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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 anniebbond.com, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

214 comments

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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! :-))

12:02AM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

Thanks for sharing your view and I really appreciate to expressed my self over here. In my view Sometimes a small blockage could be cleared by plunging with a mop or use of a stick. If you unable to do then Definitely you get the professional Drain jetting experts help.

10:32PM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

Thank you for sharing

10:31PM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

It's great that there are articles like this that can provide alternative to people who can't afford to hire expert drain plumbers. It is very helpful in an innovative way. There are also some cheap plumbers available these days. The Drain Plumbers Gold Coast is one of the cheapest you can get in the Gold Coast area in Australia.

10:29PM PDT on Aug 20, 2013

It's great that there are articles like this that can provide alternative to people who can't afford to hire expert drain plumbers. It is very helpful in an innovative way. There are also some cheap plumbers available these days. The Drain Plumbers Gold Coast is one of the cheapest you can get in the Gold Coast area in Australia.

12:25PM PDT on Aug 16, 2013

There is another alternative that most people don't know about; DRAIN-FX. Full disclosure, I work with this company. DRAIN-FX is a hydro-mechanical drain cleaning device that hooks up to your tap and uses simple tap water and clever engineering to create a powerful pressure washer. It works on just about every kind of clog (even kitty litter, sand, lard, etc), and it won't put excess air pressure on plumbing joints, which can hurt your plumbing.

It's tough to compete with the chemical companies and big corporations who spend millions of advertising dollars selling chemicals, so most people don't know about our product, but every time we sell one we gain another sales person.

7:36AM PDT on Aug 12, 2013

If you never unclogged anything other than your toilet, you're probably better off to just pay the service from a wide array of plumbing companies, in Yorkville, IL for example. At least watch to see it first. Otherwise you might over think, over evaluate and focus too much on the unnecessary aspects. Just thought that this might help.

3:16AM PDT on Aug 1, 2013

but non toxic chemical drain cleaner like bio clean are easy to clean the bathroom sinks


1:31AM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Great advice. Baking soda and vinegar works very well as a homemade drain cleaner. But I would be careful using boiling water in your drain as it might damage certain types of sealants. Using very hot water instead of boiling should be enough.


Matt at Drain Cleaner Guide

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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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