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Clearing Clogged Drains

Clearing Clogged Drains

My upstairs bathroom sink drain always needs attention: I think toothpaste is the culprit, but whatever, it always needs help.

You donít need powerful industrial chemicals as the household cleaning industry would have you believe! Find out the surprisingly easy and non-toxic way I keep that drain open.

When our drains get clogged, we have been unwaveringly convinced that nothing short of the most powerful chemical arsenal will work. As a result, most of us resort to commercial drain cleaners that are some of the most dangerous chemicals found in the home. Lye or acid, these products can harm health, the wastewater stream, and PVC pipes.

A gentle yet effective approach to coaxing free a clog from a drain is to use simple household ingredients instead of burning a hole through the clog with industrial lye or acid. There are even bacteria-based enzyme cleaners available in health food stores that eat the clog free from the pipe without harming everything else in which it comes into contact. And it is always worth it to try unclogging a drain first with an old-fashioned plunger; they very often do the trick. If all else fails, you might try an electric plumber’s snake, but it is recommended that to prevent injury, only professional plumbers should use this equipment.


Baking Soda Drain Cleaner
If water hasn’t yet backed up in your drain, pour 1 cup of baking soda followed by 3 cups of boiling water. The boiling
water will change the chemical composition of baking soda, making it more alkaline. Repeat a few times until the drain is clear.

Washing Soda Drain Cleaner
If the water isn’t going down the drain, pour a cup of washing soda over the drain area and let it set for a while to work its way down to the clog. Once the clog is loosened, use the baking soda method, above. Washing soda is more alkaline than baking soda, with a pH of 11. You never want to use washing soda if a commercial acid drain cleaner has recently been used in the drain, as they will strongly react with each other. You also shouldn’t overuse washing soda if you have PVC pipes, as the caustic nature of washing soda can slowly damage the plastic.

The Bubbling Method Using Vinegar and Baking Soda
Baking soda and vinegar react with each other to cause bubbles and fizzing. Sometimes the fizzing can unlodge clogs. Follow the baking soda and boiling water formula, above, with 1 cup of vinegar.

Enzyme Drain and Garbage Disposal Maintenance
All natural living enzyme culture drain cleaners will actually eat and break down any organic matter. Using enzyme drain cleaners once a month, such as Bi-O-Kleen’s Bacout, will help not just your drains, but your septic system. They will also significantly reduce odor from garbage disposals. Colonies of enzymes will actually continue to grow and break down organic matter in your drains .

Washing Soda Maintenance
Enzymes don’t work as well on hair clogs, so to keep drains clear that tend to collect hair, such as in the shower and bath. A few times a month pour 1 cup of washing soda followed by a thorough flushing of water.

Read more: Bed & Bath, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Home, Household Hints, Non-Toxic Cleaning,

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


+ add your own
3:07AM PST on Feb 9, 2015

Nice post. This tips are really helpful for individual as well as drain cleaning services provider. Keep up the great work.

8:50AM PST on Feb 6, 2015

Every Drain should be clean. There are many services that can make it happen , but I found one that's really good and I recommend it.

2:04AM PST on Dec 15, 2014

I really enjoy reading and also appreciate your work.

10:39PM PDT on Oct 27, 2014

I was pinning away for such type of blogs, thanks for posting this for us. jandpdrainage

3:40AM PDT on Jul 17, 2014

thanks for advice

7:22PM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

Thanks Dale, Your comment was helpful

7:20PM PDT on Jun 6, 2014

Instead of drinking that litre bottle of cola, pour it down the drain - it works wonders :)

6:50PM PDT on Jun 6, 2014

I never know how many ways you could clean the drain. I need to clean it up before the plumber gets here. It's starting to smell pretty bad.

Tara |

5:18AM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

For bathroom sink drains they make a long very strong plastic piece that easily goes into the drain. It is designed to pull the stuff back out of the drain. With bathroom sinks it's usually hair that clogs them up. You can find the sink cleaner at Walmart or Home Depot.

12:00PM PST on Dec 21, 2013

Using "baking soda", "vinegar", "lemon juice" and "salt" are simply TEMPORARY FIXES that just move the problem(s) further down the drain.

My bride and I have been using and recommending a product called "Drain Care"; which is a once a month BACTERIA & ENZYME cleaner manufactured by ZEP, for well over fourteen (14) years now. When asked if it works; my normal response is that, "I don't really know; but I never had a clogged drain since I starting using it." By the way, it is also cheaper than the previously mentioned methods. Don and I CAN! :-))

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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