grease, and toothpaste buildup.
Call a Professional for Serious Blockage
Most clogged drains are an inconvenience. Try the green drain cleaners outlined above before calling in a professional.
But some clogged drains need more than a do-it-yourself fix. Sometimes a clog is a serious blockage.
When you can’t clear standing water in a tub or sink, call a plumber. If you have sewage backup and unpleasant odors, you need professional drain cleaning.
Serious drain blockage needs a licensed plumbing contractor. Contact Big C’s Plumbing Service for affordable, professional service. We offer same-day emergency service for commercial and residential problems.